Religion Booknotes

The Eyes of Faith
The Sense of the Faithful and the Church’s Reception of Revelation
Ormond Rush
CUA Press, $79.95, 330 pp.

The Eyes of Faith is one of the better theological works to come across my desk in the past few years. Its author, the Australian theologian Ormond Rush, is interested in the sensus fidei—that spiritual sense (or faculty or capacity or capability: Rush uses all these words) by which the Christian believer knows how to discern, understand, and apply God’s revelation to us in Jesus. Rush distinguishes this capacity from the sensus fidelium, which is constituted by the ordinary Catholics, theologians, and bishops who, guided by the Spirit, together give expression to the sensus fidei.

Rush argues that there was already in the early second century a consensus around some core issues related to the meaning of God’s revelation in Christ. He doesn’t enter into open polemics against rival accounts of the formation of doctrine, but he would certainly deny the claim that the first few centuries of the church’s history were a mishmash of competing ideas from which “orthodoxy” finally emerged only after alternative beliefs and interpretations had been suppressed. As he puts it at one point, Irenaeus of Lyons was not the creator of “orthodoxy”; he was created by it. Rush goes on...

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About the Author

Lawrence Cunningham is John O'Brien professor of Theology (Emeritus) at the University of Notre Dame.