Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Paul Morrissey


Magisterial teaching since the Second Vatican Council has identified the need for a re-evangelization of Western cultures. Catholic teaching since Vatican II has continued to identify this need and exhort Christians to what Pope John Paul II termed a New Evangelization. This teaching had five significant thrusts. Firstly, it identified the need for the New Evangelization. Secondly, it discussed the essential role of the laity in this endeavor. Thirdly, it positioned conversion as the primary initial goal of this enterprise and defined what it conversion would look like experientially. Fourthly, the Holy Spirit was promoted as the initiator and primary agent of the New Evangelization. Finally, the vital urgency of the task was articulated. Given this teaching (where conversion is identified as the initial objective) it is essential then to identify a theology of conversion that most closely corresponds to magisterial teaching and can guide a powerful and fruitful ministry of evangelization. Fr Donald L Gelpi SJ’s elaboration and development of Fr Bernard Lonergan SJ’s theology of conversion closely corresponds to the powerful transformation described by Scripture and Magisterial teaching. In the 2007 document “Catholic Schools at a Crossroads”, the NSW and ACT Bishops proclaimed that Catholic Schools were to be centres of this New Evangelization. A review of textbooks and Religious Education curricula in the NSW and ACT reveals that discussion and teaching of the initial goal of conversion to Jesus Christ by personal encounter with him is almost totally absent.

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Religion Commons