Does a “social justice” approach to the gospel inevitably have to be at odds with a traditionalist emphasis on orthodoxy? Must we see Pope Francis as the “progressive pope” and his predecessors as the “orthodox popes,” and thus define everything in terms of American political categories?
In this unique treatment of the theology of Pope Francis and his notion of a “church of the poor” and the implications for theological orthodoxy, Sedmak argues that Pope Francis can allow us to understand "orthodoxy in a new key.” Using resources ranging from scripture to Catholic Social Teaching to the early Church Fathers, Sedmak argues that an authentic and faithful church is not one obsessed with dogma or ceremony, but one that is poor as Christ was poor, in the multifaceted sense of that phrase: compassionate, unattached to material wealth, focused on flourishing and right relationship with God.
Clemens Sedmak holds the F.D. Maurice Chair in Moral and Social Theology at King's College London. He is a Visiting Professor at the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, IN, and directs an Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Ethics in Salzburg. His previous publications include Doing Local Theology.