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RessourcementA Movement for Renewal in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology$
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Gabriel Flynn and Paul D. Murray

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199552870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199552870.001.0001

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Nouvelle Théologie: A Return to Modernism?

Nouvelle Théologie: A Return to Modernism?

(p.36) 2 Nouvelle Théologie: A Return to Modernism?

Gerard Loughlin

Oxford University Press

Writing in 1946, Réginald Marie Garrigou‐Lagrange famously declared that the nouvelle théologie was a return to Modernism, the compendium of all heresies. More recently, Hans Boersma has agreed with Garrigou‐Lagrange's assessment of Modernism, but contested his judgement on nouvelle théologie. This chapter returns to the issue and reverses Boersma's judgement, arguing that Garrigou‐Lagrange was right to see an affinity between Modernism and nouvelle théologie, and only wrong in fearing them. The chapter shows that Modernism foreshadowed each of the characteristics Boersma finds so admirable in nouvelle théologie. In the writings of Modernists such as George Tyrrell and Friedrich von Hügel we find a concern that theology should be analogical, apophatic, and sacramental. Like nouvelle théologie, Modernism looked for the transcendent in the immanent, for grace in nature. Insofar as nouvelle théologie was a return to mystery—as Boersma avers—it was also a return to Modernism.

Keywords:   Roman Catholic Modernism, Réginald Marie Garrigou‐Lagrange, Henri de Lubac, George Tyrrell, Friedrich von Hügel, Hans Boersma, nature and grace, pura natura, mystery

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