Date of Award

Spring 1968

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The gap between contemporary theology and the under - standing of theology by non-theologians, whether priests or laymen is critical. It is a serious problem in the American church. This gap can be filled only by theologians, who are at the same time "popularizers". "Popular theology" is a term used to describe the grass-roots theology, or theology as it is perceived and lived by the sincere Catholic layman. In the past, "traditional theology" has been popularized. The scholastic theology and fundamentalist biblical theology have found numerous popularizers, especially in the writers of pietism. These writers did reach the grass-roots sincere Catholic over a period of time. The pace of development has made life more difficult for popularizers. People who can read and assimilate are trying to find out what is going on from the theologians who are doing the perceptive thinking. But these people are few in number and are often mere intellectuals without a feel for real life. There is a vast number of sincere, good Catholic people who, tragically, have not learned to read books of value . If they have , they have not been keeping abreast of developments and now find themselves lost in the mass of the uninformed. They are unable to choose what is good to read. They find themselves drowning in a sudden massive shift in emphasis which draws them into an almost unbearable confusion. This confusion leads them to set up defensive attitudes which make it difficult to accept even the best of explanations for their confusion...