Henri de Lubac is a dominating figure in the renewal of catholic theology in the twentieth century, opposing neo-Thomist orthodoxy with a pluriform and historical notion of tradition based on the creative reappropriation of patristic sources. De Lubacs adult life encompasses the whole of what Eric Hobsbawm has called the short twentieth century, extending from the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, in which he fought, to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the year in which he died. De Lubac commenced his theological training in exile in England, played a key role in the nouvelle théologie associated with the Jesuit scholasticate at Fourvière in Lyons, assumed a leading part in catholic resistance to the Vichy regime, was silenced in the aftermath of Humani generis in the 1950s, rehabilitated as a peritus (theological adviser) to the Second Vatican Council, and raised to the cardinalate in 1983.
This introduction to De Lubac will therefore also provide an overview of the whole of twentieth century French catholic theology. De Lubacs work extends beyond narrow theological boundaries. Because of this breadth of interest, some areas of his work, such as his political theology and study of Buddhism, have previously received little attention. In bringing figures from other intellectual disciplines into dialogue with Christian scripture and tradition, however, De Lubac reveals the theological significance of their positions as well as demonstrating the insufficiency of their ambivalent attitudes to faith.
1. God and nature: the theory of pure nature; beyond pure nature and necessary grace; the desire of nature for God; theology, history and the Church
2. Spiritual resistance to Nazism: patriotism and nationalism; Church and politics: power versus conscience; sacred versus secular?; conscience and reflective action; spiritual resistance; the love of justice in Christ
3. The Church: theology and controversy; faith, order and tradition; the Eucharist; particular and local churches in the universal Church; the bishop; priesthood and the family of God; the mission of the Church
4. Scripture: scriptural questioning; the historical sense and the literal sense; the spiritual sense and the mystical sense (the allegorical sense; the tropological sense: moral and mystical; the anagogical (eschatological) sense); Christ the New Testament
5. Person, world and history: writing and reading history; the threefold humanity of Christ; God, person and world
6. Faith and reason: faith and the idea of God; belief in God; arguing for God; Christian philosophy; dogma, revelation and divine ineffability
7. Christ and the Buddha: the Cross and the bodhi tree; for love of the person; faith, religion and culture
8. The challenge of the supernatural: conclusion and agenda
Dr David Grumett is Research Fellow in Theology in the University of Exeter, UK.
De Lubac by David Grumett was published by Continuum in August 2007 and is our 43725th best seller. The ISBN for De Lubac is 9780826493156.