(29) In an astonishing judgment expressing the Romantic assumptions that enabled this modern conception of tradition, Drey observed that persons can "distance themselves from the truth either by falling away from it or by lagging behind it (Zuruckbleiben hinter ihr)." The latter prospect, he continued, is "inertia, a consequence of the expiring activity of the (religious) principle in its progressive development." (30) For Drey, this developmental understanding of history is the only legitimate way of rendering the mystery of God's presence to tradition, so much so that "any historical conception and account of the [temporal] appearances of Christianity that proceed from a principle different from [a developmental one] contradicts Christianity, is unchristian and untheological
The clear instruction to swallow the host reflected the traditional injunction against chewing the host, which, however untheological
it may have been, only mirrored the metonymical associations discussed earlier in relation to the real body of Christ and the consecrated host.
A striking feature of a good deal of contemporary literature on Catholic social teaching (to say nothing of the materials produced by diocesan offices of justice and peace) is its almost completely untheological
character, which is to say that one is often left wondering how the imperatives to this or that set of social commitments are related to confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord or being a citizen of a kingdom not of this world.
, and have then felt guilty about this and tried by various dubious devices (`biblical theology', canonical criticism) to reconnect exegesis with theology--when all the time religious dogma has mostly been their driving force, and more often than not has conditioned them to misinterpret the actual content of the biblical text.
The general assessment is that in "the rather untheological
world of the Catholic Church in Africa," Vatican II had very little impact on the ground, beyond academic circles and hierarchical concerns.