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This article is about the interaction of theology of Eastern Catholic Churches and that of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church. For theology of the Roman Catholic Church, see Roman Catholic theology.

Catholic theology is the ongoing academic reflection upon and speculation upon the doctrines of the Catholic Church, both of the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church of the Catholic Church.

Differences between Eastern and Western traditions[edit]

The Eastern Catholic Churches have as their theological, spiritual and liturgical patrimony the traditions of the Christian East. Thus, there are differences in emphasis, tone and articulation of various aspects of Catholic theology, East and West.

St. Augustine[edit]

The primary patristic theologian of the Western Church, St. Augustine of Hippo whose influence advance such theological concepts as Original Sin and Ex opere operato has had little influence on the Christian East making for differences in Baptismal theology, Marian theology and Sacramental theology. Likewise, medieval Western scholasticism, that of Thomas Aquinas in particular, which was largely based on Augustine also had little reception in the East.

Marian Doctrines[edit]

While Eastern Catholics respect papal authority, and largely hold the same theological beliefs as Roman Catholics, Eastern theology differs on specific Marian beliefs.

Assumption of Mary[edit]

The traditional Eastern expression of this doctrine is the Dormition of the Theotokos which emphasizes her falling asleep to be later assumed into heaven. The differences in these observances is for some Eastern Catholics superficial.[1] However, many Roman Catholics object to this doctrine.

Immaculate Conception[edit]

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is a teaching of Eastern origin but is expressed in the terminology of the Western Church.[2] Original Sin as defined by St. Augustine of Hippo is a Western concept, so its absence is not an Eastern expression. However, Eastern Catholics recognized from ancient times that Mary was preserved by God from sin. Eastern Catholics while not observing the Western feast, have no difficulty affirming it or even dedicating their churches to the Virgin Mary under this title.[3]


  1. ^ http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#dormition Comparison of the Assumption and the Dormition of Mary
  2. ^ http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#IC Explanation of the Immaculate Conception from an Eastern Catholic perspective
  3. ^ http://www.assumptioncatholicchurch.net/ Many Eastern Catholic churches bear the titles of Latin Church doctrines such as the Assumption of Mary.

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51 news items

First Things

First Things
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:16:36 -0700

If anything has changed since Finn's original address, it is an increased awareness of the fragmentation of Catholic theology in the United States and the CTSA's lamentable role in fostering it. This reality goes back to the creation of the Fellowship ...

Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:04:21 -0700

Dr Rowlands, who is now lecturer in contemporary Catholic theology and deputy director of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham, told the newspaper “something irreplaceable has been lost”. She added that the courses “attracted a very significant ...

The Tablet (subscription)

The Tablet (subscription)
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 05:22:30 -0700

Another key departure was Dr Anna Rowlands, appointed as a lecturer in contemporary Catholic theology and deputy director of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University, who formerly lectured in political and moral theology on the programme.
National Catholic Reporter (blog)
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:47:00 -0700

Kasper correctly diagnoses the loss of the centrality of mercy in Catholic theology in part because of an inflated attention to Augustine's doctrine of predestination and the massa damnata which “cast a dark shadow over the biblical message of God's ...
Patheos (blog)
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 00:52:30 -0700

This is one of those cases where a Catholic theology of penance can really pay off. Instead of, “You have to understand, I was an active Republican” the faith teaches us to say “Through my fault, through my fault, through my own most grievous fault ...
Patheos (blog)
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:15:00 -0700

with such respect and laboring to incorporate their insights into a Catholic theology. Much “conservative” Catholic culture in the US does not conserve and is far more interested in searching out heretics to expel than in seeking converts and places ...
Herald & Review (blog)
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 01:37:10 -0700

... pondering opposing Christian values: The new Pope comes from the “social justice” branch of Catholic theology. He is Pro Life all right but he also has the audacity to talk about the problem of “income inequality” and the need for a “redistribution ...

The Cardinal Newman Society

The Cardinal Newman Society
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:11:15 -0700

He furthermore calls it “one of the greatest works of Catholic theology in recent memory.” The third is actually a duo of books: Butler's Lives of the Saints and Introduction to Mary by Mark Miravalle. With regard to Lives of the Saints, Perna points ...

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