The Church of Christ is a collection of writings by Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton, a distinguished American theologian of the twentieth century. From these essays, readers will gain insight into Christ’s living presence in the Church, the controversies surrounding the marks of the Church, the foundational principles of the Church’s relationship to the state, and more. With careful thought and fine distinctions, Fenton sheds light on overlooked or unexplored dimensions of ecclesiology, inviting readers both to develop a deeper understanding of the nature and structure of the Church and to increase their love for the Mystical Body of Christ. This work also contains extensive references for those who wish to read further on these topics or to read more of Fenton’s works.
Praise for The Church of Christ
“Washburn provides an invaluable service to Catholic theology with this collection of writings by Msgr. Fenton. The eighteen articles in this volume reveal the learning, depth and wisdom of a first-class ecclesiologist and peritus of Vatican II. For those wishing to understand the central questions of ecclesiology discussed before and during the Second Vatican Council, this book is an absolute must.” ~Robert L. Fastiggi, Ph.D., Professor of Systematic Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary
“…absolutely essential reading for any serious student of ecclesiology. The thoughtful, balanced, orthodox, and acute analysis of Msgr. Fenton serves as a prime example of the kind of renewal that was and remains desirable, one in organic continuity with the great tradition, committed to the unchanging dogmas of the Church but open to new insights and corrections in speculative matters.” ~Christopher Malloy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, University of Dallas
“Monsignor Fenton’s writings on the definition and necessity of the Church of Christ for salvation, along with his teaching on the ordinary papal magisterium and religious liberty are invaluable. This text should be required reading for seminarians and students of theology alike. One may certainly expect that the recovery of Fenton’s works will reintroduce a fresh and sound perspective, renewing theological discourse on the Church. This book surely leaves the reader wanting much more.” ~Michael G. Sirilla, Ph.D., Professor of Systematic and Dogmatic Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
About the Authors
Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton (1906–1969) was professor of fundamental and dogmatic theology at the Catholic University of America and, from 1944 to 1963, the editor of the American Ecclesiastical Review. He also helped to establish the Catholic Theological Society of America, which continues to this day. Over the course of his life, Msgr. Fenton wrote six books and numerous articles.
Christian D. Washburn, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology, at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, in St. Paul, Minnesota. His articles have appeared in The Thomist, Nova et Vetera, and Gregorianum. He is also a member of both the National Lutheran–Roman Catholic Dialogue and the International Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity.