David R. Ford

Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Paul G. Crowley


This study examines Johannes Baptist Metz’s theological focus of the “awakening of memory,” and specifically the connection of such awakening to the memoria passionis, mortis et resurrectionis Jesu Christi, as well as the opening to a new narrative, leading to a freedom for praxis and mission and finally, leading to transformation. This awakening can be a path that confronts the dysfunction of a death denying and avoidant culture, as well as one that challenges us to confront suffering of so many kinds, especially that of the poor and marginalized. Such a theological focus, in fact, has the potential to bring a freedom that gives voice not only to the grieving and all the suffering people of today, but also gives voice to the victims of history, allows for a new and truthful narrative of all of our beloved dead, especially the victims of injustice. In addition, this recovery has the potential to bring healing as well. Metz’s theological themes address not only current social injustices but those of history as well and has a personal and individual element that can connect to those dealing with the loss of death. This healing and liberating effect of Metz’s theological approach of “awakening of memory,” and memoria passionis also has a potential freeing effect for the voice and narrative of the grieving and dying in our cultural landscape of denial and avoidance of the issue of death today.

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