Talk:Elizabeth Johnson (theologian)
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The section on Quest for the Living God seems to only address the controversy from a pro-Johnson point of view. Of the dozen or so quotes only one from the bishops and none from theologians who support the bishops' position (and they are many). There needs to be some balance here, instead of Johnson simply being painted as someone repressed by the bishops unjustly.
So far, a year and a half later, this issue has not been resolved. The article was clearly written from a pro-Johnson point of view, not just the section on "Quest for the Living God." It's structured as a point-and-rebuttal against the bishops, rather than a balanced view of the two opinions. I would be good if someone could improve this article.18.104.22.168 (talk) 23:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Categories and Improved Neutrality?
I divided up the existing text into categories, to attempt to separate information about her life and works from criticism and defense of her work.
I also altered the section about the USCCB Committee in an attempt to make it more balanced. I replaced the following section which gave unbalanced weight to defending Johnson's book:
- Fordham President Joseph M. McShane issued a statement that called Johnson a "revered member of the Fordham community" and noted that she viewed the bishops' action as "an invitation to dialogue." Boston College theologian Stephen J. Pope said that "The reason is political. Certain bishops decide that they want to punish some theologians, and this is one way they do that. There's nothing particularly unusual in her book as far as theology goes. It's making an example of someone who's prominent." Terrence W. Tilley, chair of Fordham's theology department, said: "What the bishops have done is to reject 50 years of contemporary theology.... Sister Johnson has been attempting to push Catholic thinking along new paths. And the bishops have now made it clear — this is something they stand against." The board of the Catholic Theological Society of America issued a statement that said the bishops' critique showed "a very narrow understanding" of the ways theologians serve the church."
The new text is reads:
- Johnson's position was defended by Fordham President Joseph M. McShane, Boston College theologian Stephen J. Pope, Terrence W. Tilley, chair of Fordham's theology department and the board of the Catholic Theological Society of America".
I also deleted the following section which seems to reflect only Johnson's view on the dispute and not that of the USCCB:
- One of the central disputes between Johnson and the bishops is language. Johnson writes that "all-male images of God are hierarchical images rooted in the unequal relation between women and men, and they function to maintain this arrangement." The bishops said: "The names of God found in the Scriptures are not mere human creations that can be replaced by others that we may find more suitable.... The standard by which all theological assertions must be judged is that provided by divine revelation, not by unaided human understanding. God does use human, and thus limited, means in revealing himself to the world." According to Tilley, in making that argument the bishops were "approaching the incoherent" since "All revelation is received through language, and all language is culturally conditioned." In sum, he said, "All they are saying here is that they have the truth and Sister Johnson doesn't."
I believe this makes this section more balanced, although it still seems to hold too much weight in the article as whole, and does not yet name any theologians who support the USCCB's position. Once these are added, I feel the neutrality tag can be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 00:57, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
- New York Times: Laurie Goodstein, "Bishops Urge Catholic Schools to Ban a Nun's Book," March 30, 2011, accessed April 3, 2011
- New York Times: Paul Vitello, "After Bishops Attack Book, Gauging Bounds of Debate," April 11, 2011, accessed April 13, 2011