Fraenkel taught philosophy to Palestinian youth, Muslims in Indonesia, Hasidic Jews in New York, teens in Brazil, and indigenous people in Canada. These locations were chosen deliberately to engage issues of ideological conflict and social and racial division, and the struggles of indigenous peoples with colonialism.
Historical theologian Robert L. Calhoun had mythic status as a lecturer at Yale Divinity School—even unbelievers attended his courses on Christian theology—but he didn’t publish much. George Lindbeck has done us a great favor by editing and publishing Calhoun’s lectures on the history of Christian doctrine. Lindbeck’s introduction provides perspective on Calhoun’s theology.
A three-day Vatican conference last month called on the Catholic Church to rethink its commitment to just war theory. The theory too often provides a justification for war, the conference’s final document says, arguing that the just war approach gets in the way of exploring nonviolent resolutions. “We propose that the Catholic Church develop and consider shifting to a Just Peace approach based on Gospel nonviolence,” the document says. Conferees said that the destructiveness of modern warfare and the effectiveness of nonviolent means of peaceful resolution have made the theory, which goes back to Augustine and Aquinas, outdated. “Jesus is our inspiration and model,” they state. “Neither passive nor weak, Jesus’ nonviolence was the power of love in action” (National Catholic Reporter, April 14).