Studies of Henri De Lubac

Between Apocalypse and Eschaton: History and Eternity in Henri de Lubac
by Joseph S. Flipper.
Fortress Press (May 1, 2015).
Between Apocalypse and Eschaton examines the systematic theology of Henri de Lubac, SJ, one of the most significant Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. While much of the recent work on de Lubac centers on the controversies surrounding his theology of the supernatural, Between Apocalypse and Eschaton argues that eschatology is the key to de Lubac's theological project and critical to understanding the nouvelle theologie, the group of theologians with whom de Lubac was associated. At the time, intra-Catholic controversies arose around the nouvelle theologie as part of a broader anxiety over the loss of the eternal in twentieth-century Europe. The German occupation of France in World War II was the backdrop for a renewed apocalyptic and eschatological thinking among French Catholics. The nouvelle theologiegenerated a debate over the meaning of "the end" that was critical to understanding the theological, spiritual, and political fissures in the postwar period. After World War II, de Lubac's writings increasingly focused on the theology of history and eschatology. The present work returns focus to this often neglected aspect of de Lubac's work.
Surnaturel: A Controversy at the Heart of the Twentieth-Century Thomistic Thought (Faith and Reason: Studies in Catholic Theology and Philosophy)

Product Description

Serge-Thomas Bonino's Surnaturel: A Controversy at the Heart of Twentieth-Century Thomistic Thought contains four sections, guided by Bonino's insight that if in the year 2000 no one is any longer a Thomist in quite the same way he would have been in 1900 or 1945, it is partly because of Fr. de Lubac; In the first section, Etienne Fouilloux describes the arc of Henri de Lubac's career up to the publication of his Surnaturel; Georges Chantraine, S.J., describes de Lubac's Surnaturel; Henry Donneaud, O.P., describes the early Thomistic response to the book; and Rene Mougel depicts Jacques Maritain's position on the topic. In the second section, focusing on Thomas Aquinas and the medieval period, Michel Bastit inquires into the relationship of Thomism to Aristotle; Jean-Miguel Garrigues explores the grace of Christ; Serge-Thomas Bonino, O.P., describes the variety of medieval positions on nature and grace as seen in theological accounts of limbo; and Jean-Pierre Torrell, O.P., masterfully summarizes nature and grace according to Aquinas. The third section engages late-scholastic developments: Laurence Renault treats William of Ockham; Jacob Schmutz explores the shifting expositions of concurrence (divine and human causality) between the thirteenth and the seventeenth centuries; and Marie-Bruno Borde, O.C.D., presents the position of the Salmanticenses. Lastly, section four inquires into contemporary developments: Georges Cardinal Cottier, O.P., discusses natural mysticism and the theology of the religions; Gilbert Narcisse, O.P., traces the theme of grace in contemporary theology; Benoit-Dominique de La Soujeole, O.P., explores the situation of contemporary ecclesiology; and Bishop Andre-Mutien Leonard notes the value of the concept of;pure nature; within theological discussions.

Reviews

Henri de Lubac's 1946 Surnaturel set off a storm of controversy. Serge-Thomas Bonino's 2009 Surnaturel is likely to do the opposite. This carefully edited collection of essays will be met with gratitude across the theological spectrum. Meticulously translated by Robert Williams and Matthew Levering, the volume continues the discussion on pure nature and natural desire, initially set off by de Lubac's controversial book. The superb essays of this volume deal not just with de Lubac's own theological position, but also with his interpretation of St. Thomas, with medieval approaches to the issue of the supernatural, and with contemporary implications of the issue. For all those interested in de Lubac and in questions surrounding the nature-supernatural relationship, this book offers a wealth of insight. --Hans Boersma, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada

Thomists of various stripes famously disagree about how to interpret Aquinas thought on the question of the final ends of man. Is man naturally proportioned to the supernatural life of grace, and if so in what sense? This superb volume of essays is essential reading for anyone interested in the controversy surrounding Henri de Lubac's Surnaturel, his questionable understanding of Aquinas on this issue, and the theology of grace and nature more generally. The volume shows on multiple fronts in a dispute that is both charitable and academically rigorous why there is not yet acquired consensus on the historical and theological theses of Surnaturel, and many of the essays give nuanced critiques of de Lubac s views. This book will be theologically controversial, and influential, for some time to come. --Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., Regent College

When the Jesuit theologian Henri de Lubac published Surnaturel in 1946, he irrevocably altered the Thomist understanding of grace. Even more, he changed Thomism itself, which now gives Thomas priority of place over his later commentators by embedding him in the patristic tradition he knew so well. Finally, and most crucially, man is now seen as inherently open to the supernatural. No longer is grace seen as topping out nature, like icing atop a layer cake. Unfortunately, de Lubac had made his case so convincingly that problems soon followed in his overpowering wake. After Vatican II, grace came to be seen as so intrinsic to man that the supernatural gifts of revelation, the Church, and the sacraments seemed, at best, merely symbolic reminders of an already realized redemption. Clearly the time has come, after the doldrums of the post-Vatican II Church, for a reassessment of Surnaturel, magnificently supplied here in this fascinating collection of essays by noted Carmelite, Dominican, Jesuit and lay scholars. Every chapter displays the art of the medieval disputatio to thrilling effect. As with medieval theology at its best, these contributions are all vigorously agued; but they are also uniformly charitable. This book is truly graceful in so many senses of that word. --Edward T. Oakes, S. J., Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC

The Eucharist Makes the Church: Henri De Lubac and John Zizioulas in Dialogue
by Paul McPartian.

Reviews

Everything Is Sacred: Spiritual Exegesis in the Political Theology of Henri de Lubac (Theopolitical Visions)
by Brian C Hollon.
This is the definitive introduction to Henri de Lubacs spiritual interpretation of Scripture. Hollon addresses neglected aspects of de Lubacs theological renewal by examining the centrality and indispensability of spiritual exegesis in his work. In addition to exploring the historical and ecclesiastical context within which he worked, this book brings de Lubac into critical engagement with the more recent theological movements of postliberalism and radical orthodoxy.
Meet Henri De Lubac
This work traces the life and writings of this French Jesuit priest, revealing the importance and brilliance of de Lubac's works, the holiness of his life, and his deep love for the Church, which sometimes persecuted this faithful son and devoted priest. Pope John Paul II, who had the highest esteem for de Lubac, stopped his address during a major talk and acknowleged the presence of de Lubac saying, "I bow my head to Father Henri de Lubac." Subsequently, the Pope appointed the holy and beloved theologian a Cardinal. This book reveals who this great Churchman and theologian was, and the importance of his writings.

Related

  • The Cardinal, by Rudolf Voderholzer. (Excerpt from Meet Henri de Lubac: His Life and Work).
The Suspended Middle: Henri De Lubac And The Debate Concerning The Supernatural
French Jesuit Henri de Lubac (1896–1991) was arguably the most revolutionary theologian of the twentieth century. He proposed that Western theology since the early modern period had lost sight of the key to integrating faith and reason — the truth that all human beings are naturally oriented toward the supernatural.

In this vital book John Milbank defends de Lubac’s claim and pushes it to a more radical extreme. The Suspended Middle shows how such a claim entails a ‘non-ontology’ suspended between rational philosophy and revealed theology, interweaving the two while denying them any pure autonomy from each other.

As de Lubac’s writings on the supernatural implicitly dismantled the reigning Catholic (and perhaps Protestant) assumptions about Christian intellectual reflection, he met with opposition and even papal censure. Milbank’s sophisticated account of de Lubac delineates the French theologian’s relations with other proponents of the nouvelle théologie, such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, and clarifies the subtle but crucial divisions within recent Roman Catholic theology.

The most substantial treatment in English of de Lubac’s as yet untranslated Surnaturel and the subsequent debate, Milbank’s Suspended Middle lays down an energetic challenge that every serious student of theology and Christian philosophy will want to engage.

Related

The Theology of Henri De Lubac: An Overview (Communio Books)
by Hans Urs von Balthasar
Hans Urs von Balthasar prepared this overview of the theology and spirituality of Henri de Lubac, whom he calls friend and master, on the occasion of the latters's eightieth birthday. Beginning with personal reflections drawn from the then unpublished pages of "memoirs" which de Lubac placed in his hands, von Balthasar offers a review of all the major works of de Lubac.

Von Balthasar illustrates here the wonderful synthetic power for which he is justly known: bringing the range as well as the organic unity of de Lubac's work clearly into view. The main themes of that work remain as important now as when de Lubac first took them up--perhaps even more important. And there is no one better able to discuss these themes than von Balthasar, a master of theology in his own right and de Lubac's great friend for over fifty years. Co-published with Communio Books.

"Von Balthasar provides us with an astonishing summary of the massive theological output of Henri de Lubac. Perhaps it would not be an exaggeration to say that here we have one theological giant synthesizing the ecclesiocentric thought of another giant. The book offers a double benefit, for in it we get a glimpse of two great contemporary theologians—de Lubac and von Balthasar."

— Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic and Pastoral Review