|Name Gregory Baum|
|Education McMaster University, University of Fribourg, Ohio State University|
Books Religion and Alienation, Truth and Relevance: Catholic, The Theology of Tariq R, Amazing Church, Karl Polanyi on ethics an
Similar People Andrew Greeley, Thomas Rosica, Robert Ellsberg, John Roberts, Shmuel Trigano
Canadian theologian Gregory Baum Died at 94
Gregory Baum, OC (born June 20, 1923) is a Roman Catholic Canadian theologian. He became known in North America and Europe in the 1960s for his work on ecumenism, interfaith dialogue, and the relationship between the Catholic Church and Jews. In the later 1960s, he went to the New School for Social Theory in New York and became a sociologist, which led to his work on creating a dialogue between classical sociology (Marx, Tocqueville, Durkheim, Toennies, Weber, etc.) and Christian theology.
- Canadian theologian Gregory Baum Died at 94
- ep 145 gregory baum on fethullah gulen and hizmet aka the gulen movement
- Early life
- Personal life
In the 1970s, he welcomed the insights of the Theology of Liberation that came from Latin America and other societies. He also became interested in the work of Karl Mannheim and developed an program of ideology critique that he hoped would eliminate the ideological elements in religion, especially those elements that preached contempt for others and allowed Christians to remain unmoved by the suffering of the victims of social injustice and structural violence.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Baum continued his study into ideology critique by integrating the work of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. He connected the Frankfurt School's concept of "the end of innocent critique" with the Catholic Church's "preferential option for the poor." Both concepts extended his interest in ideology critique. Since Baum has always been interested in social ethics, he also studied the work of Karl Polanyi, with whom he sympathized greatly. It was also in the late 1980s that Baum moved to Quebec and developed an interest in Quebec Catholicism, which he saw as more progressive and contextual than its English Canadian and American counterparts.
ep 145 gregory baum on fethullah gulen and hizmet aka the gulen movement
Born of a Jewish mother and a Protestant father, in Berlin, Germany, he came to Canada from England as a war refugee. He arrived by boat in Quebec in 1940 with other Germans, most of them Jewish, and they were interned in refugee camps, under military control. After some transfers between Quebec, Trois-Rivières, New-Brunswick and Farnham, he was finally interned to Sherbrooke. Being only 17 years old at this time, he considers this period of his life as an incredible adventure. Among the refugees, some intellectuals hastened to set up inside the camps educational systems of which he took advantage. Although Canada had no law for the refugees at this time, a lady who met them in these camps pressured the government so that some could complete their studies outside of camps with financial aid (scholarships) that she had collected.
He was the professor of theology and sociology at University of Saint Michael's College in the University of Toronto and subsequently professor of theological ethics at McGill University's Faculty of Religious Studies. He is currently associated with the Jesuit Centre for Justice and Faith in Montreal.
During the church council Vatican II he was a peritus, or theological advisor, at the Ecumenical Secretariat, the commission responsible for three conciliar documents, On Religious Liberty, On Ecumenism, and On the Church's Relation to Non-Christian Religions.
In particular, he advocated the position, as a response to the Holocaust, of the rabbi and philosopher Emil Fackenheim regarding the cessation of efforts to convert the Jews, famously stating: "After Auschwitz the Christian churches no longer wish to convert the Jews. While they may not be sure of the theological grounds that dispense them from this mission, the churches have become aware that asking the Jews to become Christians is a spiritual way of blotting them out of existence and thus only reinforces the effects of the Holocaust." He composed the first draft of the conciliar document Nostra aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, that was later expanded to address all the world religions. It was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on October 28, 1965.
From 1962 to 2004, he was the editor of The Ecumenist, a review of theology, culture and society, which is now published by Novalis. He was also a member and frequent editor of the international Catholic review Concilium.
In 2012 he signed the Catholic Scholars' Jubilee Declaration on reform of authority in the Catholic Church.
After retirement, Baum developed an interest in Islam, especially the work of Tariq Ramadan, the European reformer, whom he admired greatly.
In his autobiography, published in 2017, Baum revealed his homosexuality. In Chapter 32, he talks about his first gay experience: "I was forty years old when I had my first sexual encounter with a man." He further states, that "I did not profess my own homosexuality in public because such an act of honesty would have reduced my influence as a critical theologian." He also called himself "the first Catholic theologian who publicly defended the ethical status of homosexual love".
A second edition of his seminal 1975 book, Religion and Alienation was republished by Novalis in 2006.
He holds honorary doctorates from Huron University College, London, Ontario; St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S; Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio; Lafayette College, Easton, Pa.; Waterloo Lutheran University, Waterloo, Ontario; McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario; Concordia University, Montreal.
In 1990, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of being "a guide and inspiration to generations of students of many different faiths and backgrounds".