Doctrinal Development and the Philosophy of History: Cardinal Newman’s Theory in the Light of Eric Voegelin’s Philosophy

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 83 (2):201-218 (2009)
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Abstract

The following paper has two primary purposes. First it aims to articulate a theoretical proposition in general terms, namely, that every theory of doctrinal development presupposes a philosophy of history. The underlying significance of this proposition is that theories of doctrinal development are simultaneously narratives of the historical significance of the church’s pilgrimage through history, though that fact typically remains implicit in theories of doctrinal development. The second purpose is to illustrate the general proposition by analyzing a particularcase. I have therefore outlined some of the salient features of John Henry Cardinal Newman’s theory of doctrinal development and, using ideas from Eric Voegelin’s philosophy, show how it implies a philosophy of history.

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