Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Dr Henry Novello


This dissertation critically examines the concerns of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in relation to the methodological presuppositions in the works of Jon Sobrino, SJ. In the context of the poor of El Salvador, Sobrino formulates his Christology through the Jesus of history who preached the liberating praxis of the kingdom of God. By focusing on a low Christology, Sobrino intends to correct that high Christology, often favoured in comfortable places, that tends to ignore the truly historical and kenotic aspects of the mystery of the Incarnation. The study highlights the view that all theology is contextual and hermeneutical, thus the Christ of faith does not exist in a transtemporal vacuum but arises out of the dialectic interplay between revelation and history. When context and historical setting is afforded its rightful place in theological method, then we can understand Sobrino’s contention that the Church of the poor is the ecclesial setting for Christology in Latin America, a view which the Congregation rejects. The study also investigates Sobrino’s claims that the dogmatic formulas of the early Councils are “dangerous” and offers some plausible suggestions as to why Sobrino uses such strong language. The final issue to be discussed will be Sobrino’s contention that the conciliar dogmatics represent a “hellenization of Christianity,” a view which the Congregation also rejects. In each of these issues raised by the Congregation, the intention of the study is to illustrate that the positions of the two parties should be viewed as complementary and not mutually exclusive, so that a constructive dialogue might be set in place and so lead us further into the mystery of the Incarnation.

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Religion Commons