WASHINGTON (March 30, 2011)—The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine authorized a statement March 24, critiquing Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God, a book by a Fordham University Professor, Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, New York.
In the statement, the Committee asserts that the “basic problem with Quest for the Living God as a work of Catholic theology is that the book does not take the faith of the Church as its starting point. Instead, the author employs standards from outside the faith to criticize and to revise in a radical fashion the conception of God revealed in Scripture and taught by the Magisterium.”
The statement notes that Sister Johnson attempts to justify her revisions of traditional Catholic theology by arguing that this tradition has become contaminated by ideas from Enlightenment thinkers, who are responsible for the conception of God in what she calls “modern theism.”
The other day Jack from the Catholic Key blog tweeted: “When I saw Elizabeth Johnson’s book condemned by USCCB, I felt certain it must have won a Catholic Press Association award – Sure enough” and also “A friend of mine said of CPA book awards – “CPA in the Spring, CDF in the Fall” – works almost every time.”
Father Z posts her response to the USCCB which has the typical why was I not consulted. Well it seems she didn’t consult the Church since the book does not have a nihil obstat which would be required for a book of theology.
An unfortunate side effect is the book is now at the top of the bestsellers list for theology at Amazon.