Italiano - Español - English
  • b1
  • b2
  • b3
  • b4
  • b5
Ui Slider by v4.5

Attività Culturali

Series “Tesi Accademia Alfonsiana”


The third volume in the new series of theses (“Tesi Accademia Alfonsiana”) was presented in the Academy on Wednesday 7th November 2007. It is the work of the Rev. Michael Cullinan and is entitled Victor Paul Furnish’s Theology of Ethics in Saint Paul. An Ethic of Transforming Grace.

For this occasion the Aula Magna of the Alphonsian Academy welcomed students, professors and friends, attracted by the interesting theme and the fame of the speaker, Augustinian Father Prospero Grech, theologian, biblicist and promoter of patristic studies.

Fr. J. Mimeault moderated the event which began with words of welcome from the President of the Academy, Rev. Prof. Martin McKeever, and a presentation of the author.

The volume studies various works of Victor Paul Furnish on Saint Paul’s theology of ethics. Furnish, an American Methodist Scripture Scholar, also wrote the preface to the book. Fr Grech underlined the importance of various aspects of Cullinan’s study: its interdisciplinary approach, the choice of a non-Catholic author, the in-depth study of the moral aspects of Saint Paul’s theology in the context of the renewal of theology, including moral theology, as promoted by the Vatican Council. “If Sacred Scripture should be the soul of Theology - he said - this must apply also to Moral Theology.” The problematic points highlighted by Cullinan include: the question of whether Paul developed in the moral field positions which were original with respect to his Jewish background and to the Hellenistic context; the structure and specific nature, above all from the pneumatological and ecclesiological point of view, of Paul’s ethics; the relationship between Paul and the Synoptics.

Furnish’s work is undoubtedly of importance also for Catholic biblical and moral studies, but at the same time - as Fr. Grech pointed out - it reveals some of Furnish’s limits and questionable positions which reflect his theological tradition and ecclesial experience.

The much appreciated intervention by Fr Grech was followed by the reading of a letter of congratulations addressed to Rev. Cullinan by Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster.

The author himself then thanked those present and retraced the iter of his studies and the professors who accompanied him.
The author, Rev. Michael Cullinan, was born in 1957, in Torquay, in the Southwest of England. After studies in mathematics at Oxford and Cambridge, he worked as a researcher and assistant at the Universities of Salford and Dublin. In 1988 he started his formation to the priesthood and was ordained in 1995 in the diocese of Westminster. After some pastoral experience, he took up theological studies in Rome, first at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas and then at the Alphonsian Academy, where he obtained a doctorate in 2005, with a thesis directed by Rev. Prof. Terence Kennedy. The volume presented today is the fruit of that doctoral research.

With this third volume the series of theses continues to “encourage and reward among its students the excellence to which the Academy is committed”, as the President of the Academy recently affirmed. The initiative is generously supported by the Bavarian Redemptorist Province, Munich, which, in order to honour the figure and thought of Father Häring, promotes studies in the field of ethics.

Father Mimeault concluded expressing congratulations and best wishes to the author and thanking Fr. Grech for his stimulating intervention and all who contributed to the publication of the book and the success of the event. At the end of the presentation the book was on sale at a discount, as the evening ended with a fraternal buffet.