School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Systematic Theology


School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

Kristin Colberg

Subject Categories

Catholic Studies | Continental Philosophy | Missions and World Christianity | Practical Theology | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


In 1965, the Roman Catholic Church, in Gaudium et spes, declared to the world: this community realizes that it is truly linked with mankind and its history by the deepest of bonds (GS 1). Shifting her identity from being one in opposition to the modern world, she announced the possibility of becoming the very bond (ligamen) binding diverse human communities and nations of the world, whilst existing as a function, a light, an energy (GS 42). Framed against the classical understanding of ecclesia as a perfect society, and the fact that this was no longer realistic in a mid-twentieth century context, a new vision for presencing the Roman Church became necessary. This context was shaped by the seminal events of the Second World War and the ontological break engendered by the legacy of Martin Heidegger. This paper explores the use of ligamen- as-bond as a response to this challenge, and how ligamen-as-identity complements contemporary notions of evangelization under Pope Francis.



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