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Book Chapter

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Leadership Conference of Women Religious


This article is entitled "a theology of the vows" in order to call attention at the outset to the difference between the Gospel reality of religious life and the human effort, called theology, by which we seek to understand and articulate that reality. There will never be a totally adequate theology of religious life (or of the vows), but the inadequacy, and at times even the falsity, of our understanding and articulation can not destroy or diminish religious life as a gift of Jesus Christ to the Church. Nevertheless, the efforts we make to understand religious life and to make it understandable to our contemporaries profoundly affect the human experience and expression of this gift in the Church and in the world. The glory of theology is its ministerial relationship to the ultimate truth of Revelation; and poverty of theology is its never to be overcome inadequacy and relativity in relation to the truth which it seeks to serve. The present theological effort, therefore, is nothing more than an effort to re-articulate the meaning of the vows for our own time.

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