This is the first main installment in a series of posts on Paradoxes of Faith by Henri de Lubac published by Ignatius Press. Here I will give some background on the author, then I will cover the contents and last provide my own personal thoughts.
After returning to the Catholic Church, I first heard of de Lubac in connection with Benedict XVI. Any treatment of Pope Benedict’s theology usually mentions that two theologians who influenced him significantly were: Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac. After recently reading de Lubac’s Catholicism (another Ignatius Press book that I would recommend), I could see his influence on the pope’s theology very clearly. In fact, de Lubac not only had an influence on Pope Benedict’s theology, but on the theology of Vatican II.
Against this background, I could hardly do better than the Ignatius Press author page on Henri de Lubac. Here is an excerpt:
Henri de Lubac, S.J. (1896-1991) was a French Jesuit and one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. Born in Cambrai, France on February 20, 1896, he joined the Society of Jesus in Lyon on October 9, 1913. He served in the French army during the First World War, suffering severe wounds in combat. He was educated at the Jesuit Houses of study at Jersey and Fourvière, and then earned his doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
De Lubac was ordained a priest on August 22, 1927, pursued further studies in Rome until 1929, and then became a faculty member at Catholic Faculties of Theology of Lyons, where he taught history of religions until 1961. His pupils included Jean Daniélou and Hans Urs von Balthasar.
In 1942 he co-founded, with Daniélou, Sources chrétiennes, a series of patristic texts with translations. During the Second World War he fought against Naziism and anti-Semiticism through his writings; he would recount those efforts and the efforts of the Church at large in Christian Resistance to Anti-Semitism: Memories from 1940-1944. He was finally forced to leave Lyon because of his involvement in the Resistance; he took refuge in Vals, near Puy.
During the 1950s de Lubac came under suspicion from the Vatican for his teachings about the supernatural and grace. He was eventually obligated to stop publication of his works because of doctrinal objections against his controversial book, Surnaturel. However, he continued his prolific output of other work, including studies on atheism, Buddhism, medieval biblical exegesis, ecclesiology, and the sacramental nature of Catholicism. … (READ MORE)