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Catholicism in History and Society

St Jerome in his study
St Jerome in his study by Domenico Ghirlandaio (Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

The Bible in the Life of the Church

The launch of the Library of Catholic thought is also the launch of the third edition of the Jerome Biblical Commentary, the most significant Catholic commentary on the whole Bible in the English language. Its publication warmly endorsed by Pope Francis himself – digitally exclusive to Theology and Religion Online provides an up-to-date Catholic commentary on scripture with topical articles focusing on the Bible in the Life of the Church and offering diverse perspectives.

Darwin and Catholicism

Science and Catholicism

Throughout modern history scientists have grappled with reconciling the biblical account of creation with advances in scientific understanding. Beginning with Galileo and moving to the significant impact of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories Catholicism responded in dynamic ways looking at how evolution can be considered within Catholic thought.

Ecological concerns are at the forefront of many peoples’ minds, and have formed a major part of Pope Francis’ pontificate, as outlined in his encyclical Laudato Si. Pope Francis interacted with the latest scientific thinking in order to present his bold vision of theological interconnectedness that calls Catholics to action in the care of humanity’s ‘common home’.

Reliquary Arm of Saint Valentine Reliquary Arm of Saint Valentine (Sourced from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, public domain)

Catholicism and Material Culture

The Library of Catholic Thought features a specially selected image exhibition gallery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which provides an overview of the history and visual culture of Roman Catholicism. The images focus on depictions of key figures and places in Catholic history, such as the Evangelist Saint Luke or Saint Bridget of Sweden, liturgical items, reliquaries and changing artistic depictions over time. You can explore this rich and diverse collection by browsing the image gallery or through our dedicated timeline.

The Use and Abuse of the Bible

Catholicism and Society

Former member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and Chair of the Oxford Theology Faculty, Dom Henry Wansbrough’s The Use and Abuse of the Bible offers a rich and sometimes problematic history of biblical interpretation from the use of the Old Testament by the New Testament writers to the role of the Bible in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

In modern times the relationship between Catholicism and world religions has become more important given the diverse nature of modern culture. Since the Second Vatican Council the Church has taken a more open stance on other religions, celebrating elements that these faiths have in common whilst also being mindful of their differences.