Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (College of Education)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Professor Gerard O'Shea

Second Supervisor

Anne-Marie Irwin


The Kerygmatic renewal of the 20th century, facilitated and documented by Fr. Johannes Hofinger, S.J., was launched in response to the recognition that the traditional method of instruction from the catechism was no longer bearing the fruit of lived Christian discipleship. During this period, Msgr. Eugene Kevane associated this decline in effectiveness with the influence of Modernism. The contributions of both were consistent with the conciliar and post-conciliar catechetical interventions of the Catholic Church. Resistance to the Church’s implementation of these interventions demonstrates that the challenge for catechesis today is a contemporary manifestation of the historical tension intrinsic to the process of inculturation. Genuine, and often significant, pastoral accommodation may be necessary to engage today’s post-modern student, but efforts to inculturate which stop short of systematically delivering the Deposit of Faith, may frustrate the ultimate goal of catechesis, the promotion of a lived Christianity in students. The Church’s effort to preserve and deliver the Deposit is not incompatible with her effort to meet and engage an increasingly diverse and non-practicing audience. The contributions of Hofinger and Kevane remain as relevant today as ever, and can continue to inform the effective formation of the next generation of teachers of the faith.

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