Date of Award

Summer 1973

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Fr. Patrick Burns, S.J.


The hermeneutical problem has emerged over the last two centuries as a major topic of philosophical and theological interest. A discussion of hermeneutic is most apparent in the German philosophical tradition extending from Friedrich Schleiermacher and Wilhelm Dilthey in the last century to the contemporary work of Martin Heidegger and Hans Georg Gadamer. This philosophical discussion has been paralleled by a similar interest in German Protestant theology, particularly in the Bultmannian school. In contrast to both of these movements, consideration of the hermeneutical problem in Catholic theology is in an early and tentative stage of development. This is particularly evident in the scarcity of treatments of the hermeneutic of dogma. Such a silence is especially surprising in light of the crisis of meaning which seems to affect not only peripheral but central affirmations of faith as well in the modern period. The purpose of this study is to contribute to a developing Catholic discussion by formulating a hermeneutic of dogma in light of the contemporary German hermeneutical discussion.



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