In a historical and theological study, this chapter locates the Catholic dogma of papal infallibility in its context (nineteenth-century Europe and Vatican Council I, 1869–1870). It then traces the ways in which subsequent historical developments and official Church teachings address at least some of the most widespread misunderstandings of the dogma. It suggests that the meaning of the dogma becomes clearer when one understands that dogmas do not explain God and revelation so much as they affirm and protect those truths. The chapter concludes by underscoring the need to “take seriously the historical conditioning of official Church teaching, of dogmatic statements, and of even the inspired Word of God,” and to do so without falling into agnosticism and relativism.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.