The location of religious life in current theology: a reading in light of the sacrament of baptism and the rite of religious profession

The concern of this study is to undertake a review of some recent theologies of Religious Life to ascertain what they say about the theology of Religious Life, how they use the term ‘the consecrated life,’ and how they read baptism as the originating consecration for all Christians. In a context where the term ‘consecration’ is used we are obliged to pay close attention to the sacraments of the Church and its ritual celebrations, particularly in this case, the Rite of Religious Profession and to note clearly the nuances that they place before us.

There are four major considerations in this study. The first is to consider how best to express Religious Life anthropologically. Secondly there is need to explore the evolution of the theology of Religious Life since Vatican II up to and including the papal exhortation Vita Consecrata of 1996. Having then set out the main lines of thought in this period of relatively rich and diverse reflections, we will turn our attention to two theologies of Religious Life published in the year 2000 to ascertain how they have handled the various options that were open to them. In light of these recent reflections we shall consider two particular issues. First, what is the current understanding of Baptism in relation to the language of Religious Life as the consecrated life? Second we will engage the Rite of Religious Profession to consider if the theology we have discussed is found within the rite.

Comentarios cerrados.