Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A paradox: the importance of neoscholasticism

Dr. Phillip Blosser, at his Pertinacious Papist blog, presents an outline of Fergus Kerr's book Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians: From Chenu to Ratzinger. In this synthesis, he draws on R.R. Reno's book review in First Things, “Theology After the Revolution” (subscription required). Some great discussion is going on in the comments to the post.

A paradox with the ressourcement theologians and others of la nouvelle theologie is that they broke with the neoscholasticism of their day in order to broaden their explorations in theology. Thus, how does a theologian find continuity in Catholic theology? An interesting problem, to be sure. But I hope that the solution to this problem is along the lines of a Christian pluralism and not let's say an ironclad system like that of the Thomists. Blosser is right, however, that the insights of the ressourcement theologians must be integrated into the Catholica. The attitude of those (even me, I confess) who are tempted to cry sola Balthasar is not a Catholic one. I would go a bit further and recommend that not only should the link to neoscholasticism be developed, but that also Balthasar's insistence on a living faith and his openness to the multiformity of culture be cultivated by those who would study theology.

Theology is an important work, as is the building of churches. Both have a common foundation, however, the faith itself. So, I'll leave you with Peter Maurin's Easy Essay, "Building Churches."
"Maurice Barres used to worry
about the preservation of
French Cathedrals,
but Charles Peguy thought
that the faith that builds Cathedrals
is after all the thing that matters.
Moscow had a thousand churches
and people lost the faith.
Churches ought to be built
with donated money, donated
material, donated labor."
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