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Theology and Canon Law: The Theories of Klaus Morsdorf and Eugenio Corecco.

Theology and Canon Law: The Theories of Klaus Morsdorf and Eugenio Corecco. By Myriam Wijlens. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1992. Pp. xvii + 229. $32.

During the postconciliar period canonical theory has largely concentrated on specific issues of institutional renewal such as reforming tribunal procedures and designing collegial structures. However, certain canonists such as Ladislas Orsy have emphasized that an equally important theoretical and practical issue today is the relatioship between theology and canon law. One cannot radically separate the theological endeavor in which faith seeks understanding from the canonical enterprise in which the same faith seeks action.

Most of the canonical discussion of the theology-canon law relationship has occurred in Europe and especially in Germany. However, this literate work by a student of Orsy's brings the discussion to the attention of English-speaking canonists. After examining the history and current status of the theology-canon law relationship, Wijlens carefully analyzes the work of two significant scholars belonging to the Munich school, Klaus Morsdorf and Eugenio Corecco.

After offering brief biographical information on them, she presents their theories of the theology-canon law relationship, especially as illustrated in their treatment of specific issues such as membership in the Church, the meaning of sacred power and the role of the laity. In doing so the utilizes both primary and secondary sources, which are listed in an extensive bibliography. After a critical examination of the two theories the work concludes by comparing them briefly, explicitating the newness of W.'s inquiry and posing further questions for future researchers.

W. serves English-speaking canonists and theologians well by knowledgeably addressing an increasingly critical issue requiring interdisciplinary collaboration. The reviewer hopes that she will move beyond this thoughtful analysis and articulate her own theory of the theology-canon law relationship.

Thomas J. Green

Catholic University of America
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Author:Green, Thomas J.
Publication:Theological Studies
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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