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An Avant-garde Theological GenerationThe Nouvelle Théologie and the French Crisis of Modernity$
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Jon Kirwan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198819226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198819226.001.0001

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The Triumph of the Generation of 1930

(p.204) 7 1940s
An Avant-garde Theological Generation

Jon Kirwan

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the nouveaux théologiens during the years of the Second World War and the controversial post-war era when their influence peaked. First, it examines the fall of France and the Jesuits’ wartime work, which included the spearheading of the résistance spirituelle. They continued the analysis begun during the 1930s of the social and ecclesiastical crisis, ascribing to themselves a great task of regeneration. Next, the chapter sketches the intellectual atmosphere of the post-war milieu, in which Communists, existentialists, and Left Catholics emerged from the war with tremendous influence in French culture. Then, it surveys the ressourcement project to develop a new anthropology and ecclesiology according to the intellectual categories championed by the generation of 1930, historicity, modern philosophy, and engagement. Finally, the chapter discusses Daniélou’s famous 1946 manifesto, its relationship to the larger post-war landscape, and the controversy it incited with the Toulouse Dominicans.

Keywords:   1940s, World War II, ressourcement, résistance spirituelle, nouveaux théologiens, Left Catholic, Daniélou

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