Sensus Fidelium: The Use of a Concept in the Post-Vatican II Era
Daniel J. Finucane's original work assesses the long history of the understanding and use of the concept of sensus fidelium, and develops criteria from its history and the teachings of Vatican II to critique the post-conciliar use of the concept. This is a comprehensive work in both its scope of history and its treatment of contemporary theologies of the concept, as well as suggesting a significant role for hermeneutical issues. The variety of views on the sensus fidelium challenges the traditional understanding of the concept. In this study criteria are offered here for reassessing the sensus fidelium in the light of Vatican II's teaching and the concept's history. Major theological perspectives on this topic since Vatican II are surveyed and explicated. Among the theologians and philosophers discussed are Newman, Congar, Rahner, John Coulson, Jean Guitton, Guenter Biemer, Samuel D. Femiano, John C. Ford, Bienert, Schmaus, Granfield and others.
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