The Roman Catholic theological education in Germany is presently being reshaped to conform to the Bologna Process. The education is now reshaped into self-contained units or modules (modularisierten Studiengang). (This new system is similar to the system which has already been introduced at universities in Sweden; although constructive alignment between the units has not always been achieved) New textbooks are being produced in connection with this reform. UTB has an ambitious project which in the end will result in fourteen new textbooks. Only two textbooks have become available thus far in the series: Theologie studieren im modularisierten Studiengang. One of these is C. P. Sajak, ed., Praktische Theologie: Modul 4. UTB 3472. Paderborn: Schöningh, 2012, 292 pages.

This volume contain an introduction to Roman Catholic canon law: G. Bier, “Einführung in das Kirchenrecht”. This is a very short introduction to the general sources and concepts of contemporary Roman Catholic canon law (primarily Latin rite and the particularities of Roman Catholic ecclesiastical law in Germany). The author has as his only ambition to present the law in force in the way which it currently functions. In this short introduction central concept are explained but not critized, e.g., ‘ius divinum‘, ‘ius mere ecclesiasticum‘, ‘lex‘, ‘interpretatio authentica‘, ‘societas perfecta‘, etc. Although the treatment of these concept is somewhat conservative but useful since they correspond the the current canonical praxis of the Roman Catholic Church; although this may sometimes be criticized from the perspective of post-conciliar theology (as it usually is in books on canon law and systematic theology in English). One odd thing is  that this short introduction seems to attribute a legislative competence to the episcopal conferences which goes beyond the provisions of CIC-83 can. 455, but this may be a norm of the particular law of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany.

 

David Heith-Stade

Lund University