The question of authority has always been a lively issue within the Roman Catholic Church. While some have warned against the danger of "democratizing" the Church, others have warned against applying too narrowly the "monarchical" model which has been dominant in past centuries. Father McKenzie's thesis is that these political paradigms simply do not apply to the Church. The Christian community, he points out, is a unique society, and hence its understanding and use of authority must also be unique. McKenzie shows how Christian authority is unique by illuminating the understanding of authority that Jesus gave to the "society" which He founded. After a brilliant exposition of authority in the New Testament, the author traces how the Church has lost sight of these unique aspects, with a consequent erosion of both Christian authority and Christian freedom.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"It is cause for rejoicing that the scriptural reflections of John L. McKenzie are once more available. We are the richer for his erudition and saving sense of humor."
Daniel Berrigan, 2008
"Father John McKenzie led American Roman Catholic scholarship into the mainstream of critical biblical scholarship. His photographic memory made it possible for him to publish a steady stream of biblical scholarship across the whole field of the discipline. In sum, he incorporated in terms of biblical scholarship the best of the Second Vatican Council."
James M. Robinson
John L. McKenzie
Father John L. McKenzie (1910-1991), an Old Testament biblical scholar who taught at Loyola University of Chicago, University of Chicago, Notre Dame and DePaul University, is considered one of the most influential post-WWII scholars who oriented Catholic thinkers toward modern biblical scholarship. Beyond being a prolific writer of books and articles, he was the first Catholic president of the Society of Biblical Literature, and served as president for the Catholic Biblical Association and for Clergy and Laity Concerned.