Answerable for Our Beliefs: Reflections on Theology and Contemporary Culture Offered to Terrence Merrigan (Louvain Theological & Pastoral Monographs, 48) [1 ed.] 904294742X, 9789042947429

With this Festschrift colleagues and friends honor Terrence Merrigan on the occasion of his retirement from the Faculty

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Table of contents :
REFLECTIONS ON THEOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE OFFERED TO TERRENCE MERRIGAN
Table of Contents
Introduction
Part I
1 The Rise and Fall of High Church Anglicanism in the Life and Thought of John Henry Newman, 1826-1841
2 How to Argue with Unbelief
3 Newman, Frankl, and Conscience
4 Purgatory as Agony in Newman’s
5 An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent
Part II
6 Tilling the Ground for a Later Christology
7 From Mountain to Mountain
8 Who Is Christ for Us Today?
9 A Cumulative Approach to the Resurrection
10 Christology and Ecology in Dialogue
11 Thomas Aquinas: An Indispensable Contribution to the Renaissance of the Theology of the Trinity1
12 “The Doctrine of Divine Unrest”
13 Theological Theology and the Quest for Salvation
14 The Absolute Newness of Love:
15 Toward a Dialogical Approach of Tradition, Allowing for Coherent Self-Criticism
16 The Ecclesiology of Marie-Dominique Chenu

Part III
18 Revisiting the Redaction History of
16-17 in Response to a Recent Debate in Catholic Theology of Interreligious Dialogue
19 From
to
20 “The True Light That Enlightens Everyone”
21 Graced Religions
22 “Tread Softly! All the Earth Is Holy Ground”
23 Is There a Judeo-Christian Approach to Religious Others?
24 Can Christians Follow More Than One Religious Tradition?
25 At the Intersection of Racial and Religious Othering
Part IV
26 Recalibrating Tradition
27 Problematic Predictions
28 Re-Imagining God in a Secular Age
29 “Which Wolf Will You Feed?”
30 Secularization and Theological Ethics
31 Common Discernment in Theology
32 Kenotic Solidarity in a Splinterizing World
List of Contributors
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LO U VA I N T H E O LO G I C A L & PA S TO R A L M O N O G R A P H S 48

ANSWERABLE FOR OUR BELIEFS REFLECTIONS ON THEOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE OFFERED TO TERRENCE MERRIGAN Edited by Peter De Mey, Kristof Struys, and Viorel Coman

PEETERS

ANSWERABLE FOR OUR BELIEFS

Louvain Theological and Pastoral Monographs aims to provide those involved in theological research and pastoral ministry throughout the world with studies inspired by Louvain’s long tradition of theological excellence within the Roman Catholic tradition. e volumes selected for publication in the series are subjected to peer review by the editorial board and international scholars, and are expected to express some of today’s finest reflection on current theology and pastoral practice. Members of the Editorial Board The Executive Committee: Yves De Maeseneer, Professor of eological Ethics, KU Leuven, editor Annemie Dillen, Professor of Pastoral and Empirical eology, KU Leuven Anthony Dupont, Professor of Church History, KU Leuven Annemarie C. Mayer, Professor of Systematic eology and the Study of Religions, KU Leuven, editor-in-chief Pierre Van Hecke, Professor of Biblical Studies, KU Leuven International Advisory Board: Raymond F. Collins, e Catholic University of America, Washington DC, chair José M. de Mesa, East Asian Pastoral Institute, Manila, Philippines Gabriel Flynn, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland Mary Grey, St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, England James J. Kelly, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland Ronald Rolheiser, Oblate School of eology, San Antonio, TX Donald P. Senior, Catholic eological Union, Chicago, IL James J. Walter, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA

LOUVAIN THEOLOGICAL & PASTORAL MONOGRAPHS • 48

ANSWERABLE FOR OUR BELIEFS REFLECTIONS ON THEOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE OFFERED TO TERRENCE MERRIGAN

Edited by

Peter De Mey, Kristof Struys and Viorel Coman

PEETERS LEUVEN  PARIS  BRISTOL, CT 2022

We shall miss you. De collega’s

Cover image: Chapel of Memorial University Newfoundland, painting by Jana Binon on the basis of a photo by K. Bruce Lane

A catalogue record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.

© 2022, Peeters, Bondgenotenlaan 153, 3000 Leuven, Belgium ISBN 978-90-429-4742-9 eISBN 978-90-429-4743-6 D/2022/0602/9 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher.

“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe; if we believe lightly, or if we are hard of belief, in either case we do wrong.” (Letter of Saint John Henry Newman to Mrs. William Froude, June 27, 1848)

Table of Contents

Introduction .............................................................................................. Peter De Mey, Kristof Struys, and Viorel Coman



Part I The Thought of John Henry Newman 1. e Rise and Fall of High Church Anglicanism in the Life and ought of John Henry Newman, 1826-1841 ............................... Peter Nockles

3

2. How to Argue with Unbelief: Newman, Ward, and Manning Engage the Secular ............................................................................ Geertjan Zuijdwegt

41

3. Newman, Frankl, and Conscience: Individual Call and Ecclesial Belonging ..................................................................................... Christopher Cimorelli

57

4. Purgatory as Agony in Newman’s Dream of Gerontius: An Essay on the Church’s Suffrages for the Dead .............................. Andrew Meszaros

77

5. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent Or: On Liturgy’s Spirituality .......................................................................................... Joris Geldhof

99

Part II Christology, Trinity, and Church 6. Tilling the Ground for a Later Christology .................................. Raymond F. Collins

121

VIII

TABLE OF CONTENTS

7. From Mountain to Mountain: e Tremendous Significance of Jesus’ True Humanity for Salvation ............................................... Jeffrey C. K. Goh

135

8. Who Is Christ for Us Today? Some Soteriological Reflections along the Lines of Bonhoeffer’s Theologia Crucis ........................ Annemarie C. Mayer

155

9. A Cumulative Approach to the Resurrection ............................... Gerald O’Collins, S.J.

173

10. Christology and Ecology in Dialogue ............................................ Dermot A. Lane

191

11. omas Aquinas: An Indispensable Contribution to the Renaissance of the eology of the Trinity .............................................. Herwi Rikhof

211

12. “e Doctrine of Divine Unrest”: Pneumatological Perspectives from Karl Rahner .............................................................................. Declan Marmion, S.M.

229

13. eological eology and the Quest for Salvation: Soteriological Reflections on a eology of Non-Christian Religions ........ 249 Kristof Struys 14. e Absolute Newness of Love: An Innovative ‘Agapology’ in the Trinitarian Metaphysics of Miklós Vetö ................................. Beáta Tóth

263

15. Toward a Dialogical Approach of Tradition, Allowing for Coherent Self-Criticism ................................................................... Emmanuel Durand, O.P.

279

16. e Ecclesiology of Marie-Dominique Chenu: A Paradigm for Service to Humanity ......................................................................... 307 Gabriel Flynn 17. Ecclesia semper reformanda: Karl Rahner, Pope Francis, and eology as Radical Critique ........................................................... Jerry T. Farmer

329

TABLE OF CONTENTS

IX

Part III Theology of Interreligious Dialogue 18. Revisiting the Redaction History of Lumen Gentium 16-17 in Response to a Recent Debate in Catholic eology of Interreligious Dialogue ................................................................................... 347 Peter De Mey 19. From De Iudaeis to Nostra Aetate: e Development of the Text from November 1963 to October 1965 .......................................... Mathijs Lamberigts and Leo Declerck †

391

20. “e True Light at Enlightens Everyone”: A Critical Examination of J. Dupuis’ Application of Jn 1:9, 14 in His Trinitarian Christology and eology of Religious Pluralism ....................... 443 Nguyen Thi Tuong Oanh, Sr. Maria, ZvMI 21. Graced Religions: Ecumenical Perspectives on Revelation and Grace in the eology of Interreligious Dialogue ....................... 463 Wouter Biesbrouck 22. “Tread Soly! All the Earth Is Holy Ground”: A Comparativist Responds Constructively to Terrence Merrigan’s Sacramental eology of Religions........................................................................ 489 Francis X. Clooney, S.J. 23. Is ere a Judeo-Christian Approach to Religious Others? e Case Study of Jewish and Christian Attitudes to Buddhism ..... 509 Elizabeth J. Harris 24. Can Christians Follow More an One Religious Tradition? On Buddhist-Christian Dual Practice .................................................. Alexander Löffler, S.J.

529

25. At the Intersection of Racial and Religious Othering: eologies of Interreligious Dialogue as a Performance of White Christian Innocence? ........................................................................ 545 Judith Gruber

X

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part IV The Significance of Secularization for the Contemporary Church 26. Recalibrating Tradition: Renewal and Retrieval in Contemporary Catholic eology ..................................................................... Stephan van Erp 27. Problematic Predictions: Religion in the Secular Age ................ Hans Joas

571 587

28. Re-Imagining God in a Secular Age: Religion, Philosophy, Science ................................................................................................. 603 James J. Kelly 29. “Which Wolf Will You Feed?”: Good Narratives as the Basis for Dialogue and Building a Common Life ........................................ Lieven Boeve

625

30. Secularization and eological Ethics ........................................... Joseph A. Selling

639

31. Common Discernment in eology............................................... Jacques Haers, S.J.

657

32. Kenotic Solidarity in a Splinterizing World: A Balthasarian Response to the Polarization of Contemporary Society ............. Robert Aaron Wessman

679

List of Contributors .................................................................................

699

Introduction Peter De Mey, Kristof Struys, and Viorel Coman

“We are answerable for what we choose to believe” (John Henry Newman)

With this Festschrift the colleagues from the Research Unit Systematic eology and eology of Religions of the Faculty of eology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven, honor a colleague and friend on the occasion of his retirement as an expression of our profound appreciation for the exceptional quality of his research in different domains of theological research, for the deep impression he has made on several generations of master and doctoral students working under his guidance, and for what his ever supportive leadership and presence has meant to all of us. e willingness of many international colleagues and former doctoral students of Terry to contribute to this volume shows that this experience is also shared beyond our research unit. Since the theology of John Henry Newman has inspired our colleague during his entire career, it is appropriate to open this volume with a number of outstanding Newman studies. Already his dissertation Clear Heads and Holy Hearts: The Religious and Theological Ideal of John Henry Newman, published in 1991 as volume 7 of Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs, was considered by reviewers a “must for all serious students of Newman,” especially for its attention to the structure of Newman’s thought as a whole.1 Our colleague also was co-editor, together with the famous Newman scholar Ian T. Ker, of three volumes that contain the rich fruits of the second, third and fourth Oxford International Newman Conference.2 In 2009, both scholars co-edited the Cambridge 1 Terrence Merrigan, Clear Heads and Holy Hearts: The Religious and Theological Ideal of John Henry Newman, Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs 7 (Louvain: Peeters, 1991). 2 Terrence Merrigan and Ian T. Ker, eds., Newman and the Word, Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs 21 (Louvain: Peeters, 2001); iid., eds., Newman and Faith, Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs 31 (Louvain: Peeters, 2004); iid., eds., Newman and Truth, Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs 34 (Louvain: Peeters, 2008).

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Companion to John Henry Newman.3 Our colleague has, however, continued to contribute to Newman scholarship in the last decade as well.4 In the first of five Newman studies in this volume Peter Nockles explores John Henry Newman’s interaction with high church Anglicanism. Nockles seeks to clarify to what extent Newman embraced high church Anglicanism and what were the motivating factors that determined him to depart from and critically react against it. e chapter authored by Geertjan Zuijdwegt analyses the responses and reactions of three illustrious Victorian Catholic theologians to what they defined as the secularization process of English intellectual tradition and culture. Apart from John Henry Newman, Zuijdwegt engages the thoughts of William George Ward and Henry Edward Manning, two other Oxford educated converts from Anglicanism. Christopher Cimorelli investigates John Henry Newman’s and Viktor Frankl’s understanding of conscience, with particular attention to the similarities and differences of their views. According to Cimorelli, Newman’s approach to conscience transcends the limitations of Frankl’s views, especially on central issues related to the human person’s relational nature and ecclesial fulfillment. Andrew Meszaros contributes to this volume with a reflection on purgatory as agony in Newman’s Dream of Gerontius. Meszaros draws a careful parallel between the soul’s experience of judgment and Christ’s agony in Gethsemane. For Joris Geldhof, the neglect of liturgical spirituality in Newman’s theology functions as a warning and impulse for contemporary theologians to find the right balance between lex orandi (dogma) and lex credendi (doxa). Besides his important and influential Newman research, part of professor Merrigan’s academic career was dedicated to the fields of Christology and Trinity. He founded the biennial Leuven Encounters in Systematic eology in 1997 with an international colloquium on The Myriad Christ: Plurality and the Quest for Unity in Contemporary Christology. For many years, he was the holder of the course Dogmatic Theology: Christology and Trinity. According to what he regularly said himself, this course was and remained one of his favorites. A considerable number of 3 Ian T. Ker and Terrence Merrigan, eds., The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). 4 See among others Terrence Merrigan, “Is a Catholic University a Good Idea? Reflections on Catholic Higher Education from a Newmanian Perspective,” Irish Theological Quarterly 11 (2015): 3-18, and Geertjan Zuijdwegt and Terrence Merrigan, “Conscience,” in The Oxford Handbook of John Henry Newman, ed. Frederick D. Aquino and Benjamin J. King (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 434-453.

INTRODUCTION

XIII

his publications are situated on the intersection of contemporary Christology and its soteriological impact within a pluralistic and secularized context.5 A considerable number of articles in this Festschrift are devoted to these topics. Raymond F. Collins delivers a close reading of Paul’s first letter to the essalonians in order to highlight the passages that play a crucial role in the development of New Testament Christology. Against any kind of over-emphasizing of Jesus’ divinity, Jeffrey C. K. Goh holds a plea for the soteriological importance of Jesus’ real humanity. For his plea, he finds himself familiar with Pope Francis’ paradigm in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. He reflects on the imitation of Jesus’ praxis of non-violence towards a Kingdom oriented social order. Annemarie C. Mayer poses the Christological ‘who-question’ of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and considers this question as very consequential in soteriological reflections of today, with special focus on the theology of the cross and God’s love ‘for us’ in it. By way of what he calls a cumulative approach to the resurrection, Gerald O’Collins critically constructs a case for the resurrection based upon philosophical, historical and theological considerations. In his chapter, Dermot A. Lane delivers a mutual discourse between Christology and ecology with the objective to promote further reception of Integral Ecology. Lane examines responses to ecological crisis that emerge from three key areas: New Testament Christologies, Deep Incarnation, and Karl Rahner’s reflections on creation and Incarnation. For Herwi Rikhof, omas Aquinas’ theology remains an indispensable resource in the contemporary renaissance of trinitarian theology. He investigates the implications of Aquinas’ trinitarian theology for Christian identity in general and sacramental life in particular. Declan Marmion explores Karl Rahner’s pneumatology as it is presented in his

5

Terrence Merrigan, “‘For Us and for Our Salvation’: e Notion of Salvation History in the Contemporary eology of Religions,” Irish Theological Quarterly 64 (1999): 339-348; id., “e Historical Jesus in the Pluralist eology of Religions,” in The Myriad Christ: Plurality and the Quest for Unity in Contemporary Christology, ed. Terrence Merrigan and Jacques Haers, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 152 (Louvain: Leuven University Press and Peeters, 2000), 61-82; Terrence Merrigan and Bénédicte Lemmelijn, “Van de God der Vaderen naar God de Vader: Het christelijk triniteitsdenken en zijn oudtestamentische achtergrond,” in Triniteit, een kruis erover? Nieuwe perspectieven op een oeroude christelijke doctrine, ed. Terrence Merrigan, Christoph Moonen, and Kristof Struys (Antwerpen: Halewijn, 2006), 21-34; Terrence Merrigan, “Faith in the Quest: e Relevance of the First and ird Quests to the Understanding of the ‘Christ-Event’,” Louvain Studies 32 (2007): 153-163.

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treatises on the Trinity, the Church and grace. For Rahner, the Holy Spirit is part of God’s self-communication which belongs not only to professional mystics or ecclesial office, but to the everydayness. Marmion examines the implications of Rahner’s pneumatology for the theology of religions and concludes with new developments in pneumatology. In his reflections, Kristof Struys critically explores the epistemological criteriology as it is dealt with in some pluralist theologies of religions. Inspired by Walter Kasper, he argues that a ‘theological theology’ is a condition of possibility for the case of human salvation. Beáta Tóth examines Miklós Vetö’s concept of ‘agapology’ that offers a metaphysical interpretation of love within the intersection of otherness and relationality. By applying a theological reflection on the trinitarian love, Tóth helps to further develop Vetö’s social account of love, which she considers as being beneficial to moral theology. Emmanuel Durand focuses on the reality of Catholic tradition and its development, by critically analyzing the questions of continuity and discontinuity, as well as the risks, limitations and self-criticism that are involved in reform. Gabriel Flynn presents a theological biography of the prominent Dominican scholar, Marie-Dominique Chenu. Flynn explores Chenu’s contemplative spirituality, the theological methodology that emerges from this spirituality, as well as his ecclesiological vision. At the center of Chenu’s work is the incarnation. In his contribution, Jerry T. Farmer explores the validity of the Protestant adagium ecclesia semper reformanda, particularly in the theology of Karl Rahner and the papacy of Francis. Farmer explains how both Rahner and Pope Francis provide subversive messages that are critical for the renewal of church life. As of the outset of his academic career Professor Merrigan developed a strong interest in the theology of interreligious dialogue. He helped promoting the views of the deplored Jesuit theologian Jacquis Dupuis,6 but also developed his own views which Francis Clooney identifies in this volume as a “sacramental theology of religions.”7 6

Some important articles by Dupuis appeared in Louvain Studies: Jacques Dupuis, “‘e Truth Will Make You Free’: e eology of Religious Pluralism Revisited,” Louvain Studies 24 (1999): 211-263; id., “Christianity and the Religions Revisited,” Louvain Studies 28 (2003): 363-383. Among Merrigan’s publications on Dupuis, see especially: “Exploring the Frontiers: Jacques Dupuis and the Movement ‘Toward a Christian eology of Religious Pluralism’,” East Asian Pastoral Review 37 (2000): 5-32, and “Jacques Dupuis and the Redefinition of Inclusivism,” in In Many and Diverse Ways: In Honour of Jacques Dupuis, ed. Daniel Kendall and Gerald O’Collins (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2003), 60-71. 7 Among the most relevant contributions by Terrence Merrigan in this field, are: “Saving the Particular: Incarnation and the Mediation of Salvation in the

INTRODUCTION

XV

Part III of the Festschrift starts with two articles dealing with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on non-Christian religions. Peter De Mey explores the redaction history of Lumen Gentium 16-17 in light of the particular interpretation of these paragraphs among Catholic inclusivists such as Gavin D’Costa and Ralph Martin. Mathijs Lamberigts and Leo Declerck † explore the development of Nostra Aetate from November 1963 to its official promulgation on October 1965 by Pope Paul VI. As the chapter emphasizes, once the Nostra Aetate document was finally finalized and approved, it led to an intensification of the Catholic Church’s involvement in interreligious dialogue. Maria Nguyen Thi Tuong Oanh critically explores the Trinitarian Christology and theology of religious pluralism of Jacques Dupuis in light of his engagement with John 1:19, 14. Although Dupuis’ theology of religions has received a lot of attention from scholars, the biblical fundaments of his approach to religious pluralism have not been properly examined. According to Wouter Biesbrouck, the idea that God’s revelation has a soteriological dimension bears relevance for a Christian theology of interreligious dialogue. Resourcing the Western Christian tradition, Protestant and Catholic alike, the author reflects on the Neo-Calvinist concept of ‘common grace’ and participatory ontology in order to indicate the reverberance of an ecumenical notion into the theology of interreligious dialogue. Francis X. Clooney provides a constructive response to the theology of religions as developed by Terrence Merrigan. In his opinion the particularity of Jesus Christ stimulates the embracement of an inclusive theology of religions and fosters the development of a comparative methodological work that is respectful and attentive to other religions. Elizabeth J. Harris argues that even though due to historical circumstances Christianity and Judaism have parted ways as early as the first centuries of the first

eology of Religions,” in Orthodoxy, Process and Product, ed. Mathijs Lamberigts, Lieven Boeve, and Terrence Merrigan, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 227 (Leuven, Paris, and Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2009), 299322; “Towards an Incarnational Hermeneutics of Interreligious Dialogue,” in The Past, Present, and Future of Theologies of Interreligious Dialogue, ed. Terrence Merrigan and John Friday (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 17-27; “Between Doctrine and Discernment: Pope Francis on Interreligious Dialogue,” in The Geo-Politics of Pope Francis, ed. Jan De Volder, Annua Nuntia Lovaniensia 77 (Louvain: Peeters, 2019), 127-150, and “Between Scylla and Charybdis: Breaking the Impasse in Contemporary Catholic eology of Interreligious Dialogue,” in Res opportunae nostrae aetatis: Studies on the Second Vatican Council Offered to Mathijs Lamberigts, ed. Dries Bosschaert and Johan Leemans, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 317 (Leuven, Paris, and Bristol, CT: Peeters, 2020), 469-482.

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millennium, both traditions share a lot in common within the field of interreligious dialogue. e similarities between Jewish and Christian approaches to interreligious dialogue are greater than their differences. Alexander Löffler reflects theologically on the topic of individual Christians who theoretically and practically adhere to more than one religious tradition. e question that guides his analysis is how to explain, interpret, and assess theologically the phenomenon of double religious belonging and practice. Drawing insight from spirituality, Löffler seeks possible ways to legitimize Buddhist-Christian religious affiliation from a Catholic perspective. Judith Gruber focuses on the controversy that arose in Germany in 2020 following the invitation of the Cameroonian philosopher and political theorist Achille Mbembe to the Ruhrtriennale in Bochum. Examining the controversy through the lens of Gloria Wekker’s notion of White innocence, Gruber decenters theologies of interreligious conversation, spotting their role to the consolidation of White supremacy and re-articulating innocence in a way that does not cover up histories of conflict and violence. As a teacher of the courses European Perspectives on Religion and Christianity and Contemporary Culture, professor Merrigan’s interest is in bridging the Christian tradition with the contemporary world.8 In Charles Taylor and Robert Wuthnow he finds, among others, two important interlocutors. Our culture is characterized by the quest for ‘selood’ which needs the assistance of communities and traditions, understood as cumulations of similar experiences of searching for selood throughout history. Merrigan states that the Church is one such community which can help people engaging with their quest for selood. In this Festschrift some authors take it as their perspective to write on the challenging relationship of faith and culture. Stephan van Erp, commenting on the recently published Oxford Handbook of Catholic Theology (Oxford University Press, 2019), presents a brief overview of the development of Catholic theology in the nineteenth and twentieth century. His final section on the challenges for postsecular Catholicism, forms a good starting point for Part IV of this 8 Terrence Merrigan, “e Exile of the Religious Subject: A Newmanian Perspective on Religion in Contemporary Society,” in A Catholic Minority Church in a World of Seekers, ed. Staf Hellemans and Peter Jonkers (Washington, DC: e Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 2015), 179-208; id., “Religion, Education, and the Appeal to Plurality: eological Considerations on the Contemporary European Context,” in Toward Mutual Ground: Pluralism, Religious Education, and Diversity in Irish Schools, ed. Gareth Byrne and Patricia Kieran (Dublin: Columba, 2013), 57-70.

INTRODUCTION

XVII

Festschrift. According to Hans Joas it is not allowed to define secularization from the perspective of modernization or in terms of the weakening of Christianity in the West. An alternative narrative is not to be found in the simplistic application of the paradigm of ‘disenchantment’. For him, the future of religious faith largely depends on purposeful human action. James J. Kelly is convinced that today’s secular context makes a re-appraisal of the traditional image of God imperative. Dismissing dualistic worldviews, he explores a theological approach in which transcendence is reconstructed within an immanent process. He argues that process-thinking safeguards a systemic, ecological and cosmic holism upon which the future of humanity and creation depends. Lieven Boeve examines the sociological category of the ‘nones’ within the context of religious dialogue. Boeve dismisses theological options that either downplay the Christian identity or rigidly safeguard it as both unsatisfactory, and rather proposes the approach of dialogue towards a social consensus. Examining the relationship between secularization and theological ethics, Joseph A. Selling looks at how the ancient church dealt with secular issues during its formative years in Europe. In the attempt to assert its autonomy, the contemporary church appears disconnected from the world: she oscillates between ambiguity and suspicion of the secular. Selling sustains the hope that Pope Francis provides the appropriate pastoral response to secularization. Drawing on the Ignatian spiritual background, Jacques Haers pleads for a renewed method of theology based on common ecclesiogenetic discernment, with emphasis on revelation, shared history and common narratives. Robert Aaron Wessman prolongs Terrence Merrigan’s theological engagement with contemporary Western culture. He deploys the concept of ‘splinterization’ in describing this culture, and further problematizes the question of identity. Relying on Balthasar, Wessman proposes that Christians should engage dissimilar groups in a kenotic solidarity that is inspired by the example of Christ. We are thankful for the help received in the editing process from Rita Corstjens and especially from the series editor, our colleague Annemarie Mayer. We owe great thanks to the other members of the Merrigan family: Clairette, Michaël, Klaartje and Katelijne. We involved them in selecting a cover image which perfectly illustrates the intellectual and spiritual environment where Terry learnt to become answerable for his beliefs, the chapel of Memorial University Newfoundland. Many thanks to Bruce Lane for taking pictures of the chapel and to Jana Binon for realizing the watercolor painting on the cover.

Part I

The Thought of John Henry Newman

1 The Rise and Fall of High Church Anglicanism in the Life and Thought of John Henry Newman, 1826-1841 Peter Nockles

“Newman had a peculiar power of seizing intellectually the ethos, and principles of another, and making them his own, as if as it were on trial.”1

is observation by Newman’s one-time curate and Tractarian disciple, Isaac Williams, reveals how Newman interacted with others in the Tractarian triumvirate, notably John Keble and Richard Hurrell Froude. Although the acknowledged leader of the Oxford Movement, recent scholarship has revealed the extent of Newman’s intellectual and spiritual debt to a supporting cast of others, particularly to his friends, followers and disciples.2 He was as much influenced as he was the influencer. Newman’s debt, however, was not only to individuals but to theological traditions, different ones of which at different phases in his life he made his own. Yet the extent of Newman’s debt to and identification with, different theological systems at different times should not detract from his own originality. As Stephen Morgan has argued, there was continuity and consistency as well as change in the development of Newman’s thought prior to his secession from the Church of England in

1

Autobiography of Isaac Williams, BD. Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College […] Edited by His Brother-in-Law, the Ven. Sir George Prevost (London: Spottiswoode and Co., 1892), 43. 2 James Pereiro, “A Cloud of Witnesses: Tractarians and Tractarian Ventures,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, ed. Stewart J. Brown, Peter B.  Nockles, and James Pereiro (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 111-122. Pereiro focuses in particular on the role of Newman’s one-time pupil and disciple, Samuel Francis Wood (1809-1843). See James Pereiro, ‘Ethos’ and the Oxford Movement: At the Heart of Tractarianism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

4

PETER NOCKLES

1845.3 He was creative and inventive, and not merely an external passive legatee of existing theological systems or the views of others. Several studies have demonstrated the extent of the role of evangelicalism in the early life and thought of John Henry Newman.4 In particular, Terrence Merrigan has shown the seminal importance of his first conversion in 1816 at the age of fieen.5 is has helped correct a tendency to downplay Newman’s evangelical early career as a mere preparation rather than foundational bedrock of his life-long religious journey. e great Newman scholar Charles Stephen Dessain even claimed that “Newman was never a real evangelical at all.”6 is trend was encouraged by Newman’s own attempts to reinterpret his own past, in his Apologia pro vita sua (1864) and Autobiographical Memoir (1874) with its schematic account of his disengagement from evangelicalism. e most systematic treatment of evangelicalism in the making and formation of the young Newman’s theology has been Geertjan Zuijdwegt’s recent doctoral dissertation, An Evangelical Adrift.7 Zuijdwegt analyses the factors which led Newman to shed, one by one, the characteristic doctrines associated with evangelicalism. Following

3

See Stephen Morgan, The Search for Continuity in the Face of Change in the Anglican Writings of John Henry Newman, unpublished doctoral dissertation (Oxford: University of Oxford, 2013). 4 For examples, see David Newsome, “Justification and Sanctification: Newman and the Evangelicals,” Journal of Theological Studies 15 (1964): 32-53; Timothy C.  F. Stunt, “John Henry Newman and the Evangelicals,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 21 (1970): 65-74; John E. Linnan, The Evangelical Background of John Henry Newman, 1816-1826, 2 vols., unpublished doctoral dissertation (Louvain: Faculty of eology, Université Catholique de Louvain, 1965); Joseph A. Komonchak, John Henry Newman’s Discovery of the Visible Church (1816 to 1828), unpublished doctoral dissertation (New York: Union eological Seminary, 1976); Edward McCormack, The Development of John Henry Newman’s View of the Christian Life in His Anglican Sermons, 1824-1843, unpublished doctoral dissertation (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America, 2001); omas L. Sheridan, “Justification,” in The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman, ed. Ian Ker and Terrence Merrigan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 98-117, at 98-104. 5 Terrence Merrigan, “Numquam minus solus, quam cum solus – Newman’s First Conversion: Its Significance for His Life and ought,” Downside Review 103 (1985): 99-116. 6 Charles S. Dessain, “Newman’s First Conversion,” Newman Studien 3 (1957): 37-53, at 50. 7 Geertjan J. Zuijdwegt, An Evangelical Adrift: The Making of John Henry Newman’s Theology, unpublished doctoral dissertation (Louvain: KU Leuven, 2019).

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Gareth Atkins, he shows that this was a longer and messier process of disengagement than previous accounts allowed.8 A key question which Zuijdwegt raised – what precisely took the place of evangelicalism? – requires fuller explication. is essay seeks to elucidate whether or not it was high churchmanship (what became known as ‘Anglicanism’9), how far Newman embraced it and how and why he finally abandoned and reacted against it. Several within the high church tradition in retrospect suggested that Newman took up ‘Anglicanism’ merely as a paper theory which he tested by criteria of his own and that his expressions of loyalty to the seventeenth-century divines were selective and based on affection and imaginative recreation rather than intellectual conviction.10 More recently, the late Frank Turner has gone further, arguing that Newman’s pursuit of an ideal ascetical Catholicism meant that he sat loosely to all theological traditions and that as a Tractarian leader he acted on purely sectarian principles. Turner claimed that in his Apologia, Newman sought to impose an orderly theological development on his religious career which was singularly lacking at the time.11 Newman’s essential test in his search for religious truth was always that of ‘reality’ and ‘realizing’. e imagination and intellectual conviction were not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, as Terrence Merrigan has argued, the experience of ‘realizing’ the concrete, existent ‘things’ as mediated by the imaginative faculty was a crucial facet of Newman’s theological understanding. All beliefs “must first be credible to the imagination,”12 the fruit of an interaction between the imagination and reason.13 e rise and fall of high church Anglicanism (in so far as that

8

Gareth Atkins, “Evangelicals,” in The Oxford Handbook of John Henry Newman, ed. Frederick D. Aquino and Benjamin J. King (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 173-195, at 174. 9 See note 14. 10 Anglicanism: The Thought and Practice of the Church of England, Illustrated from the Religious Literature of the Seventeenth Century, Compiled and Edited by Paul Elmer More and Frank Leslie Cross (London: Morehouse Publishing, 1935), xxx-xxxi. See also the “Conclusion” of this essay. 11 Frank M. Turner, John Henry Newman: The Challenge to Evangelical Religion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002), ch. 9: “In Schism with All Christendom.” 12 Terrence Merrigan, “Newman the eologian,” in John Henry Newman 1801-1890, Louvain Studies 15 (1990): 103-118, at 109; id., “Newman’s Catholic Synthesis,” Irish Theological Quarterly 60 (1994): 39-48, at 40. 13 Terrence Merrigan, “Revelation,” in The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman, 47-72, at 60.

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term is appropriate at this date14) in Newman’s thought can be explained by his acceptance or rejection of its ‘reality’. 1. Early Adoptions of High Churchmanship is essay picks up from where Zuijdwegt’s study le off. Its starting point is a sermon Newman preached in 1826, on the manuscript of which he scrawled over thirty years later, the words – “one of the first, if not the first, declaration I made of high church principles.”15 is comment by Newman was penned in 1857 and was a descriptor made only with hindsight. In itself it reveals how the term ‘high church’ by that date was defined and applied. e title of the sermon which earned Newman’s own later descriptor was “On the One Catholic and Apostolic Church.” e question remains whether Newman’s turn towards an emphasis on the visible Church, itself a gradually unfolding process in three phases over several years in the 1820s,16 constituted the adoption of what can be classed as ‘high church principles’. is author has broadly defined the theology of pre-Tractarian high churchmen or ‘the Orthodox’ (as they preferred to be called) as emphasizing, to varying degrees, the doctrine of apostolic succession and episcopal and ministerial order, a doctrine of the visible Church with the Church of England a branch of the Universal Church, the supremacy of Holy Scripture but with due reference to authorized standards such as the Creeds, the Book of Common Prayer, the Catechism, the irty-Nine

14

e term ‘Anglican’ and ‘Anglicanism’, in a theological sense rather than denoting merely provincial autonomy, is a late construct. ‘Anglican’ was used by Alexander Knox in 1806, but one of the earliest usages of ‘Anglicanism’ was by Newman in the first edition of his Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church (1837). See Peter B. Nockles, The Oxford Movement in Context: Anglican High Churchmanship 1760-1857 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 39-41; Anthony Milton, “Introduction: Reformation, Identity and Anglicanism (c. 1520-1662),” in Oxford History of Anglicanism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), I, 1-27, at 7-8; Paul Avis, “What Is Anglicanism?,” in The Study of Anglicanism, ed. Stephen Sykes, John Booty, and Jonathan Knight (London: SPCK, 1998), 459-476; Stephen Sykes, Unashamed Anglicanism (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1995), xiv; Colin Podmore, Aspects of Anglican Identity (London: Church House, 2005), 26-42, at 35-37; Paul Avis, “Not Yet Anglicanism,” Theology 123 (2020): 198-203, at 198. 15 John Henry Newman, No. 157, “On the One Catholic and Apostolic Church,” Sermon 4, 42, n. 2. 16 Komonchak, John Henry Newman’s Discovery of the Visible Church (1816 to 1828), 347.

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Articles and the Book of Homilies. e writings of the early Fathers were valued especially as witnesses to and expositors, if not interpreters, of scriptural truth when a ‘Catholic Consent’ of them could be established. In this context, apostolic Tradition was a source of appeal, even if it was not binding or authoritative. A high churchman also laid stress on the primacy of dogma and the efficacy and necessity of sacramental grace, both in baptism and the Eucharist. He tended to cultivate a practical spirituality and soteriology based on good works nourished by sacramental grace and exemplified in acts of self-denial and charity rather on a purely subjective conversion experience or unruly manifestations of the Holy Spirit. He also upheld a Church establishment but insisted on the duty of the state as a divinely ordained rather than merely secular entity, to protect and promote the interests of the Church.17 By 1826, partly through his own parochial experience as a curate at St  Clement’s in Oxford, and partly through his intellectual experience as a Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford, where he had come under the influence of key figures among the so-called Oriel ‘Noetics’. rough Edward Hawkins (on tradition), Richard Whately (on the Church), William James (on baptismal regeneration), and John Davison (on prophecy), Newman had embraced some elements of what constituted high churchmanship. Nonetheless, caution here is required. Anglican Church party labels were still fluid, theological parameters and boundaries porous, while a degree of cross fertilization and even consensus between evangelical and orthodox churchmen remained a marked feature.18 Many contemporary churchmen cannot neatly be categorized.19 Newman had come to accept baptismal regeneration by this time, but this did not in itself signify an abandonment of evangelicalism for high churchmanship. Rather, it is evidence of evangelicalism itself being in a state of flux and comprising a spectrum of views. e major influence prompting Newman’s change of heart was not the Anglican formularies but his reading of the evangelical John Bird Sumner’s Apostolical Preaching Considered (1815), a copy of which Hawkins had given him on August 19, 1824. Moreover, the evidence of the Oriel College Library records

17

Nockles, The Oxford Movement in Context, 25-26. See Peter B. Nockles, “Church Parties in the Pre-Tractarian Church of England 1750-1833: e ‘Orthodox’ – Some Problems of Definition and Identity,” in The Church of England c. 1689 – c. 1833: From Toleration to Tractarianism, ed. John Walsh, Colin Haydon, and Stephen Taylor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 334-359. 19 Nockles, The Oxford Movement in Context, 26. 18

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suggests that at this time he borrowed other works on the controversy over Predestination and Free Will.20 e Arminian Sumner undermined Newman’s previous reliance on a Calvinist idea of efficacious grace by election which, according to Sumner, would have reduced baptism to little more than an external mark of admission to the visible Church.21 Sumner may not have been an entirely representative evangelical, and anyway Calvinists themselves held that grace attended baptism, so that it was not only high churchman who rejected a ‘low’ view of baptism. In adopting Sumner’s view, Newman did not reject evangelicalism per se but only the doctrine which denied “a spiritual change in baptism altogether.”22 If Newman was reacting against a predestinarian soteriology,23 his own parochial experience had already showed up the ‘unreality’ of sharply differentiating the converted from the unconverted, the regenerate from the unregenerate. Edward Hawkins’ Dissertation on the Use and Importance of Unauthoritative Tradition, as an Introduction to Christian Doctrine (1818)24 with its theological method of arguing from doctrine taught by the Church to scriptural evidence rather than vice versa, sat more awkwardly with evangelical principles. Newman had maintained a rigid distinction between the visible and invisible Church, a distinction undermined by his shi on the doctrine of baptism. However, in his sermon “On the One Catholic and Apostolic Church” preached in 1826, the Nicene Creed’s profession of belief marked a point of departure.25 Newman later maintained that his belief in the independence of the visible Church from the state, derived from Whately’s Letters on the Church (1826).26 It was the apparently latitudinarian Whately who argued “that individual Christians have no life in them unless they continue branches of the true 20

Atkins, “Evangelicals,” 182-183. John B. Sumner, Apostolical Preaching Considered, in an Examination of St Paul’s Epistles (1815), 6th ed. (London: J. Hatchard and Son, 1826), 181. 22 John Henry Newman, Autobiographical Writings, edited, with an Introduction by Henry Tristram of the Oratory (London: Sheed and Ward, 1956), 78. 23 “I am almost convinced against predestination and election in the Calvinistic sense” – February 21, 1826, in Autobiographical Writings, 208. 24 John Henry Newman, Apologia pro vita sua: Being a Reply to a Pamphlet Entitled “What, then, Does Dr. Newman Mean?” (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1864), 65-66. 25 McCormack, The Development of John Henry Newman’s View of the Christian Life, 60. 26 Whately had “fixed in him those anti-Erastian views of Church polity, which were one of the most features of the Tractarian movement.” Newman, Apologia, 69. 21

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Vine as members of the Body of Christ.” e Church was “the appointed channel through which grace is conveyed.”27 Oriel noeticism had always been more a frame of mind and religious temper than a distinctively liberal theological creed. It only later came to be presented as doctrinal liberalism with hindsight aer the rise of the Oxford Movement. Noeticism encompassed a range of views,28 including ‘high church’, as attested by Edward Copleston’s Bosworth Lectures and Hawkins’ treatise on tradition.29 Newman’s turn to the visible Church did not in itself signify the transfer from one theological system to another.30 Many evangelicals, conscious of charges of being ‘irregular’ or ‘Methodist’, increasingly stressed their churchmanship.31 Some evangelicals valued the Fathers. Newman’s own first interest in them was through having his imagination inspired by the evangelical Joseph Milner’s History of the Church of Christ with its vivid portraits of the “age of the martyrs.”32 Zuijdwegt has shown that a more promising marker of Newman’s turn in terms of soteriology from evangelicalism to a more sacramental understanding of religion is to be found in his sermons.33 Newman’s emphasis ceased to be on faith over works and faith in the atonement as

27

R. Whately to E. Hawkins, September 3, 1830, Oriel College Archives 2/179. 28 e term noetic derived from the Greek word for knowledge. Noesis is the fourth and final stage in Plato’s chart for the growth of intelligence. David Newsome suggested ‘the free thinkers’ as its meaning in The Parting of Friends (1966), 66. However, this was more appropriate a term for their later activities aer 1829 rather than earlier. Michael Brock, “e Oxford of Peel and Gladstone,” in The History of the University of Oxford, Vol. VI, Part 1, ed. M. G. Brock and M.  C. Curthoys (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), 7-71, at 48. See also R. Brent, “Note: The Oriel Noetics,” ibid., 72-76. 29 W.  J. Copleston, Memoir of Edward Copleston, D.D. Bishop of Llandaff (London: John W. Parker and Son, 1851), 47; William Tuckwell, Pre-Tractarian Oxford: A Reminiscence of the Oriel ‘Noetics’ (London: Smith, Elder, and Company, 1909), 45. 30 Zuijdwegt, An Evangelical Adrift, 141. 31 Gareth Atkins, “‘True Churchmen’: Anglican Evangelicals and History, c. 1770-1850,” Theology 115 (2012): 339-349. 32 Newman, Apologia, 62. 33 Zuijdwegt rightly questions the alternative interpretation by Paul Vaiss of a much later ‘evangelical phase’ to Newman based on selective evidence and a misdating of sermons. Zuijdwegt, An Evangelical Adrift, 116. Cf. Paul Vaiss, “Newman’s State of Mind on the Eve of His Italian Tour,” in From Oxford to the People: Reconsidering Newman and the Oxford Movement, ed. Paul Vaiss (Leominster: Gracewing, 1996), ch. 18-19.

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the only sure means to salvation in favor of the centrality of moral obedience to conscience.34 His unpublished critique of the Scottish evangelical Presbyterian divine, omas Chalmers, involved a rejection of Chalmers’ apparent teaching that the atonement was the sole instrument of conversion and that its effect was “to make religion a matter of feeling.”35 Moreover, for Newman the sacraments increasingly became the main channels and necessary means of salvation. Newman did not regard himself as yet aligned to the high church party as is clear from a letter to his friend, Samuel Rickards in November 1826. Newman pointedly refrained from identifying the historic Church of England and her divines with any one party: “I begin by assuming,” he wrote, “that the old worthies of our Church are neither orthodox nor evangelical, but untractable persons, suspicious characters, neither one thing nor the other.” He wanted Rickards to “give a summary of their opinions,” taking them as ‘the English Church’. He hoped for a consensus fidelium, achievable by “distinctly marking out the grand scriptural features of that doctrine in which they all agree.” He hoped that Rickards could present the ‘old divines’ as “a band of witnesses for truth, not opposed to each other (as they now are).” He wanted these divines to be treated “as a whole, a corpus theologorum et ecclesiasticum, the English Church.”36 Significantly, Rickards baulked at this challenge. e letter shows that Newman’s ecclesiological vision at this stage was inchoate and evolving. ere was no inevitability about his theological trajectory. Stephen Morgan has argued that the best way of treating Newman at any point in his history is “as a person with an open future, rather than reading back some future event” in the service of an “apologetic meta-narrative.”37 On the other hand, Newman’s comments to Rickards contain a hint that he would not long remain content with diversity and variation – the theological character of the English Church required systematization. A better case for Newman’s adoption of high churchmanship is provided by his attitude during the re-election contest of Sir Robert Peel as 34 Geertjan Zuijdwegt and Terrence Merrigan, “Conscience,” in The Oxford Handbook of John Henry Newman, 434-455, at 442. 35 [J. H. Newman], “Critical Remarks upon Dr Chalmers’ eology,” 1834?, Newman MS. A.9.1., p. 9. Birmingham Oratory Archives/Newman Digital Archive B123-A004. 36 Newman to Samuel Rickards, November 26, 1826, in The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, I, ed. Ian Ker and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), 310. 37 Morgan, The Search for Continuity, iv.

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MP for the University of Oxford. In February 1829, Peel, Home Secretary in the Wellington administration, resigned his seat because he had come out in favor of Catholic Emancipation, an unpopular measure at Oxford University. Newman always professed to be ‘indifferent’ as to the merits of the measure itself. His was not the implacable opposition of the Protestant high church party on explicitly anti-Catholic grounds. For him, it was a matter of rejecting political expediency and reasserting against men of “rank and talent” the rights and independence of both Church and University, the latter, as a “place set apart.”38 It was to mark a decisive parting of the ways between Newman and his erstwhile Oriel noetic friends and mentors. e Noetics were out of tune with the prevailing Tory high church anti-Catholic emancipationist sentiment in the university. Newman, under Whately’s influence, had himself supported Catholic Emancipation and voted against the university’s anti-Catholic petitions in 1827 and 1828. us his volte-face on the subject dismayed the Noetics, especially Whately. Although there had once been some rapprochement between the Oriel Noetics and so-called ‘Hackney Phalanx’ high churchmen,39 this had broken down by the late-1820s. e so-called old high church party represented by divines such as John Hume Spry, himself connected to Oriel, came to dislike everything that the Noetics stood for. Whately was singled out as the, “mouthpiece and indefatigable supporter of a party in the Church which promises to do more harm to her doctrine and discipline than all the Calvinism, or dissent, or evangelism of the last century has effected.”40 Whately assumed that Newman must be allying with the ‘high and dry’ or ‘two bottle orthodox’ churchmen of popular caricature. Whately took mischievous pleasure as Principal of St Alban Hall in inviting and seating the fastidious Newman into the company of “a set of the least intellectual men in Oxford to dinner, and men most fond of port.” As 38 J. H. Newman to Mrs Newman, March 1, 1829, Letters and Correspondence of John Henry Newman during His Life in the English Church, ed. Anne Mozley, 2 vols. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1891), I, 202. 39 Pietro Corsi, Science and Religion: Baden Powell and the Anglican Debate, 1800-1860 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 9-20; Richard Brent, Liberal Anglican Politics: Whiggery, Religion and Reform (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 148-149. On the Hackney Phalanx, see Nockles, The Oxford Movement in Context, 13-15; Clive Dewey, The Passing of Barchester: A Real Life Version of Trollope (London: Hambledon, 1991). 40 J.  H. Spry to H.  H. Norris, December 10, 1829, Ms Eng Lett. c.789, fos. 200-201. Norris Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

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Newman recalled, Whately aerwards “asked me if I was proud of my friends.”41 e story of the genesis of the Oxford Movement, its reaction against both evangelicalism and liberalism and Newman’s direction of that reaction has been oen told. Likewise, Newman’s readiness to work with representatives of the old high church party, notably Hugh James Rose (1795-1838), a Cambridge divine, and William Palmer of Worcester College (1802-1885), in the early stages of the Movement, if only for tactical reasons, has been explored by the present author elsewhere.42 What concerns us here is the extent to which Newman actually drew upon and made his own, traditional high church Anglicanism. On what terms did he embrace it? Was it on a provisional basis or one of permanence? Newman claimed that without a belief in dogma, religion was “a mere sentiment,” “a dream and a mockery.”43 is belief, he insisted had guided him from the time of his first conversion at the age of fieen, throughout his evangelical period, even during the time he came under the liberal spell of Whately in around 1827. It became “the fundamental principle of the Movement of 1833.” It is possible of course to regard Newman’s later claim to a lifelong emphasis on dogma as an example of a retrospective representation of his religious history, concealing phases of his life and thought that do not fit this picture. It is clear that what constituted dogma for Newman changed over time. Moreover, dogma was never viewed in isolation from praxis. e Movement’s foundational dogma, in Newman’s words, was “that there was a visible Church with sacraments and rites which are the channels of invisible grace.” He thought that “this was the doctrine of Scripture, of the early Church, and of the Anglican Church.”44 A corollary of Newman’s emerging emphasis on the necessity of the mediation of the visible Church in the life of faith was an uncompromising attitude towards Protestant Dissenters who rejected any notion of an ecclesial body having authority over an individual and who indulged in unrestrained private judgment. In this, Newman was at one with the more rigid high churchmen of earlier generations.45

41

Autobiographical Memoir, 73. Nockles, The Oxford Movement in Context, 274-277. 43 Newman, Apologia, 120. 44 Ibid., 121. 45 For an example of Newman’s rigidity over Protestant Dissent, see the Jubber case when in June 1834 Newman refused to marry at St Mary’s the daughter of a Balliol College pastry cook who was a Baptist, because she was unbaptised. 42

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When it came to the Fathers, Newman himself owed a huge debt to several distinguished high churchmen. Martin Joseph Routh (1755-1854), the aged President of Magdalen College, William Van Mildert (17651836), Bishop of Durham, William Rowe Lyall (1788-1857), Archdeacon of Maidstone, John Kaye (1783-1853), Bishop of Lincoln, and Charles Lloyd (1784-1829), whose private lectures as Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, Newman had attended in 1823-1824, were sources of inspiration for Newman. Newman was to inherit his evolving view of preNicene theology from his seventeenth-century Anglican forebears, notably William Cave and George Bull. His first book, The Arians of the Fourth Century (1833), started life as a proposed article on the irtynine Articles and Church Councils, which the editors of the Theological Library, Rose and Lyall, had invited him to contribute. In The Arians, with its discussion on the origins and causes of early heresies, Newman was writing primitive Church history within an Anglican tradition that sought a return to the primary sources.46 Newman also used and applied the history of the Arian controversy to the Church controversies of his own day in the early 1830s.47 Newman’s early steps into high church Anglicanism were slow and halting. For Newman, liberalism was the immediate and the most insidious enemy, not the threat to an establishment.48 While Newman increasingly deplored what he perceived as a subjective tendency in popular evangelicalism and its potentially liberalizing implications, he did not disown the evangelical tradition as a whole or even with the evangelical party in spite of his withdrawal of membership from evangelical societies. Newman’s assertion in his Apologia that the Oxford Movement was primarily directed against liberalism should be taken at face value rather than as the late Frank Turner fancifully suggested, a later smokescreen for Newman’s real contemporary bête noir, evangelicalism.49

Sheridan Gilley, Newman and His Age (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1989), 128-129. 46 Benjamin J. King, “e Church Fathers,” in The Oxford Handbook of John Henry Newman, 113-134. 47 Stephen omas, Newman and Heresy: The Anglican Years (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 1-62. 48 “An abundance of champions will easily be roused to defend the Church as an establishment. For this reason, we have given our efforts exclusively to the defence of the Church against liberalism whether of doctrine or discipline.” J. H. Newman to Charles Marriott, [1834 or 1835], in Letters and Diaries, XXXII, ed. Francis J. McGrath (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 11. 49 Turner, John Henry Newman, 9-11.

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ere is no reason to doubt Newman’s initially inclusive approach during his visits to rural clergymen during 1833 in order to rally support for the Tracts for the Times. As he later made clear: “I did not care whether my visits were made to high Church or low Church; I wished to make a strong pull in union with all who were opposed to the principles of liberalism, whoever they might be.”50 It would seem that Newman, as in that letter of Rickards, was still acting on the principle of assembling a ‘band of witnesses’, ‘harmonized’ in their opposition to liberalism. Newman made sure that some of the early numbers of the Tracts for the Times, notably Tract 8, “e Gospel a Law of Liberty,” appealed to evangelicals. Newman even commenced a series of letters advocating a revival of Church discipline which were published in the hard-line evangelical newspaper, The Record. ere were several issues – a protest against erastianism in the face of the Whig government’s interference in Church affairs, the importance of the ministerial office and of pastoral responsibility – which could unite Evangelical and Orthodox. Both would decry the so-called ‘fox hunting parson’ of an earlier generation. If anything, it was the so-called ‘high and dry’ Church party who initially were more unsettled by the new movement than evangelicals were. As long as there was a continuing sense of the ‘Church in Danger’ generated by challenges from without, the Movement could remain broad-based in its appeal. Newman later recalled that it was from 1834 onwards that he put the ecclesiastical doctrine which he had come to embrace “on a broader basis, aer reading Laud, Bramhall, and Stillingfleet and other Anglican divines on the one hand; and aer prosecuting the study of the Fathers on the other.”51 It has also been suggested that it was Martin Routh who had first directed Newman to the seventeenth-century divines.52 Apart from piecemeal reading (as evidenced by his Oriel Library borrowings) for particular controversial purposes, Newman’s more systematic study of and familiarity with the Anglican divines came relatively late. It followed his earlier systematic immersion in the Fathers. Newman complained that even the defenders of the Church in the crisis of 1833 appeared to know too little of its institutional and 50

Newman, Apologia, 111. Ibid., 121. 52 T. M. Parker, “e Rediscovery of the Fathers in the Seventeenth-Century Anglican Tradition,” in The Rediscovery of Newman: A Portrait Restored, ed. John Coulson and A. M. Allchin (London: Sheed and Ward, 1967), 31-49. 51

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theological past and inheritance. ey dwelt too much on temporalities and too little on the apostolic and spiritual basis of Church authority. He increasingly sensed that it was only secular and state interests, and not doctrinal consensus, that held the Church establishment together. “Viewed internally,” the Church was not one “except as an Establishment.” On the contrary, he maintained, it had been “the battle field of two opposite principles; Socinianism and Catholicism – Socinianism fighting for the most part by Puritanism its unconscious ally.”53 e Church of England needed to be re-catholicized before it could be successfully defended from its opponents. As he told his friend Maria Giberne in September 1835, there needed to be a revival of “the system which nourished our great divines of the 17th century, Taylor and the rest!”54 Newman’s debt to and reverence for the Anglican divines is clear from the content of the Tracts for the Times themselves. Of the series of ninety Tracts, sixteen were reprints of Anglican authors. It was necessary to show that patristic teaching and practice had persisted throughout the Anglican centuries. us, in Tract 38, Newman confidently asserted that “in the seventeenth century the theology of the English Church was substantially the same as ours is.”55 Newman adopted omas Wilson (1663-1755), Bishop of Sodor and Man from 1698, as an exemplar in the primitive Church mold in terms of a revival of ecclesiastical discipline. Wilson’s Form of Excommunication and Form of Receiving Penitents were reproduced as Tract 37 and Tract 39, while his Meditations of His Sacred Office formed another seven of the Tracts for the Times.56 Other reprints in the Tracts were of treatises on public prayers and liturgical offices of the Church, including by William Beveridge (1637-1708), Bishop of St Asaph from 1704. e project of a recovery of the ‘treasures’ of the Church was directly tied to overcoming the “ignorance of our historical position as churchmen” which he regarded as “one of the especial evils of the day.”57 Newman’s Tract 74 concerned the apostolic succession. A selection of extracts from 53 Newman to H. J. Rose, May 23, 1836, in Letters and Diaries, V, ed. omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 301, 302. 54 Newman to Maria Giberne, September 4, 1835, in Letters and Diaries, V, 135. 55 Tract 38: “Via Media. No. I,” 11. Tracts for the Times: By Members of the University of Oxford. Vol. I [1833-1834] (London: Rivington; Oxford: Parker, 1840). 56 Austin Cooper, “e Tracts for the Times,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, 137-150, at 141-142. 57 Tract 41. Tracts for the Times [1834], 6-7.

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forty-three Anglican authors provided the appropriate chain of witnesses to the doctrine. Other catenae patrum to the doctrines of Baptism and catholic Consent made up Tracts 76 and 78 respectively. Yet even while historic Anglicanism was being enlisted, Newman’s own future path remained uncertain. He was only one step ahead of the message which he was promulgating, gaining confidence as his views developed. e concept of the via media was a way of systematizing and unifying that “band of witnesses” which he felt necessary for the identity of the English Church. As Newman’s friend and a later biographer, R. H. Hutton, put it, it was an ecclesiastical “working hypothesis.”58 However, Newman still lacked a clear idea of “the foundation and limits of the Anglican consensus needed for a middle path between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.”59 As he famously put it: “We have a vast inheritance, but no inventory of our treasures. All is given us in profusion; it remains for us to catalogue, sort, distribute, harmonize, and complete.”60 2. Newman’s Construct of an Anglican Via Media e Tracts for the Times were one such inventory.61 ere was nothing distinctively Anglican about the via media concept per se, as it had been part of the traditional representation of orthodoxy since the patristic era.62 e Aristotelian notion of a ‘golden mean’ was well known. It was a notion which the Restoration Church of England, following the lead of the Laudian divines, had taken up. However, recent scholarship has deconstructed the notion that the Church of England historically represented a middle way between the Roman Catholic Church and continental Protestantism. e via media was a fragile as well as an ideological

58

Richard H. Hutton, Cardinal Newman, rev. ed. (London: Methuen, 1905), 57. 59 John Henry Newman, The Via Media of the Anglican Church, ed. H. D. Weidner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), xxvii-xxviii. 60 John Henry Newman, Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church Viewed Relatively to Romanism and Popular Protestantism (London: Rivington, 1837), 30. 61 George Herring, The Oxford Movement in Practice: The Tractarian Parochial World from the 1830s to the 1870s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 18. 62 Jean-Louis Quantin, The Church of England and Christian Antiquity: The Construction of Confessional Identity in the Seventeenth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2009), 14.

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construct, devised for polemical or apologetic purposes.63 As Paul Avis observes, the “English Church was not in the middle of anything.” Rather, it was widely regarded for three centuries aer the Reformation as “belonging firmly within the family of European Reformed Churches.”64 Cranmer would have been shocked by Newman’s apparent application of the via media, as would the great Elizabethan apologist of the Reformed Church of England John Jewel. Cranmer’s concern is better understood as seeking a middle way, not between Catholicism and Protestantism, but between different versions of Protestantism or rather, a ‘third way’ bypassing both Rome and Wittenberg.65 Taking his cue from his friend, Hurrell Froude, who famously dubbed Jewel “what you would call in these days an irreverent Dissenter,”66 Newman privately jettisoned the Reformers. By 1838, he was confiding his sense of relief that he no longer needed “all sorts of fictions and artifices to make Cranmer or others Catholic.”67 In contrast, traditional high churchmen had celebrated the English Reformers, if on different terms from that of evangelicals. Jewel’s Apology (1559) was deemed sacrosanct. Newman got round the problem by claiming that Jewel and others had allowed themselves to be contaminated by the foreign Protestantism of Zurich and Geneva68 – a view which recent scholarship has shown to be an anachronistic misrepresentation.69 Conscious of lack of support for his vision of Anglican Catholicity to be found in the writings of the English Reformers, Newman called for a ‘second Reformation’, to complete, if not correct the work of the first.70 Yet if Newman was thereby seeking to forge a new consensus which obscured an Elizabethan and Jacobean Church past, imposing a heightened polarity between Anglicanism and Puritanism, this was only what some Laudian divines, such as Peter Heylin, had done in the seventeenth 63

See Herring, Oxford Movement in Practice, 15-20. Avis, “Not Yet Anglicanism,” 200. 65 Diarmaid MacCulloch, All Things Made New: Writings on the Reformation (London: Allen Lane, 2016), 205. 66 Remains of the Late Reverend Richard Hurrell Froude, 4 vols. (London: Rivington; Derby: Mozley, 1838-1839), III, 379. 67 J. H. Newman to T. Henderson, March 1838 (copy), Ollard Papers, Pusey House Library, Oxford. 68 Tract 38. Tracts for the Times [1834], 6. 69 Peter B. Nockles, “Survivals or New Arrivals? e Oxford Movement and the Nineteenth-Century Historical Construction of Anglicanism,” in Anglicanism and the Western Christian Tradition: Continuity, Change and the Search for Communion, ed. Stephen Platten (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2003), 144-191. 70 Tract 41. Tracts for the Times [1834], 3. 64

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century. Like Heylin, Newman sought to marginalize ‘Ultra-Protestantism’ (Heylin’s ‘Puritanism’) from a Church of England mainstream. It has been plausibly argued that ‘Laudian’ divines such as Andrewes, Overall, and Montagu, also promoted a strict imitation of primitive doctrine and practice as normative for the Church of England in their day. For them, as much as for Newman, the via media construct symbolized a determined exclusivity, rather than mere moderation. Neither was it a mere via negativa – as Newman privately recorded in 1834, that “they who fix their eye on the Mean between existing extremes instead of eyeing the goal, mistake the shadow for the substance.”71 Newman’s via media, fully developed in his Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church (1837) claimed Anglican precedents for the theological formulation of the concept. While he chose the term and “under it arranged my own attack and my defence,” he recognized that it was not “original with me, but as Hall’s and many others.’’72 He was particularly indebted to Bishop John Jebb’s The Peculiar Character of the Church of England (1815),73 while it was Jebb’s life-long friend and correspondent, the Irish lay theologian, Alexander Knox (1757-1831), who also had an influence.74 Nonetheless, Newman by no means regarded the Oxford Movement as a mere passive legatee of the whole Anglican inheritance. He looked beyond and behind the English Reformation and its formularies to the early and undivided Church. e key here was the well-known canon or dictum of St Vincent of Lerins from his Commonitorium, enshrining the idea of ‘Catholic consent’: – quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus. e dictum, which Newman had applied in Tract 78, dictated that an assent of faith was demanded of that which had been held always, everywhere and by all.

71

Newman MS. D.5.13, “Revolution of 1688,” Birmingham Oratory Archives/ Newman Digital Archive B162-A013. Newman had written on the cover of this manuscript – “Perhaps about the year 1834 not worth anything.” 72 J. H. Newman to H. P. Liddon, December 18, 1877, in Letters and Diaries, XXVIII, ed. Charles Stephen Dessain and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), 283. Joseph Hall (1574-1656), Bishop of Exeter, later Norwich, was a moderate Calvinist but staunch upholder of episcopacy. He was the author of a Treatise on the Old Religion (1639), which Newman cited in Tract 38. 73 John Jebb (1775-1833), Bishop of Limerick, 1823. 74 Newman, Lectures on Certain Difficulties, 327. See Peter B. Nockles, “Church or Protestant Sect: e Church of Ireland, High Churchmanship, and the Oxford Movement, 1822-1869,” The Historical Journal 41 (1998): 457-493, at 464.

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Initially, Newman and the Tractarians, in line with the older high church tradition, upheld what Kenneth Parker has called a ‘successionist’ view of history.75 is took for granted the Church of England’s linear continuity with primitive Christianity. However, Newman’s approach soon emerged. e Church of England was no longer simply the voice of Antiquity. It had to prove that it was. is entailed what Parker calls a ‘supersessionist vision of history’ assuming a normative primitive Christianity partially weakened or lost in practice. is promoted calls for a recovery or restoration of lost riches.76 It also entailed a dynamic application of Church history to reshape the present and reorient the future direction of the Church.77 Unlike most traditional high churchmen, Tractarians, Newman felt a tension between the quod semper and the constraints of the Anglican formularies, notably the irty-Nine Articles and Article VI in particular which dictated that only those doctrines found in Scripture could be imposed as of necessary faith. Chafing against these restrictions, Newman sought to ‘reconstruct’ an ecclesiology for Anglicanism based on a fixed, binding authoritative timeframe, the early Church. is meant going beyond the status quo in doctrinal and liturgical standards. Although an advance on the high church position outlined by Hawkins in his Unauthoritative Tradition, this had been the position of later Nonjurors such as omas Brett and omas Deacon. For old high churchmen, Anglicanism and Antiquity were substantially identical with the Fathers marshalled in Anglican order and costume, as omas Mozley put it.78 On the other hand, for Newman the Church of England was identical with Antiquity only in so far as it espoused the doctrine of the Fathers. e selectivity of Newman’s appeal to Anglican testimony extended to his marginalization of the rising latitudinarian element in the later seventeenth and eighteenth-century Church of England. He blamed this trend on the apparent liberalizing and Erastianizing influence of Dutch Arminians such as Limborch79 and Hugo Grotius80 on Anglican divines 75

Kenneth L. Parker, “Tractarian Visions of History,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, 151-165. 76 Ibid., 155-160. 77 Ibid., 164. 78 omas Mozley, Reminiscences Chiefly of Oriel College and the Oxford Movement, 2 vols. (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1882), II, 400. 79 Philipp van Limborch (1633-1712), Dutch Remonstrant (anti-Calvinist) theologian. 80 Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) was a celebrated Dutch jurist and Arminian theologian who dedicated himself to the reunion of the Churches.

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such as William Chillingworth.81 At first Newman remained surprisingly understanding of the reasons why the late seventeenth-century Church of England came to pursue a policy of Protestant unity. Nonetheless, Newman regarded the Revolution of 1688 as “a crisis in her fortunes” for the Church of England as “it bound her almost in slavery to a latitudinarian and secularizing policy.”82 What he called “Revolution Protestantism” was “too cold, too tame, too Socinian-like to reach the affections of the people.”83 Newman privately even feared that the revered Caroline Divine Henry Hammond was “tinctured as regards the Sacraments with Grotianism.”84 Newman was clearly in agreement with his disciple and friend Samuel Wood’s comment in May 1837 that he proposed to write an article in the high church journal the British Critic, pointing out, “that the Arminianism which succeeded the Calvinism of the Reformation and was its reaction, and which assumes to itself […] the name of Orthodoxy, is just as non-catholic and more Rationalistic, and as far removed from the Mysterious and True System as Calvinism.”85 For Newman, the Caroline Divines were to remain a selective band of witnesses, not to be accepted uncritically. Even in the compilation of catenae in the Tracts for the Times, the theology of the extracts was not claimed as normative or authoritative in every case. e purpose was simply to show that the particular doctrines involved had the testimony of an Anglican ‘chain of witnesses’. For example, Newman defended against Froude’s the reprint of John Cosin’s History of Popish Transubstantiation (1627) as Tract 27, on the ground that it was a useful weapon against the popularity of ‘low’ views on the Eucharist associated with the eighteenth-century ultra-latitudinarian divine, Benjamin Hoadly. Likewise, when an old high churchman, Godfrey Faussett, Oxford’s Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, denounced the Tractarians for a “revival of Popery” partly on account of a Eucharistic doctrine “closely bordering

81

[J.  H. Newman], “Le Bas’s Life of Archbishop Laud,” British Critic 19, no.  88 (April, 1836), 368. A godson of Archbishop Laud and briefly a Roman Catholic convert, William Chillingworth (1602-1644) was the author of The Religion of Protestants: A Safe Way to Salvation (1638). 82 Newman MS. D.5.13, “Revolution of 1688,” Birmingham Oratory Archives/ Newman Digital Archive. 83 J. H. Newman to H. J. Rose, May 11, 1836, in Letters and Diaries, V, 295. 84 J. H. Newman to E. Churton, March 14, 1837, in Letters and Diaries, VI, ed. Gerard Tracey (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 41. 85 S. F. Wood to J. H. Newman, April 8, 1837, in Letters and Diaries, VI, 53.

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on consubstantiation,” Newman complained that Faussett was really attacking the teaching of Laud and Cosin etc.86 One of the most significant elements in Newman’s construct of an Anglican via media between Rome and Geneva was its tentative and provisional character. For Newman it remained, “to be tried whether what is called Anglo-Catholicism, the religion of Andrewes, Laud, Hammond, Butler, and Wilson, was capable of being put into practice.”87 For him, it was but “a fine drawn theory, which has never been owned by any body of churchmen” and which had “slept in libraries.”88 For Newman, such a theology could not compete with a living system, even one as corrupted as he then claimed Rome to be. Nonetheless, it would be wrong to assume, as some (including myself) have plausibly argued, that at this relatively early stage on his religious journey Newman was putting the Church of England on trial.89 ere was nothing predetermined about the outcome. As early as May 1836, Newman had confided to Rose that “the Anglican system of doctrine is in matter of fact not complete – that there are hiatuses which have never been filled up – so that, though one agrees with it most entirely as far as it goes, yet one wishes something more.”90 By appealing directly to Antiquity Newman advocated abandoned points of primitive practice such as prayers for the dead (in Tract 77) and a reintroduction of an at least modified form of monasticism (in the British Magazine, vii. 666-667). In Tract 41, Newman even suggested that the irty-Nine Articles be supplemented by the insertion of an explicit statement of a doctrine of apostolic succession. is may have been in line with later Non-Juror teaching but there was a subtle difference in 86

J. H. Newman, A Letter to the Rev. Godfrey Faussett, D.D. Margaret Professor of Divinity, on Certain points of Faith and Practice (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1838), 19-20. 87 Newman, Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church, 20. 88 John Henry Newman, Discussion and Arguments on Various Subjects (1872) (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1911), 17-19; Wulstan Peterburs, “e Rise and Fall of the Anglican Via Media of John Henry Newman: Some Implications for Ecumenical eology,” Downside Review 129 (2011): 1-21, at 5. 89 For this view, see George Herring’s comment: like Luther three centuries earlier, Newman was “personally testing the beliefs, formulas and practices of the ecclesiastical body in which he had been born; did they answer the needs of both his intellect and spirit? Like Luther he would need time, but the emerging answer was just as negative.” George Herring, What Was the Oxford Movement For? (London: Continuum, 2002), 62; Nockles, “Survivals or New Arrivals?,” 161. 90 J. H. Newman to H. J. Rose, May 1, 1836, in Letters and Diaries, V, 291-292.

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tone here in Newman’s position from that of Alexander Knox whose emphasis was on a via media enshrining ‘mental freedom’. Whereas for Newman the Anglican faithfulness to Antiquity needed to be proved and any defects from primitive teaching needed to be made good and ‘realized’ by the current Church of England, for Knox such faithfulness was taken for granted and any dissonance between Anglican and patristic teaching was purely hypothetical.91 While for Newman the Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church repudiated the ‘errors’ of both Protestantism and Romanism with the Church of England positioned as a ‘middle way’ between the two, in practice Newman was more dismissive of the former than the latter. When Newman as a Roman Catholic reissued the Lectures in 1877 with a new preface, he conceded that he had “acted far more as an assailant of the religion of the Reformation than of what he called Popery.”92 He thus gave retrospective credence to the fears expressed at the time of the original publication by some high church supporters of the Oxford Movement as well as by its fiercest evangelical opponents. In the Lectures, Newman invoked a Church Catholic which neither Canterbury nor Rome fully represented. e same assumption underscored Tract 71 in which Newman conceded that the sacramentum unitas, regarded as essential for the purity of faith, had been “shattered in the great schism of the sixteenth century.” In consequence, Newman argued that at least since that era, “Truth has not dwelt simply and securely in any visible Tabernacle.”93 Not surprisingly, Tract 71 le a disquieting impression on Newman’s high church allies, with Rose complaining that Newman had only contended that there was safety in allegiance to the Church of England upon the mere principle of “any port in a storm.”94 One scholar, on the evidence of this Tract, dates the beginnings of Newman’s “emotional inclination towards Rome.”95

91 David McCready, The Life and Theology of Alexander Knox: Anglicanism in the Age of Enlightenment and Romanticism (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 41. 92 John Henry Newman, The Via Media of the Anglican Church, 2 vols., 3rd ed. (London: Longmans, 1877), I, xvi. 93 Tract 71. Tracts for the Times [1836], 29-31. Tracts for the Times. Vol. III [1835-1836] (London: Rivington; Oxford: Parker, 1836). 94 H.  J. Rose to J.  H. Newman, May 13, 1836, J.  W. Burgon, “Hugh James Rose: Restorer of the Old Paths,” in Lives of Twelve Good Men, 2 vols. (London: John Murray, 1889), I, 116-283, at 215-216. 95 Rune Imberg, In Quest of Authority: The ‘Tracts for the Times’ and the Development of the Tractarian Leaders, 1833-1841 (Lund: Lund University Press, 1987), 105.

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Newman’s Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification (1838) represented an attempt to endow the via media with doctrinal as well as ecclesial meaning. e two were linked. e bête noir of the Lectures was the Protestant principle of private judgment and in reaction an attempt to assert the mediation of the visible Church in the life of faith. A via media was drawn between a Lutheran interpretation of justification by faith alone and a Roman Catholic doctrine of justification by obedience, by recourse to a justification formulated in terms of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the soul of the Christian.96 e relationship of faith and works in justification was construed so as to avoid an undue reliance on personal spiritual experience. It was on this issue rather than on that of the doctrine of a visible Church, that Newman parted company most decisively with evangelicals. Its main argument was “directed against the beliefs which he himself had held as an evangelical,”97 while it has also been criticized for its misrepresentation of Luther’s teaching.98 It represented a departure from the position of many protestant high churchmen such as Samuel Wilberforce,99 who combined a high doctrine of the visible Church and sacraments with a highly Protestant forensic view of justification by faith.100 It was with these sensitivities in mind, that Newman’s friend Samuel Francis Wood cautioned Newman to tread carefully when treating this subject. As Wood warned Newman: Is not the peculiar [i.e. evangelical] view of justification in some sense their stronghold as it is only false as being partial and distorted, and has there not been a great school on that side since the Reformation? […] men must be induced to drop their notions on this point by being made good Catholics, and not vice versa. e last thing is like pulling at a horse’s tail instead of his bridle.101

96 John Henry Newman, Lectures on Justification (London: Rivington, 1838), 316-317. 97 Henry Chadwick, “e Lectures on Justification,” in Newman after a Hundred Years, ed. Ian Ker and Alan G. Hill (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), 287308, at 289. 98 Alastair McGrath, “Newman on Justification: An Evangelical Anglican Evaluation,” in Newman and the Word, ed. Terrence Merrigan and Ian Ker (Louvain: Leuven University Press, 2000), 91-107, at 107. 99 Samuel Wilberforce (1805-1873), later highly influential Bishop of Oxford, then Winchester. 100 David Newsome, The Parting of Friends: A Study of the Wilberforces and Henry Manning (London: John Murray, 1966), 334. 101 Samuel F. Wood to J. H. Newman, April 8, 1837, in Letters and Diaries, VI, 53. Modern scholarship bears out a theological consensus on the doctrine of Justification by Faith among Elizabethan, Jacobean and early Caroline

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However, the Caroline Divines, especially Bishop Bull, were invoked in support of Newman’s views on this doctrine. Newman later conceded that the summer of 1839 represented the high point of the Movement and also of his own Anglican allegiance. He later recalled that his article, “Prospects of the Anglican Church” in the April 1839 issue of the British Critic, represented his “last words as an Anglican to Anglicans.” How did this happen? As long as the Church of England could be proved to be at one with Antiquity, all was well. However, the confidence of that allegiance predicated in these terms, was dealt two hammer blows through his private study and reading during that late summer. As Newman later recalled, “About the middle of June I began to study and master the history of the Monophysites […] It was during this course of reading that for the first time a doubt came upon me of the tenableness of Anglicanism.”102 Antiquity was Newman’s stronghold, but his reading of this history led him to conclude that it was difficult to regard the Monophysites as heretics, “unless Protestants and Anglicans were heretics also; difficult to find arguments against the Tridentine Fathers, which did not tell against the Fathers of Chalcedon; difficult to condemn the Popes of the sixteenth century, without condemning the Popes of the fih.”103 is appeared to leave Newman’s Tractarian party “in the position of the Oriental Communion, Rome was, where she now is.”104 According to Newman’s Apologia account, his first doubts about Anglicanism were also influenced by Wiseman’s comparison of Anglicanism with Donatism in the Dublin Review, which when Newman read it in September 1839, gave him ‘a stomach ache’ aer the completion of his Monophysite research. As Newman famously put it, Wiseman’s appeal in that article to the palmary words of Saint Augustine, ‘securus judicat orbis terrarum’, could be applied to deciding the controversy with the Monophysites as well as the Donatists, ‘absolutely pulverized’ his theory of the via media. Recent scholarship has underscored the forcefulness of the impact of Wiseman’s article and citations on Newman.105 Catholicity was shown to have been even more important than apostolicity for the early Church.

Divines. Alastair McGrath, “Anglican Tradition on Justification,” Churchman (1984), 32; Louis Weil, “e Gospel in Anglicanism,” Study of Anglicanism, 64-71. 102 Newman, Apologia, 208. 103 Ibid., 209. 104 Ibid. 105 Morgan, The Search for Continuity, 152-154.

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From now on, any appeal to antiquity as proof of Anglican apostolicity had to depend on a different basis. Any vision of apostolicity and unity had to include the authority and unity of the contemporary Church. Newman’s review of William Palmer’s Treatise on the Church of Christ in the British Critic in 1838 had already hinted at his uncertainty over the viability of the traditional high church ‘branch theory’. Palmer had denied that unity in doctrine was a note of the Church.106 Newman considered Palmer’s theology to be the best and most authoritative representative of Anglicanism.107 However, Newman was already uneasy with the apparent separation of doctrine from the Church implicit in the Anglican theory. As he observed in the review, “What becomes of the notes of the Church? What purpose do they serve? What relief and guidance is afforded to the inquiring mind, if the Church thus indicated preaches Popery in Rome and Zwingli-Lutheranism in England? e difficulty is certainly considerable?”108 Wiseman’s article heightened this latent misgiving. Although Benjamin King has recently suggested that the force of the Donatist/Anglican and Monophysite analogies were retrospective emphases by Newman and that ‘doctrinal history’ rather than ecclesiology were primarily at stake,109 ecclesiology played a part in the first loosening of his Anglican allegiance. For the first time, Anglicanism was failing Newman’s ‘reality’ test. Nothing would be quite the same again, though some of Newman’s Tractarian allies, notably Pusey, did not realize this for many years. In a revealing exchange with Pusey on the matter of ecclesiology as late as August 1844, Newman wrote: “What am I to say but that I am one who, even five years ago, had a strong conviction, from reading the history of the early ages, that we are not part of the Church?”110

106 William Palmer [of Worcester College], Treatise on the Church of Christ, 2 vols. (London: Rivington, 1838), I, 96-97. 107 Essays Critical and Historical by John Henry Cardinal Newman. Vol. 1: With an Introduction and Textual Appendix by Andrew Nash (Leominster: Gracewing, 2019), “Editor’s Introduction,” xxvi. 108 [J.  H. Newman], “Palmer’s Treatise on the Church,” British Critic 24 (October, 1838): 363. 109 Benjamin J. King, Newman and the Alexandrian Fathers: Shaping Doctrine in Nineteenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 162-163. 110 Newman to Pusey, August 28, 1844, in H.  P. Liddon, Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey, II, 2nd ed. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1894), 406.

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3. Where Is the Church of Catholicism? e central question for Newman was becoming not so much what is the Catholicism of the Church but where is the Church of Catholicism?111 Newman’s article in the British Critic in January 1840, “e Catholicity of the English Church” was an attempt to allay his own nagging doubts, tackling the ecclesiological issue of Anglican Catholicity head-on. e ‘difficulty’ which Newman posed was that, “the Church being ‘one body’, how can we, estranged as we are from every part of it except our own dependencies, unrecognized and without intercommunion, maintain our right to be considered as part of that body?”112 Newman cited various Caroline and Non-Juror Divines as exponents of the ‘branch theory’ of independent episcopal churches but appeared to distance himself from it in the face of Saint Augustine’s famous dictum. Nonetheless, he took comfort in the fact that the Church of England had providentially survived and the fact that the Roman Church had a much less close connection with the faith of the primitive Church. is was hardly a ringing endorsement of Anglicanism. at Newman was not entirely convinced by his own apologetic was revealed in a private letter at this time in which he confided: A great experiment is going on, whether Anglocatholicism has a root, a foundation, a consistency, as well as Roman Catholicism, or whether (in the language of the day) it be a “sham.” I hold it to be quite impossible, unless it be real, that it can maintain its ground – it must fall to pieces – this is a day when mere theories will not pass current.113

‘Reality’ meant ‘living’. As the question of the notes of the Church in Anglicanism – catholicity or even apostolicity came to be contested and problematic in his mind, so the ultimate other note, that of holiness became ever more important for Newman. Without it the other notes would be superficial. Did the Church of England bear the marks of sanctity? Newman had already begun to wonder if the Church of England lacked “the provisions and methods by which Catholic feelings are to be detained.” His own translations of the Roman Breviary in Tract 75 had been a way of furnishing richer devotional models. He was on the lookout for signs of holiness and spiritual life in the past and present history

111

Morgan, The Search for Continuity, 215. Newman, “e Catholicity of the English Church,” British Critic 22, no. 60 (January, 1840): 53. 113 J. H. Newman to W. C. A. MacLaurin, July 26, 1840, in Letters and Diaries, VII, ed. G. Tracey (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 369. 112

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of Anglicanism. is took Newman back to a closer examination of Caroline and Non-Juror spiritual writing. One fruit of this renewed interest was Newman’s translation and arrangement of the prayers of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), which comprised Tract 88. However, Newman eventually was to conclude that while the Church of England had historically produced worthy examples of piety such as Bishop Wilson, it was outshone by the spiritual luster of Roman Catholic models of sanctity. Newman’s friend, Dean Church, put his finger on how and why Anglican spirituality failed to impress and hold Newman as he lost other grounds of confidence. For Newman, It had little taste for the higher forms of the saintly ideal; it wanted the austere and high-strung virtues; it was contented, for the most part, with the domestic type of excellence, in which goodness merged itself in the interests and business of the common world, and working in them, took no care to disengage itself or mark itself off, as something distinct from them and above them.114

Significantly, Newman’s support for the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology designed to showcase the theology and spirituality of the seventeenth-century divines was always half-hearted. It came perhaps too late for him – it was only established in 1841, five years aer the commencement of the Library of the Fathers in 1836. Newman emphasized from the start that the project was ‘no plan of mine’. He confided the basis of his misgivings in a revealing letter to the project’s secretary, Charles Crawley, in January 1841: “For myself, I have never had any desire, or made any effort to manage our divines – I do not want to make them better than they are – I do not wish to bring the early Church to their judgment seat – Really I think one can bear to differ from them.”115 As we have seen, the standard high church Anglican method had been to bring the early Church to the judgment seat of the Church of England and its formularies, whereas Newman increasingly preferred to take the Anglican divines to the judgment seat of the early Church. He had lost all patience with the idea which he had advocated in his 1826 letter to Rickards, to try to harmonize and unify their teaching and witness and instill what he regarded as consistency into Anglican theology. Gone now was a concern to treat with the Anglican divines ‘as a whole’ and create a ‘consensus fidelium’ or ‘corpus theologicum et ecclesiasticum’. However, 114

R. W. Church, “Newman’s Apologia” (Guardian, 22 June 1864), in Occasional Papers, 2 vols. (London: Macmillan & Co., 1897), II, 390. 115 Newman to C. Crawley, January 14, 1841, in Letters and Diaries, VIII, ed. G. Tracey (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999), 17.

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Newman was to engage in one more ‘throw of the dice’ in his attempt to ‘re-catholicize’ the Church of England. Within two weeks of his letter to Crawley throwing cold water on the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology, Newman embarked on perhaps his most ambitious and problematic work of controversy as an Anglican. According to Newman’s narrative in the Apologia, Tract 90, “Remarks on Certain Passages in the irty-Nine Articles,” published January 25, 1841, represented his last attempt to maintain the Anglican via media between Catholicism and Protestantism. He hoped that it might resolve for him that tension which he felt existed between the Vincentian dictum and the Anglican formularies. Newman now claimed that the Articles condemned only what he called the “dominant errors” or “the actual popular beliefs and usages sanctioned by Rome in the countries in communion with it” rather than “the Catholic teaching of early centuries.”116 Newman attempted to distinguish popular abuses from the formal decrees of the Council of Trent. Moreover, in his parsing of the various Articles to make his point, Newman cited and took shelter behind an array of mainly Caroline Anglican Divines. One criticism of Tract 90, as I have shown elsewhere, was that Newman was highly selective in his citations from those divines.117 Moreover, Kenneth Parker and Michael Pahls have persuasively highlighted Newman’s reliance on a work published in 1634 by Francis a Sancta Clara, aka Christopher Davenport, an early seventeenth-century Oxford convert to Catholicism. e question posed by Parker and Pahls was whether Newman’s Tract 90 really was his last ‘throw of the dice’ to justify the tenability of Anglicanism, or rather, a more ambitious project – an attempt to reconstruct Anglicanism on a more Catholic basis as a springboard for reunion between Canterbury and Rome. Pusey, as in his “Historical Preface” to a new edition of the Tract 90 published in 1865, assumed the latter. However, given Newman’s notorious reluctance to go along with reunion or ecumenical schemes, the former seems more plausible. Nonetheless, as Parker and Pahls conclude, it may not have been a case of ‘either/or’ but ‘both/and’.118 116

Newman, Apologia, 159-160. Peter Nockles, “Oxford, Tract 90 and the Bishops,” in John Henry Newman: Reason, Rhetoric and Romanticism, ed. David Nicholls and Fergus Kerr, O.P. (Bristol: e Bristol Press, 1991), 28-87, at 44-45. 118 Michael G. Pahls and Kenneth L. Parker, “Tract 90: Newman’s Last Stand or a Bold New Venture,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, 304319, at 305. See also George H. Tavard, The Quest for Catholicity: A Study in Anglicanism (London: Catholic Book Club, 1963), 149-160. 117

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As is well known, the hostile reaction to Tract 90, with a relentless spate of censures from the Anglican bishops and university authorities, undoubtedly contributed to the ebbing away of Newman’s residual faith in Anglicanism. e establishment of an Anglican-Lutheran bishopric at Jerusalem in November 1841 was the final nail in the coffin.119 He had long previously rejected the Church and churches of the Reformation which Anglican high churchmanship had upheld. He had tested to destruction any existing Anglican consensus on the nature of the Church of England as both Catholic and Reformed, while also losing sympathy with those of its characteristics as national and established which older high churchmen had valued. Newman may have had nearly four more years within the Church of England, but his Anglican life as a committed Anglican was already effectively over, as symbolized by his retreat to Littlemore. As he famously put it in the final stages of his narrative in the Apologia: “From the end of 1841, I was on my death-bed, as regards my membership with the Anglican Church, though at the time I became aware of it only by degrees […] A death-bed has scarcely a history; it is a tedious decline, with seasons of rallying and seasons of falling back.”120 Such language points to the reasons for the slowness of the conversion process for Newman. Loss of faith in Anglicanism, which for a season led to his retreating to ‘pure Protestantism’, by no means directly correlated to a positive pull towards Rome. ere were further hurdles to come on that leg of his journey which culminated in his reception into the Roman Catholic Church by Blessed Dominic Barberi on 9 October 1845. It was through his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, based on the last of his University Sermons published in 1843, The Theory of Developments in Religious Doctrine, that he confronted and was able to provide answers to the Anglican apologetic which he had hitherto espoused.121 What on Protestant principles could be dismissed as doctrinal corruptions could now be seen as an elucidation of the original deposit of faith through the Spirit’s presence in the Church. In a famous analogy, just as a child could not exactly resemble the appearance of the man he becomes, so the Church of the day could not exactly resemble her early self.

119

See Nockles, The Oxford Movement in Context, 157-164. Newman, Apologia, 257. On Newman’s long Anglican ‘deathbed’, see Gilley, Newman and His Age, 209-222; Sheridan Gilley, “Newman’s ‘Anglican Deathbed’,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, 320-329. 121 See C. Michael Shea, “Doctrinal Development,” in The Oxford Handbook of John Henry Newman, 284-303. 120

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4. Epilogue and Conclusions What the Tractarian Newman had sought in Antiquity was unity of faith. His patristic reading convinced him that he had found it there. Once he had started to shi from his earlier evangelical moorings towards a more sacramental view of religion with an emphasis on obedience, he became aware of a lack of unanimity over even some core doctrines within the Church of England. e high church Anglican tradition began to exert an appeal, though it remained unclear that his religious journey would take him in that direction. As early as 1826 he was looking for ways of forging a unified consensus of Anglican teaching from the ‘band of witnesses’ to higher truths which he was identifying from Anglican history. He wished to circumvent the extent to which those witnesses differed among themselves. Rickards was gently dismissive of Newman’s plan, and one of Newman’s later bitterest critics, Edwin Abbott, fastened on to this interchange as pregnant of future consequences. For Abbott, this plan was “characteristic of Newman, proceeding from him, as it did, at a time when he knew extremely little about” the Anglican divines. Of course, Newman would make the selection to suit his purpose, Abbott complained.122 Newman could be privately disparaging about “the old unspiritual high church” or ‘high and dry’ and, with the notable exceptions of Rose and Palmer of Worcester,123 never developed close social relations with members of that party. Yet he readily settled for an alliance of convenience with Anglican high churchmanship in the early and middle phases of the Oxford Movement. Yet just as the evangelical Newman struggled to claim Anglicanism as his own, so it was with the Tractarian Newman. His confessional identity in both cases was almost a secondary consideration. In both instances he had to harmonize his own religious allegiance and experience with the doctrinal and liturgical tradition of his Church. Both attempts proved ultimately unsuccessful.124 Tensions and differences between Newman and his evangelical coreligionists had widened in the late-1820s. A similar pattern followed from the mid-1830s onwards as tensions and differences widened between Newman and old high churchmen. Newman increasingly rejected the Reformers and the Protestant nature of the Church of England. He 122 Edwin Abbott, The Anglican Career of Cardinal Newman, 2 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1892), I, 88-90. 123 Newman consulted Palmer when writing his Arians of the Fourth Century. Nockles, “Church or Protestant Sect,” 466. 124 Zuijdwegt, An Evangelical Adrift, 83.

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reluctantly concluded that even the Caroline Divines had their limitations. ey, including Hooker, were only serviceable when strictly “agreeable to Catholic doctrine.”125 His attempt to interpret the Anglican formularies by reference to the Fathers and Anglican divines reached an unsuccessful apogee in Tract 90. Newman’s sister-in-law Anne Mozley complained that when appealing to the Anglican divines, he selected “here a teacher, there an authority,” but accepted “them no further than they fell in with his views.”126 Newman had earlier come to fault evangelicalism for its theological inconsistency – evangelicals had to choose between Churchmen or Dissenters. In a similar way, he came to fault high churchmanship for not recognizing that the Church of England must choose between Protestantism and Catholicism. Like evangelicals, high churchmen rejected the stark polarities which Newman presented them with. Doubt has been cast on whether Newman’s via media was really a middle way.127 In the end, as Christopher Dawson has suggested, “it was not a Via Media but a Via Ultima,”128 – a steep and narrow way. Newman’s understanding of the via media was not in terms of an amalgam of Catholic and Protestant elements which it came to mean for others, as if it merely signified the Anglican spirit of comprehension, compromise or consensus, or was a mere via negativa.129 While Newman’s Broad Church theologian contemporary F.  D. Maurice may have reformulated the theory in these terms,130 for Newman, even while he remained a committed Anglican, this would have amounted to “an exercise in eclecticism.”131 As he explained years later, his argument “founded on the term via media did not lie so much in Anglicanism as being in the middle, as in ‘Romanism’ 125

Newman, Lectures on Justification, 442. [Anne Mozley], “Dr Newman’s Apology,” Christian Remembrancer 8 (July, 1864), 178. 127 Imberg, In Quest of Authority, 85. 128 Christopher Dawson, The Spirit of the Oxford Movement and Newman’s Place in History (1933) [New edition] Introduced by Dr Peter Nockles. With a Biographical Note by Mrs Christina Stott (London: e Saint Austin Press, 2001), 114. 129 Morgan, The Search for Continuity, 111. 130 Stephen W. Sykes, The Integrity of Anglicanism (London: Mowbray, 1978), 16. However, Jeremy Morris, the acknowledged authority on F. D. Maurice, disputes this, arguing that Maurice strenuously denied that his view was ‘eclectic’ or ‘systematizing’. Jeremy Morris, The High Church Revival in the Church of England: Arguments and Identities (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 202, 206. 131 John R. Griffin, “Cardinal Newman and the Eclectic Heresy,” The Heythrop Journal 52 (2011): 410-417, at 412. 126

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being in the extreme.” He did not argue that “that which is in the middle must be right.”132 Moreover, Newman’s abandonment of the via media was “far from being a sudden flight” but “was a slow and hard-fought retreat in which he stubbornly contested every inch of the ground.”133 e tenacity of Newman’s adherence to the Vincentian canon held him back.134 Yet ultimately the via media, as he interpreted it, failed to satisfy Newman because he concluded that it could not be realized in the Church of England as a whole. Newman never really recovered his confidence in Anglicanism aer the hammer blows dealt him in 1839 with his study of the Monophysite controversy and Wiseman’s article with its analogy between the Church of England and Donatism as heresies leading to schism. Both these blows upset his notions of a balance of the center and periphery of authority and unity within the Church. e Anglican Newman also had to face the uncomfortable fact that many of his anti-Tractarian opponents made the same appeals to Anglican history and theology as he had done but with startling different results and outcomes. is reaction tested to destruction any attempt to repackage them into a coherent or unified consensus. Even his methodology of citing in the Tracts for the Times long lists or catenae patrum of Anglican divines was copied by some opponents in refutation of the very doctrines and practices for which he claimed their sanction.135 Newman’s longstanding anti-Tractarian opponents, of course, interpreted his abandonment of the Church of England for Rome in 1845 as proof not only of Newman’s bad faith as acting as ‘a papist in disguise’ but as showing how the tradition of high churchmanship as a whole was crypto-Roman in its tendency. Yet even many of his former followers and some disciples felt let down and some in retrospect asserted that he had misled and abandoned them. e argument made was that Newman

132 J. H. Newman to H. P. Liddon, December 18, 1877, in Letters and Diaries, XXVIII, 283. 133 Dawson, The Spirit of the Oxford Movement, 114. 134 Pereiro, Ethos and the Oxford Movement, 171. 135 For example, see William Goode, The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice, 3 vols. (London: Herman Hooker, 1842), and id., Tract XC Historically Refuted (London: J. Hatchard, 1845). See also Peter Toon, Evangelical Theology 18331856: A Response to Tractarianism (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1979), 138-139; Kenneth L. Parker, “Newman’s Individualistic Use of the Caroline Divines in the Via Media,” in Discourse and Context: An Interdisciplinary Study of John Henry Newman, ed. G. Magill (Carbondale, IL: South Illinois University Press, 1993), 34.

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had taken up Anglicanism not as ‘a given’ but as a paper theory which he tested by criteria of his own making. His friend Hugh James Rose had privately chided him in the mid-1830s for suggesting that the apostolic succession was “a truth now first recovered”136 and that the theological system represented by the via media existed only on paper. On the contrary, Rose asserted, it was “already found for us” and had long existed.137 In an influential article in the wake of Newman’s secession, his former disciple James Mozley questioned whether, in effect, Newman had ever been “one of us” or ever understood historic Anglicanism as an insider.138 Newman’s one-time curate and disciple, Isaac Williams made a similar point. Williams felt that Newman had regarded the whole Tractarian movement as an experiment which “he did not know whether the Church of England would bear, and knew not what would be the issue,” the Church of England being put on a trial of his own devising.139 John William Burgon even used the evidence of Newman’s candid correspondence with Hugh James Rose in the 1830s to raise a question mark over his Anglican loyalty.140 Newman was aware of all this. He was scathing about the first version of Burgon’s account published in The Quarterly Review in 1878, complaining that Burgon had made out Routh, the venerable President of Magdalen, to be ‘a mere Anglican’. By implication, Newman probably thought that Burgon had similarly misrepresented Rose.141 A few advanced high churchmen such as W. J. E. Bennett, even raised the specter of “the sin of schism.”142 Frederick Meyrick was particularly scathing of Newman’s course, absurdly denying Newman’s status as leader of the Oxford Movement while at the same time denigrating him for misdirecting it in the direction of Rome,143 and for his ‘restlessness’, 136 H.  J. Rose to J.  H. Newman, May 9, 1836, Burgon, “Hugh James Rose: Restorer of the Old Paths,” 211. 137 H. J. Rose to H. E. Manning, March 20, 1837, Ms Eng Lett c. 654, fol. 107, Bodleian Library, Oxford. 138 [J. B. Mozley], “e Recent Schism,” Christian Remembrancer 11 (January, 1846): 167-218, at 178. 139 Williams, Autobiography, 104. 140 Burgon, “Hugh James Rose: Restorer of the Old Paths,” 164-166. 141 Newman to J.  R. Bloxam, March 8, 1879, in Letters and Diaries, XXIX, ed.  Charles Stephen Dessain and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), 66. 142 W. J. E. Bennett, The Schism of Certain Priests and Others Lately in Communion with the Church: A Sermon (London: W. J. Cleaver, 1845). 143 Fredrick Meyrick, Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism (London: Skeffington and Son, 1901), 231.

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carrying the movement beyond its original position as “taken up by the Caroline Divines of the seventeenth century.”144 Erik Sidenvall has recently analyzed the hostile high church reaction to Newman’s conversion and of a resurgence of ‘anti-Romanism’ even from within later Anglo-Catholicism.145 Some Anglican critics argued that Newman was simply impatient. If only he had been content to let Tractarian teaching do its silent work, all would have been well.146 is might seem to misunderstand the nature of Newman’s search for religious truth and his quest to ‘realize’ theoretical doctrine, though it can be argued that the via media was in fact ‘realized’ and embodied in the Tractarian parochial revival aer 1845.147 Some were more charitable, notably Pusey, who described Newman’s departure for Rome as just moving to ‘another vineyard’, while his old friend, Richard Church, later Dean of St Paul’s, remained personally loyal. Newman emerges as the hero in his classic The Oxford Movement: Twelve Years (1891). His diagnosis of Newman’s reasons for leaving the Church of England was closer to the truth. As Dean Church later put it, for Newman, “Anglicanism was too limited, it was local, insular, national, its theory was made for its special circumstances.”148 One must return to the question whether Newman was ever a high churchman or rather, did he himself think he was? If in his letter to Rickards in 1826 Newman seemed to step aside from party labels, in the Apologia when looking back on his early Tractarian phase he did the same. Belying his use in 1857 of the ‘high church’ descriptor for a sermon he had preached in the mid-1820s, in the Apologia Newman recalled that while having supreme “confidence in our cause, yet as to the high Church and low church, I thought that the one had not much more of a logical basis than the other.”149 e case for Newman’s detachment from high church Anglicanism has also been made by the late J. M. Cameron who commented: “One might well say that Newman was never really an

144

Frederick Meyrick, Scriptural and Catholic Truth and Worship. Or: the Faith and Worship of the Primitive, the Medieval and the Reformed Anglican Churches (London: Skeffington and Son, 1901), 268. 145 Erik Sidenvall, After Anti-Catholicism? John Henry Newman and Protestant Britain, 1845-c. 1890 (London: T&T Clark, 2005), chap. 4. 146 Memorials of William Charles Lake, Dean of Durham, 1869-1894 (London: Edward Arnold, 1901), 45. 147 Herring, Oxford Movement in Practice, 19-20. 148 Church, “Newman’s Apologia,” 390. 149 Newman, Apologia, 50.

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Anglican with a lively affection for the Church of England as it actually was and functioned.”150 In this, Cameron argued, Newman differed from Keble and Pusey. Newman’s candid admissions to Rose in the mid-1830s might seem to lend credence to this view. In one letter in May 1836, Newman even concedes the point to Rose: “You have spoken the truth, not that I would go and tell everyone at Charing Cross, I do not love the Church of England.” However, Newman’s immediate qualification is important: “I love it for its human traits so sanctified and assimilated into the substance of the Church apostolic; but I cannot endure, except by patience and resignation, the insults of the world which she has worn now three hundred years.”151 Clearly, the Church establishment in bondage was one thing, the pure Church apostolic another. ere is no reason to doubt that Newman’s confident commitment as an Anglican to the latter was anything but wholehearted – the frequency of the words ‘confidence’ and ‘confident’ is striking. It is too easy, and only with the benefit of hindsight, to explain away his championship of the via media merely as a staging-post on a pre-ordered religious odyssey.152 Newman was wounded by James Mozley’s taking this line, complaining to Mozley’s sister and his own sister-in-law Anne Mozley, that it involved a breach of confidentiality – “in his first writings against me, he said what he never would have said without private knowledge of me, intimate conversations with me.”153 It has also been claimed that Newman’s apparent attempt to reconstruct a ‘unique Anglicanism’, not allowing for diversity, was always doomed because based on a myth,154 and that Anglicanism is best defined as a theological method rather than the cut and dried theological system which Newman sought to construct.155

150

J.  M. Cameron, “Editor’s Introduction,” in Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine [1845] (London: Harmondsworth, 1974), 18. 151 Newman to Rose, May 23, 1836, in Letters and Diaries, V, 301-302. 152 Wilfrid Ward, “Some Aspects of Newman’s Influence,” The Nineteenth Century 28, no. 175 (October, 1890): 569. 153 J.  H. Newman to Anne Mozley, July 6, 1878, in Letters and Diaries, XXVIII, 380. 154 Stephen W. Sykes, “Newman, Anglicanism and the Fundamentals,” in Newman after a Hundred Years, 365-366; H.  L. Weatherby, “e Encircling Gloom: Newman’s Departure from the Caroline Tradition,” Victorian Studies 12, no. 1 (September, 1968): 57-58. 155 Henry R. McAdoo, The Spirit of Anglicanism: A Survey of Anglican Theological Method in the Seventeenth Century (London: SPCK, 1965), v-vi.

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As a Roman Catholic, Newman had mixed views of his own Anglican past. He may have decisively rejected the tradition of high church Anglicanism, but he did not turn his back entirely on the tradition which he had made his own for so long and which had helped shape him theologically and spiritually. He was aware of the debt which he owed to it. I hold none of the distinguishing doctrines of Protestantism nor have I for these (almost) forty years. ose doctrines did not advance me to my present opinions. I simply discarded them, and thus I “owe them nothing.” But I do owe much to Anglicanism. It was in the divines of the Anglican Church, Laud, Hooker, Bull, Beveridge, Stillingfleet and others, that I found those doctrines which either are Catholic or directly tend in my own case to Catholic doctrine.156

In fact, Newman’s former championship of Anglicanism continued to have a long aerlife. He was claimed by some as “the founder of modern Anglicanism.”157 In particular, as Paul Avis has observed, his Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church “remains a valuable exposition of the Anglican position.”158 Moreover, as was observed fiy years later, even Newman’s beleaguered defense of “the Catholicity of the Anglican Church” in the British Critic in early 1840 was to serve “as an armoury from which Anglicans have drawn most of their weapons, directly or indirectly ever since.”159 e process began almost immediately. High churchmen lined up to use the rhetoric of a via media against Newman’s Essay on the Development of Doctrine.160 In his early Roman Catholic years, Newman could be uncompromisingly polemical, stressing the grounds of separation from his former religious allegiance. In a letter to a friend, he maintained that the position of those who leave the Church of England, in the only way in which I think it justifiable to leave it, is necessarily one of hostility to it. To leave it merely as a branch of the Catholic Church, for another which I liked better, would have been to desert without reason the post where Providence put me. It is impossible, then, but that a convert, 156 Newman to unknown correspondent, 1 November 1864, in The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, XXXII Supplement, ed. Francis J. McGrath (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 262. 157 W. Meynell, John Henry Newman: The Founder of Modern Anglicanism and a Cardinal of the Roman Church (London: Kegan Paul, 1890). 158 Paul Avis, Anglicanism and the Christian Church: Theological Resources in Historical Perspective (London: T&T Clark, 2002), 240. 159 Luke Rivington, The Conversion of Cardinal Newman (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1891), 9. 160 Benjamin J. King, “Protestant Receptions of the Essay on Development,” 9-29, at 19.

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if justifiable in the grounds of his conversion, must be an enemy of the communion he has le, and more intensely so than a foreigner who knows nothing about that communion at all.161

His Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England (1850) were predicated on self-defense against “a very formidable party,” those Protestants who he regarded as “the heirs of the Traditions of Elizabeth”162 rather than Anglicanism per se. However, in his On Certain Difficulties of Anglicans in Submitting to the Catholic Church (1850), Newman argued that the providential direction of the Oxford Movement had ever been in the direction of Rome and that it had never aimed to remain content with creating a mere party in the Church of England. e initial goal had been to re-catholicize the Church of England as a whole. e search for a consensus fidelium in the English Church, which had begun with his letter to Rickards in 1826, eluded him. He was to conclude that AngloCatholicism was uncongenial to the Church of England. It could not be assimilated by it and was an alien substance. Tractarian teaching was never able to claim the sanction of authority. It could only survive in the Church of England on a purely party basis, by claiming the same latitude as that claimed by and granted to Latitudinarians. In the Apologia, in which he described the Anglican Church as “a time-honoured institution, of noble historical memories, a monument of ancient wisdom,”163 a mellower tone is evident. Newman was anxious there to show that he had championed historic Anglicanism for a season in entirely good faith and with conviction. Originating as it did as an act of self-defense against the charges of dishonesty raised by Charles Kingsley, it was important for him to rebut the claim that his conduct towards the Anglican Church, while he was a member of it, was in any way that of a ‘fih columnist’. He was thus anxious to enlist the sympathy of Anglican readers. In a letter to Sir John Taylor Coleridge in 1869 he conceded that while “severity in speaking against Anglicanism” might be “necessary in a Catholic” it could also become “an outlet of ill-natured and spiteful feelings.”164 In 1871, he published a two-volume edition 161 J.  H. Newman to T.  W. Allies, February 20, 1849, omas W. Allies, A Life’s Decision (London: Kegan Paul and Co., 1880), 176. 162 John Henry Newman, Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England […] With an Introduction and Notes by Andrew Nash (Leominster: Gracewing, 2000), 364. 163 Newman, Apologia, 340. 164 John Henry Newman to Sir J.  T. Coleridge, February 7, 1869, in Letters and Diaries, XXXI, ed. C. S. Dessain and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), 86.

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Essays Critical and Historical, which comprised a collection of articles from his Tractarian Anglican years, mainly taken from the British Critic (which Newman edited from 1838-41). It is significant that he made only minimal alterations to the texts of the original articles. On the other hand, he was aware that his earlier Anglican writings continued to be used to defend the Anglican position. us, his strategy in Essays Critical and Historical, as Andrew Nash shrewdly observes, was to show that the principles of the Oxford Movement really led to the Roman Catholic Church.165 Moreover, it has been argued that his famous Preface to the 1877 edition of the Via Media (the republication and new edition of his Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church) was composed partly in response to reports in 1874 from his friend Emily Bowes that the Tractarian clergyman Francis Paget (1806-82), nephew and one-time chaplain to Newman’s former Anglican ordinary Bishop Bagot of Oxford, was using the original Lectures to help dissuade Bowles’ friend, Lady Downe, the fourth daughter of the Bishop, and thus Paget’s cousin, from joining the Roman Catholic Church.166 In the Via Media, Newman sought to correct or explain his former by his later self. Yet, at the same time, Newman could assure Pusey’s disciple, the leading Anglo-Catholic Henry Parry Liddon, that the republication of the Lectures was not directed against the Church of England as such, apart from a few words, which he could “not conscientiously help,” but was rather primarily “directed against myself, against my defence of the Church of England, against my assault upon the Church of Rome.”167 Another sign of Newman’s soer attitude towards his former creed was in his efforts to restore various broken Anglican friendships. In this, William John Copeland (1804-85), former one-time Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, and curate at Littlemore, enjoyed pride of place. His renewed friendship with Copeland preceded the publication of the Apologia in 1864. For many of the facts which Newman related in the Apologia, he relied on the return of old letters which he had sent to his friends such as Copeland and which were willingly returned to him for this purpose. It was Copeland who went on to edit a new edition of Newman’s Anglican Plain and Parochial Sermons in the

165 A. Nash, “Editor’s Introduction,” in Essays Critical and Historical by John Henry Cardinal Newman, viii-ix. 166 Weidner, ed., The Via Media of the Anglican Church, xlvii. 167 J. H. Newman to H. P. Liddon, December 18, 1877, in Letters and Diaries, XXVIII, 282-283.

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late-1860s.168 Richard William Church, one of his former disciples and by then Dean of St Paul’s was another recipient of Newman’s renewed hand of friendship. In 1873 Newman dedicated to him a new edition of his Oxford University Sermons, “as one of those dear friends who, in five trying years from 1841 to 1845 in the course of which this volume was written, did so much to comfort and uphold me.”169 A further example of the store that Newman put on his past Anglican ties was the record of lapidary dedications of his publications to Anglican friends and mentors.170 Some Roman Catholic writers indeed expressed surprise that Newman continued to have any Anglican friends at all. On the other hand, it was manifestly not the case that his renewal of contact with them was a sign of any wavering in his own new ecclesiastical allegiance as some contemporaries darkly hinted. Every so oen Newman himself outspokenly corrected these false rumors.171 e rise and fall of Newman’s faith in high church Anglicanism by no means represented the end of Newman’s religious journey. For him, the Oxford Movement was always intended to be far more than an abstruse dialogue about the theoretical nature of Anglicanism.172 It started life as an assault on religious liberalism as much as a defense of the Anglican establishment and had within it a life of its own. His part in it cannot be reduced merely to that of a chapter in Anglican church history. Both on the eve of, and aer his conversion to Roman Catholicism, Newman’s ideas continued to evolve and change, not least in terms of ecclesiology173 and the way he interpreted the Fathers.174 is was partly under the influence of new friends, authors, and events. Nonetheless, despite the crossing of the Rubicon in 1845, the Newman of the Apologia and the Grammar of Assent was closer in terms of theological vision to the Tractarian Anglican Newman of the early and mid-1830s than to the evangelical Newman of the 1820s. He brought into Roman Catholicism certain of his key Anglican teachings, notably on the sovereign role of 168 Kenneth Macnab, “Newman’s Turkey: Abiding Friendships aer 1845,” unpublished lecture. 169 Gunter Biemer, “e Anglican Response to Newman” (book review), Philosophical Studies 8 (1958): 66. 170 Henry Tristram, Newman and His Friends (London: John Lane, 1933). 171 Sidenvall, After Anti-Catholicism?, 32-33. 172 Herring, Oxford Movement in Practice, 1. 173 See Ryan J. Marr, To Be Perfect Is to Have Changed Often: The Development of John Henry Newman’s Ecclesiological Outlook, 1845-1877 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018). 174 See King, Newman and the Alexandrian Fathers, chaps. 4-5.

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conscience and the importance of the laity. In spite of the searching critique of high church Anglicanism and pleas to former disciples to follow his path in his Lectures on Anglican Difficulties, enduring elements of common ground and affinity connected the Roman Catholic Newman with the Anglican Newman.

2 How to Argue with Unbelief Newman, Ward, and Manning Engage the Secular Geertjan Zuijdwegt

One can imagine many ways Christians could approach unbelievers, and the Church has tried quite a variety in its long history. Preach to them is one. Persecute them is another. A third option with a long pedigree is to engage in argument. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have,” says 1 Peter, and this injunction has been used to sanction apologetics from the Patristic era to ours. But Christian conceptions of the role of argument and the scope of reason in addressing unbelief have varied considerably. In this paper, I analyze the apologetic response of three prominent Victorian Catholics to what they, along with many Christians of the day, perceived as the rapid secularization of English intellectual culture. e subject is suited to the occasion, not only because it deals with John Henry Newman, but also because one of Terry Merrigan’s long-cherished wishes is to write a book on the place of Christian faith in secular culture. Perhaps the exilic state of retirement will provide the conditions required for such a momentous effort. If so, the present modest contribution might prove of some use. Besides Newman, I will be considering William George Ward and Henry Edward Manning. All three were Oxford educated converts from Anglicanism, and despite considerable differences in their subsequent ecclesial careers, they all became leading Catholic intellectuals. Although good comparative work has been done about them, the present contribution directs attention away from the intra-ecclesial spectrum on which their thought is commonly mapped out. Usually, Ward and Manning are presented as unbending Ultramontanists, who could not tolerate diversity in Catholic theological opinion, and rejected nineteenth-century achievements in critical historiography and the natural sciences. eir intransigence is contrasted with Newman’s openness to the liberal Catholicism of the Rambler and the Home and Foreign Review and to pioneering work in the fields of ecclesiastical history or evolutionary

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biology by people like Ignaz von Döllinger and St George Mivart. Even ad intra, this simplistic opposition is hard to maintain, but ad extra, it breaks down completely.1 When their engagement with unbelief is compared, Ward and Manning prove surprisingly open, while Newman appears more intransigent than many would guess. is difference does not only exist on paper. It was part and parcel of how they approached actual unbelievers.2 More than other branches of religious thought, apologetics presumes engagement not only with a given society and its culture, but with concrete proponents of that culture. Just think of Origen’s Contra Celsum. Unlike Origen and Celsus, Newman, Ward, and Manning had the chance to meet and debate the unbelieving luminaries of their day. But while Ward and Manning pounced on the opportunity, Newman spurned it. 1. Encountering Unbelief in the Metaphysical Society In 1869, one of the most remarkable debating clubs of the Victorian era was set on foot, the Metaphysical Society. Originally conceived as a means to unite prominent Christian intellectuals against the rising tide of unbelief, it was soon adapted to include those unbelievers themselves. In fact, it was at one of the first meetings of the Society that the biologist omas Henry Huxley coined the term agnosticism in order to distinguish his intellectual position from both atheism and Christianity. Ward and Manning were founding members of the Society, whose ranks comprised most of the day’s important intellectuals.3 As the informal hub of midVictorian religious discussion, it brought them into direct contact with a variety of unbelievers, including agnostics like Huxley, positivists like Frederic Harrison, and atheists, such as William Clifford. Meetings took place at the Grosvenor Hotel in London about nine times a year, always on Tuesdays at 8.30 p.m. Aer dinner, a paper was read by one of the members followed by discussion. Both Ward and Manning played an active and esteemed role in the Society. Manning delivered six papers between 1871 and 1879. He served as the Society’s chairman in 1873.

1

See James Pereiro, Cardinal Manning: An Intellectual Biography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998). 2 For present purposes, an unbeliever is defined as one who (i) does not affirm the existence of the Christian God, and (ii) does not identify with another religion. 3 Notable exceptions were John Stuart Mill, Matthew Arnold, Herbert Spencer and, as we shall see, Newman.

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Ward too was chairman, in 1870, and read three papers between 1869 and 1874.4 Upon the recommendation of Ward and others, Newman too was requested to be among the Society’s founding members. Richard Holt Hutton, editor of The Spectator, was asked to invite him, and did so in February 1869. Newman respectfully declined. He averred he was too old and a bit too unworldly. Besides, he did not feel learned enough, always “having dabbled in many things, and […] mastered nothing.”5 Hutton repeated the invitation in March 1871 with some urgency. “e physicists are almost too many for us,” he explained, “we really stand in the deepest need of a mind of your order of power on the positive side of metaphysical and ethical questions.”6 Newman declined once again. He professed to be too shy, and not a good debater: “I am not a ready man, and should spoil a good cause.”7 A few years later, when he found out what actually happened at the Society, Newman was glad he had never joined. “I hear that you and the Archbishop of York (to say nothing of Cardinal Manning etc.) are going to let Professor Huxley read in your presence an argument in refutation of our Lord’s Resurrection,” he wrote in dismay to his old friend Richard Church, Dean of St Paul’s.8 Newman felt such a scene would compromise members of the clergy – Anglican and Catholic – and wondered how on earth a question of fact like the occurrence of the resurrection could “come under the scope of a Metaphysical Society.”9 “I thank my stars that, when asked to accept the honour of belonging to 4 See Alan Willard Brown, The Metaphysical Society: Victorian Minds in Crisis, 1869-1880 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1947); Catherine Marshall, Bernard Lightman, and Richard England, eds., The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, 1869-1880: A Critical Edition, 3 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). 5 John Henry Newman to Richard Holt Hutton, February 27, 1869, in The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, XXIV, ed. Charles Stephen Dessain and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), 225-226. 6 Richard Holt Hutton to Newman, March 21, 1871, in Letters and Diaries, XXV, ed. Charles Stephen Dessain and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), 303. 7 Newman to Richard Hold Hutton, March 22, 1871, in Letters and Diaries, XXV, 304. 8 Newman to Richard William Church, January 11, 1876, in Letters and Diaries, XXVIII, ed. Charles Stephen Dessain and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), 11. e paper was Huxley’s “e Evidence of the Miracle of the Resurrection,” January 11, 1876, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, II, 366-372. 9 Newman to Richard William Church, January 11, 1876, in Letters and Diaries, XXVIII, 11.

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it, I declined,” he confided to Church. Newman simply could not comprehend Manning’s acquiescence in such sacrilegious proceedings, adding wittily: “Perhaps it is a ruse of the Cardinal to bring the Professor in the clutches of the Inquisition.”10 But Manning was not hunting heretics at the Grosvenor Hotel, quite the contrary. He actively engaged with Huxley’s thought. In a paper read before the Metaphysical Society in November 1870, Huxley – with some irony – had discussed the question, Has a Frog a Soul? Huxley’s purpose was to bewilder rather than to argue. Still, his description of the data obtained in dissecting a living frog suggested that – as in frogs, so in humans – the soul was either purely material or did not exist.11 Two months later, Manning read a paper in reply. He directly challenged Huxley’s implicit contention that human consciousness “is no more than a function of the brain.”12 Integrating the then cutting-edge brainresearch of William Carpenter with fundamental insights from scholastic philosophy, Manning presented a systematic account of the relation of the will to thought and defended the immaterial nature of the soul. e paper was published in the Contemporary Review, and shows that far from being “out of his depth” at the Metaphysical Society, as Edmund Purcell notoriously maintained, Manning could hold his own.13 William Magee, the Anglican Bishop of Peterborough, was probably nearer the mark when he recounted Manning’s bearing in the Society as “clever and precise and weighty.”14 Ward’s intellectual capacities were valued no lower among the Metaphysical Society’s members. Huxley remembered Ward as “a quick-witted dialectician, thoroughly acquainted with all the weak points of his antagonist’s case.”15 Huxley would occasionally come over for dinner at the 10 Newman to Richard William Church, January 11, 1876, in Letters and Diaries, XXVIII, 11. 11 omas Henry Huxley, “Has a Frog a Soul; and of What Nature Is at Soul, Supposing It to Exist?,” November 8, 1870, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, I, 177-184. 12 Henry Edward Manning, “What Is the Relation of the Will to ought?,” January 11, 1871, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, I, 205. 13 Cf. Henry Edward Manning, “e Relation of the Will to ought,” Contemporary Review 16 (February, 1871): 468-479; Edmund Sheridan Purcell, Life of Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster, vol. 2 (London: Macmillan, 1895), 513. 14 William Connor Magee to Mrs. Magee, February 13, 1873, in John Cotter MacDonnel, The Life and Correspondence of William Connor Magee, Archbishop of York, vol. 1 (London: Isbister, 1896), 284. 15 omas Henry Huxley to Wilfrid Ward, in Wilfrid Ward, William George Ward and the Catholic Revival (London: Macmillan, 1893), 314-315.

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Ward’s, and one time, he and Ward were so engrossed in discussion that “each returned home alternately with the other some five or six times, ending in a final parting very near cock-crow.”16 “[W]e soon became the friendliest of foes,” Huxley reminisced.17 e Unitarian theologian James Martineau praised Ward’s “singular metaphysical acuteness” and described him as a “skilled logical detective of fallacies.”18 Although Ward was one of the most regular attendants at the Society’s meetings, he presented fewer papers than Manning. is was partly due to the fact that in contrast to Manning, the primary forum for Ward’s intellectual engagement with unbelief was the periodical press rather than the Metaphysical Society. As editor of the leading Catholic periodical the Dublin Review and occasional contributor to secular journals such as the Contemporary Review and the Nineteenth Century, Ward consistently challenged the epistemological underpinnings of Victorian unbelief for over a decade. 2. Ward, Manning, and the Argument with Mill Already in his Anglican days, Ward actively pursued controversy with unbelievers. In 1843, he wrote a lengthy review of John Stuart Mill’s A System of Logic for the British Critic, in which he developed in outline the core arguments against the empiricism of Mill that became the stockin-trade of his later writings. Ward believed that if Mill’s fundamental position, that all knowledge is derived from experience, was granted, “the whole fabric of Christian eology must totter and fall.”19 Five years later, with his usual frankness, Ward addressed Mill personally: “I am rather anxious to understand to the bottom your grounds of unbelief.”20 He promised Mill strict confidentiality and listed a series of religious subjects on which he would like to hear Mill’s opinion. Mill courteously replied and honestly stated his objections to Christianity, emphasizing his disbelief in miracles and dislike for St Paul.21

16 omas Henry Huxley to Wilfrid Ward, in Ward, William George Ward and the Catholic Revival, 317. 17 omas Henry Huxley to Wilfrid Ward, ibid., 314-315. 18 James Martineau to Wilfrid Ward, ibid., 312. 19 William George Ward, “Mill’s Logic,” British Critic 34 (October, 1843): 349-427, at 356. 20 William George Ward to John Stuart Mill, Winter 1848, in Ward, William George Ward and the Catholic Revival, 27. 21 John Stuart Mill to William George Ward, Spring 1849, in The Later Letters of John Stuart Mill, 1849-1873, ed. Francis E. Mineka and Dwight N. Lindley,

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Between 1851 and 1858, while teaching at St Edmund’s Seminary, Ward systematized his thought, drawing on scholastic philosophy and theology. In 1860, he published the results as the Philosophical Introduction to a projected five-volume series On Nature and Grace. Its first section succinctly summed up the epistemological argument against Mill. According to Mill, human knowledge extends only to information derived from our present experience of phenomena. Ward termed this position phenomenism and countered it by arguing that the human mind has another way of arriving at truth, namely, rational intuition. is position he termed intuitionism. e core of Ward’s apologetic was to show that such intuitional knowledge was possible, and he took his stand on two grounds: mathematical truth and the trustworthiness of memory. In his Logic, Mill had argued that even our knowledge of arithmetical and geometrical truths, such as 2 + 2 = 4 and ‘two straight lines cannot enclose a space’, was derived from experience. Mill explained the fact that we perceive such propositions as necessarily true by means of association psychology. According to Mill, a proposition like 2 + 2 = 4 represents a matter of fact that we have experienced so oen and so invariably that we necessarily associate 2 and 2 with 4. But this necessity is merely psychological; the result, in effect, of conditioning. Ward strongly opposed this account. Geometrical propositions such as ‘all figures with three sides have three angles’ are known to be necessarily true simply through reflecting on them. e necessity involved is conceptual, not psychological: “So soon as I understand the meaning of this proposition […] I judge at once that this proposition is quite certainly true.”22 Ward called such judgments ‘judgments of intuition’. Another such judgment is the judgment that my current memory of a certain event corresponds to a past fact. If all knowledge is derived from our present experience of phenomena, as Mill argued, I have no ground to believe that I began writing this paragraph about five minutes ago. e only thing I know is that I have at present the impression that I did so. I have no means to determine the factual truth of my recollection, because I cannot appeal beyond my present experience. Such a conclusion is patently absurd. It would mean that I could not even form a syllogism, because in drawing a conclusion I could not be sure that Collected Works of John Stuart Mill 14 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972), 25-30. 22 William George Ward, On Nature and Grace. I: Philosophical Introduction (London: Burns and Lambert, 1860), 6.

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I actually held the premises. And thus, Ward argued that the judgment that ‘what I remember at present corresponds to past facts’ is intuitive; of the same nature as our intuitive convictions about necessary truth in mathematics and to be trusted as the mind’s correct perception of reality. Mill recognized the cogency of Ward’s appeal to memory but did not think it fatal to his theory. In 1865, he published An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy, a comprehensive and extremely effective attack on the intuitionist position as represented by the Scottish philosopher William Hamilton and the Oxford theologian Henry Mansel. Mill conceded that: Our belief in the veracity of Memory is evidently ultimate: no reason can be given for it which does not presuppose the belief […] is point is forcibly urged in the Philosophical Introduction to Mr. Ward’s able work, “On Nature and Grace:” a book the readers of which are likely to be limited by its being addressed specially to Catholics, but showing a capacity in the writer which might otherwise have made him one of the most effective champions of the Intuitive school.23

Ward expressed his gratitude for Mill’s “kind notice” of him on receiving a presentation copy of the Examination.24 Yet, Ward believed Mill had not seen the true import of his argument from memory, and he reiterated it in a paper for the Metaphysical Society entitled On Memory as an Intuitive Faculty. In 1871, when the intra-ecclesial controversy over the First Vatican Council was subsiding, Ward began a series of articles in the Dublin Review challenging Mill’s philosophical position. Mill replied in new editions of the Logic and the Examination, but his death in 1873 cut short the debate. In the Dublin Review, Ward lamented Mill’s death as “a matter of severe controversial disappointment,” but continued his attack on Mill’s philosophy nonetheless.25 He also distributed his articles among the members of the Metaphysical Society. is proved too much for one of them, the religious critic, lawyer, and later judge of the High Court, James Fitzjames Stephen – a follower of Mill in epistemological (but not in political) matters. Raised in an evangelical home, Stephen gradually

23 John Stuart Mill, An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1865), 174-175. 24 William George Ward to John Stuart Mill, April 28, 1865, in Ward, William George Ward and the Catholic Revival, 278-279, at 278. 25 William George Ward, “Mr. Mill’s Reply to the ‘Dublin Review’,” Dublin Review 21 (July, 1873): 1-49, at 4.

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dried away from Christianity, until he felt “altogether estranged from it and convinced in a quiet way […] that it is not true at all.”26 In March 1874, Stephen read a paper for the Metaphysical Society, attacking Ward’s position on necessary truth. As a thoroughgoing empiricist, Stephen lampooned the obscurity of Ward’s syllogisms, denied that there was a distinction between contingent and necessary truth and defended Mill’s associationism.27 Ward was not present at the meeting, but he read a reply at the July meeting of the Society. Unperturbed by Stephen’s critique, Ward argued, with due use of irony, that Stephen misunderstood the (logical) meaning of contingency and necessity, along with defending the necessary truth of certain axioms in geometry and challenging their derivation from experience.28 Because Ward published his reply in the Dublin Review, Stephen felt obliged to disseminate his original paper. He published it in the Contemporary Review with a word of explanation and lengthy additional comments on Ward’s reply.29 Ward had the last word, though, in the next instalment of the Contemporary.30 Little was gained through the debate; it did not get them any closer to one another, nor did it gain much in clarity, but it does remain instructive as an illustration of conflicting intellectual tempers. Unlike Mill, who regarded Ward as one of his ablest opponents, Stephen was unimpressed with Ward’s philosophic capacities. Never one to mince words, Stephen penned a summary dismissal to Emily Cunningham: “I think he writes great nonsense.” “His great object in life,” Stephen explained, “is to dig out of his own mind some sort of philosophical foundation for his creed, in which I think he fails – outrageously & egregiously – never even making the first steps.”31 Still, Stephen liked Ward, who struck him “as an honest but prejudiced bear;” “a rare specimen of a bigoted old English squire with a great deal of good 26 Stephen’s Autobiographic Fragment, in K.  J.  M. Smith, James Fitzjames Stephen: Portrait of a Victorian Rationalist (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 243. 27 James Fitzjames Stephen, “Some oughts on Necessary Truth,” March 10, 1874, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, II, 128-140. 28 William George Ward, “A Reply on Necessary Truth,” July 14, 1874, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, II, 198-211. 29 William George Ward, “A Reply on Necessary Truth,” Dublin Review 23 (July, 1874): 54-63; James Fitzjames Stephen, “Necessary Truth,” Contemporary Review 25 (December, 1874): 44-73. 30 William George Ward, “Necessary Truth [In Answer to Mr. Fitzjames Stephen],” Contemporary Review 25 (March, 1874): 527-546. 31 James Fitzjames Stephen to Emily Cunningham, December 4, 1874, CUL Add MSS. 7349/8.

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humour & a certain sort of talent about him only that it is all perverted and so to speak poisoned by his religion.”32 He acknowledged, moreover, that Ward was “the champion of Roman Catholic reason, as Newman is of R.C. faith” and that debate was meaningful (even though he felt he had “kicked him into a cocked hat” in the Contemporary Review exchange).33 Ward certainly did not feel bested. He ploughed on with his apologetic project right up to his death, challenging William Clifford’s famous paper The Ethics of Belief and Alexander Bain’s determinist denial of free will. Ward’s object was always the same: to disprove Mill’s empiricism and demonstrate the capacity of the intellect for intuitive knowledge so as to open a way for conclusive proofs of theism based on necessary truths. He summed up his basic intuition in his last published article in 1882, “If there be Necessary Truth, there must be a Necessary Being, on Whom such Truth is founded.”34 Although Manning’s apologetic output was much more limited than that of Ward, he shared his fundamental philosophical framework. In a Metaphysical Society paper intended, as he told Gladstone, “to lay once more the flagstone under the intellectual certainty of the order of nature,”35 Manning offered a scholastic account of the mind and the way it reached truth parallel to Ward’s. He offered a similarly scholastic account of the soul in response to a paper by Frederic Harrison that denied the soul’s immaterial nature. In a brief paper on a similar subject, The Objective Certainty of the Immaterial World, he took a remark by Huxley on Descartes as his starting point to argue that our knowledge of the immaterial world is more certain than that of the material world.36 As chairman, in June 1873, Manning delivered what was arguably his best paper, and, as Allan Brown observes, one of the defining moments 32 James Fitzjames Stephen to Emily Cunningham, November 20, 1874, CUL Add MSS. 7349/8. 33 James Fitzjames Stephen to Emily Cunningham, December 4, 1874, CUL Add MSS. 7349/8; James Fitzjames Stephen to Emily Cunningham, December 24, 1874, CUL Add MSS. 7349/8. 34 William George Ward, “Philosophy of the eistic Controversy,” Dublin Review 7 (January, 1882): 49-85, at 74. 35 Henry Edward Manning to William Ewart Gladstone, May 21, 1872, in Shane Leslie, Henry Edward Manning: His Life and Labours (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1921), 321. 36 Henry Edward Manning, “at Legitimate Authority Is an Evidence of Truth,” May 14, 1872, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, I, 362-379; “e Soul before and aer Death,” February 13, 1877, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, III, 45-52; “e Objective Certainty of the Immaterial World,” May 27, 1879, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, III, 258-260.

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in the life of the Metaphysical Society.37 In A Diagnosis and Prescription, Manning offered an analysis of the course of the debates in the Society so far and suggested improvements. Although he praised the personal – and occasionally intellectual – rapprochement achieved at the Society, the main part of his paper was devoted to an incisive analysis of the want of a common method in its debates. In line with Ward, Manning reduced the variety of positions among the members “to two ultimate schools, namely, to those who take their point of departure from the intuitions of the Reason, and to those who take their point of departure from the reports of Sense.”38 Although clearly preferring the former, Manning took a conciliatory approach, and proposed the critical philosophy of Kant “as a cobble-stone in the gulf between us.”39 He proposed, moreover, that the Society should aim for more unity in terminology and clarity in definition – a suggestion by which he himself faithfully abided. 3. Newman, Stephen, and the First Principles of Unbelief Although Newman dodged membership of the Metaphysical Society, he defended his controversial religious choices and theological views in writing. Just think of his theological justification for converting to Roman Catholicism in An Essay on the Development of Doctrine (1845), his defense of the integrity of his personal religious trajectory in the Apologia pro vita sua (1864) or his elaborate argument for the reasonableness of believing what you can neither demonstrably prove nor fully understand in An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent (1870). Although his works resonated with many, there was plenty of backlash too, especially from liberal Anglicans and agnostics. Newman, so their common critique went, defended superstition by means of skepticism. Aer demolishing the capacity of reason to arrive at religious truth, he argued for intellectual submission to Catholic dogma based on the experience of conscience. In doing so, he set up a false dilemma, proposing Catholicism as the only coherent alternative to atheism.40 37 Cf. Brown, Metaphysical Society, 71-85. I do not share Brown’s negative appraisal of Manning’s intellectual achievements in this paper – he seems too much influenced by Purcell’s slanted portrayal. 38 Henry Edward Manning, “A Diagnosis and Prescription,” June 10, 1873, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, II, 50. 39 Ibid., 57. 40 See my “Scepticism and Credulity: Victorian Critiques of John Henry Newman’s Religious Apologetic,” Journal for the History of Modern Theology 20 (2013): 1-24.

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Fitzjames Stephen was a vehement proponent of this strand of Victorian criticism. In fact, his engagement with Newman was almost cathartic. As one of his biographers notes, “[I]n unravelling the nature of Newman’s system of reasoning Stephen peeled away dead or dying layers of his own beliefs.”41 Stephen already formulated the gist of his persistent verdict on Newman’s apologetic in an 1856 book review. He claimed that Newman was a specialist at special pleading – apt “not to find the bottom of a question, but to put a bottom into it” – and that the “whole tendency of his theological speculation for years past has been to prove that no resting-place is possible between Romanism and Atheism.”42 In a lengthy review of the Apologia almost a decade later, Stephen reiterated this critique and objected especially to Newman’s understanding of probability, his disregard for factual evidence, and his defense of religious mystery. In the Apologia, Newman argued that religious certitude can be legitimately derived from probable evidence; it is the result “of the accumulative force of certain given reasons which, taken one by one, [are] only probabilities.”43 Stephen had no qualms with probable reasoning, but he did not think it could ever justify making up one’s mind once and for all. Any honest inquirer, he argued, ought “to keep himself open to conviction in case further evidence should occur.”44 Stephen also blamed Newman for ignoring factual evidence. Newman had admitted that he could not see God at work in society, so that without God’s “voice, speaking so clearly in my conscience and my heart, I should be an atheist, or a pantheist, or a polytheist when I looked into the world.”45 For Stephen, this amounted to intellectual dishonesty: the facts point in one direction, but Newman takes another. And thus, Stephen concluded, “if Dr. Newman was thoroughly honest he would be an atheist.”46 A similar flaw vitiated Newman’s defense of religious mystery. In an early Catholic sermon, Newman had tried to show the inconsistency of objecting to Catholic doctrines like transubstantiation because they are mysterious, while at the same time believing in God’s existence – an equally mysterious 41

Smith, James Fitzjames Stephen, 224. Stephen, “Dr. Newman on Universities,” The Saturday Review, December 13, 1865, 733-734, at 734. 43 Newman, Apologia pro vita sua: Being a Reply to a Pamphlet Entitled “What, then, Does Dr. Newman Mean?” (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1864), 323. 44 Stephen, “Dr. Newman’s ‘Apologia’,” Fraser’s Magazine 70 (September, 1864): 265-303, at 274. 45 Newman, Apologia, 377; cf. Stephen, “Dr. Newman’s ‘Apologia’,” 275. 46 Stephen, “Dr. Newman’s ‘Apologia’,” 280. 42

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doctrine. “If I must submit my reason to mysteries,” Newman concluded, “it is not much matter whether it is a mystery more or a mystery less.”47 For a careful empiricist like Stephen, this was “reckless scepticism taking the form of the wildest superstition.”48 In the face of mystery, he later noted, we should simply confess “that we have got into a region of which we know nothing, and therefore ought to say nothing.”49 Newman read Stephen’s review in Fraser’s Magazine, but considered it more of a lawyer’s brief than a philosopher’s treatise. He saw too many “shallow,” “unfair” and “shameful” bits to give it much consideration.50 When Stephen proposed to visit him at the Oratory – which he did in October 1865 – Newman thought he had come to say sorry. Although Stephen did apologize when they met, his visit had a different purpose. He tried to thoroughly probe Newman for a defense of Christianity. e result was sorely disappointing. Stephen came away convinced that Newman “had nothing to say to anyone who did not go four fihs of the way to meet him.”51 When he asked Newman for proofs to convince an unbeliever, Newman simply replied – as Stephen recollected it – “I cannot work miracles,” or, as Newman remembered the conversation, “[am] I God, to make alive?”52 “I asked not for miracles but for proofs,” Stephen wryly commented.53 In 1874, Stephen summed up his earlier critique of the Apologia in the course of an attack on Manning in the Contemporary Review, attributing Newman’s “passionate belief ” to wishful thinking. A sly footnote reminded the reader that Newman had never answered his original criticism.54 e footnote did not go unnoticed. Lady Chatterton brought the charge to the notice of Newman, who responded with exasperation. “I have no wish to see Mr Stephen’s article, for ten years he has been at 47 Newman, Discourses Addressed to Mixed Congregations (London: Longman, 1849), 290. 48 Stephen, “Dr. Newman’s ‘Apologia’,” 285. 49 James Fitzjames Stephen, “On a eory of Dr. Newman’s as to Believing in Mysteries,” January 12, 1875, in The Papers of the Metaphysical Society, II, 245. 50 Newman to Jonathan Henry Woodward, April 20, 1870, in Letters and Diaries, XXV, 103-104. 51 James Fitzjames Stephen to Emily Cunningham, September 23, 1874, CUL Add MSS. 7349/8. 52 Ibid.; Newman to Jonathan Henry Woodward, April 20, 1870, in Letters and Diaries, XXV, 103-104, 104. 53 Stephen to Emily Cunningham, September 23, 1874, CUL Add MSS. 7349/8. 54 James Fitzjames Stephen, “Caesarism and Ultramontanism,” Contemporary Review (December, 1873): 497-527, at 509.

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me and I have no intention to controvert with him.”55 In 1876, Stephen made a final attempt to talk about religion with Newman, once more proposing a visit to the Oratory. Annoyed with being cross-examined without realizing it on Stephen’s former visit, Newman declined. He replied that because of their different first principles, discussion was “a melancholy waste of time.”56 Stephen had gathered as much from their earlier exchange. “e substance of it was that he & I differed on first principles, & therefore could hardly discuss,” he wrote to Emily Cunningham. What Stephen really took away from it, though, was that Newman “was unable to argue at all against my principles.”57 Newman would probably have agreed. Describing their conversation to Jonathan Henry Woodward in 1870, he wrote: it never occurred to me to argue […] And this I should ever maintain, that there must be first principles which cannot be proved and must be assumed, and that, unless the phenomenon of conscience brought home to a man the existence of God, I could say nothing to convince him. Between such a man and me there was a difference so fundamental, that neither could argue with the other.58

In 1881, Newman gave a similar account of the conversation to William Lilly. “Aer hearing his arguments I had said to him ‘It is no good our disputing; it is like a battle between a dog and a fish – we are in different elements’ meaning what I have said at Grammar of Assent p. 416.”59 Newman’s reference to the Grammar is no coincidence, but it does take some explaining. Upon reading Stephen’s review of the Apologia, one of Newman’s close friends, the renowned naval architect William Froude, had confided to Newman that he strongly agreed with Stephen’s take on probability. Newman replied that he too had seen the concurrence with Froude’s view. “I should like to write on the subject in question,” he added, “most especially like and desire and pray to do

55 Newman to Lady Chatterton, March 5, 1874, in Letters and Diaries, XXVII, ed. Charles Stephen Dessain and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), 29-30, 30. 56 Newman to James Fitzjames Stephen, February 14, 1876, in Letters and Diaries, XXVIII, 25-26, 26. 57 James Fitzjames Stephen to Emily Cunningham, November 20, 1874, CUL Add MSS. 7349/8. 58 Newman to Jonathan Henry Woodward, April 20, 1870, in Letters and Diaries, XXV, 104. 59 Newman to W. S. Lilly, February 17, 1881, in Letters and Diaries, XXIX, ed. Charles Stephen Dessain and omas Gornall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), 337-338.

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so.”60 To Woodward, he later recounted how on reading Stephen’s review, he had thought to himself: “to answer an argument which makes a thousand assumptions, none of which I grant, is to write a book.”61 at book was the Grammar. It answered some of Stephen’s core charges, explaining at length how religious certitude can be justifiably based on an accumulation of probabilities and how belief in mysteries can be reasonable. But when it came to conscience as the basis of belief in God, Newman stuck to his guns. e Grammar’s argument for Christianity began with an important caveat. “I have no scruple in beginning the review I take of Christianity by professing to consult for those only whose minds are properly prepared for it,” Newman wrote. Such properly prepared people are “those who are imbued with the religious opinions and sentiments which I have identified with Natural Religion.”62 is state of mind can only be acquired by due attention to one’s conscience and moral sense, and includes a belief in God’s presence and in the unseen world, an overpowering awareness of sin, a desire to love God and to be reconciled with Him, and an eager looking-out for revelation. Downplaying sin, moral evil, and the supernatural dimension of reality, by contrast, characterize the opinions of “a civilized age.” Such modern opinions render argument futile. “I will not argue about Christianity with men who hold them,” Newman wrote, “because it is plainly absurd to attempt to prove a second proposition to those who do not admit the first.”63 It is clear that Newman regarded Fitzjames Stephen as one of those hopeless cases – the passage just quoted being on page 416 of the Grammar. e supreme irony of Newman’s relations with Stephen is that they concluded with Newman doing what he so studiously had tried to avoid: arguing with Stephen. In 1880, Stephen had a final dig at Newman’s apologetic. In St. James’s Gazette, he once more charged Newman with confining “his defence of his own creed to the proposition that it is the only possible alternative to Atheism.”64 e silent reference, of course, is 60

Newman to William Froude, September 30, 1864, in Letters and Diaries, XXI, ed. Charles Stephen Dessain and Edward E. Kelly (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), 245-246, 245. 61 Newman to Jonathan Henry Woodward, April 20, 1870, in Letters and Diaries, XXV, 104. 62 Newman, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, 5th ed. (London: Burns & Oates, 1881), 415-416. 63 Ibid., 416. 64 James Fitzjames Stephen, “Old Creeds and New,” St. James’s Gazette (November 18, 1880): 11-12.

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once more to the Apologia, which argued that there is “no medium, in true philosophy, between Atheism and Catholicity, and that a perfectly consistent mind, under those circumstances in which it finds itself here below, must embrace either the one or the other.”65 Before he learned that Stephen wrote the article, Newman responded to the charge in an appendix to the fih edition of the Grammar. Although disclaiming the crude interpretation of his words in the Apologia, he still argued: [T]here is a certain ethical character, one and the same, a system of first principles, sentiments, and tastes, a mode of viewing the question and of arguing, which is formally and normally, naturally and divinely, the organum investigandi given us for gaining religious truth.66

But there is also a negative corollary to this positive set of commitments, which operates in the other direction: “when a Catholic is seriously wanting in this system of thought, we cannot be surprised if he leaves the Catholic Church, and then in due time gives up religion altogether.”67 e same (bad) logic that leads one to reject belief in revelation, easily issues in a rejection of belief in God. is line of reasoning was foreign to Ward and Manning. As Manning put it, in a dimly veiled critique of the Apologia: “I do not believe that the alternative before us is Catholicism or Atheism.”68 Even if someone rejects Christianity, still, Manning contended, “the belief of God and of His perfections stands immutably upon the foundations of nature.”69 is disagreement is central to explain the contrasting ways Newman, Ward, and Manning engaged unbelievers. Whereas Newman postulated a set of positive existential commitments and attitudes required to attain religious truth, Ward and Manning merely demanded the absence of antagonistic attitudes and commitments. Newman maintained “that all concrete reasoning requires an act of Will to come to a conclusion.”70 Ward too believed in the role of the will, but only to stifle “adverse prejudices” that barred the inquirer from paying due attention to the

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Newman, Apologia, 322-323. Newman, Grammar, 499. 67 Ibid. 68 Henry Edward Manning, The Workings of the Holy Spirit in the Church of England, 2nd ed. (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1865), 24. 69 Ibid., 25. 70 Newman to Mrs. Christie, November 20, 1879, in Letters and Diaries, XXIX, 200-201, 201. 66

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evidence for theism.71 Characteristically, Ward described this evidence as ‘super-superabundant’. 4. Assessing the Divide Ward and Manning believed their intuitionist philosophy provided a secure epistemological basis to establish the truths of Christianity, evident to anyone who would take the trouble of inquiring. Newman was no intuitionist and believed prior moral and religious commitments were required to see the cogency of the argument for Christianity. Ward and Manning believed that they could appeal to a universal standard of reason, shared by believers and unbelievers alike. Newman, on the contrary, did not think such a standard of much avail: [T]he fact remains, that in any inquiry about things in the concrete men differ from each other, not so much in the soundness of their reasoning as in the principles which govern its exercise, that those principles are of a personal character, [and] that where there is no common measure of minds, there is no common measure of arguments.72

In consequence, Newman opted not to debate with unbelievers like Fitzjames Stephen, whose first principles were so different from his own. Ultimately, then, Newman disagreed with Ward and Manning about the depth of the divergence between belief and unbelief. Newman by no means thought all interaction with unbelievers meaningless. He put, aer all, severe effort into understanding and reasoning with William Froude on religious subjects, and their discussion shaped his thought in the Grammar. Newman could do so, however, precisely because Froude already shared some of his first principles – principles which Stephen lacked. Ward and Manning did not think the ri between belief and unbelief ran as deep as Newman maintained. eir personal encounters with many of the leading unbelievers of the day convinced them that argument was meaningful, and could, at least in principle, be decided by appealing to shared standards of rationality.

71 72

Ward, “Philosophy of the eistic Controversy,” 82. Newman, Grammar, 413.

3 Newman, Frankl, and Conscience Individual Call and Ecclesial Belonging Christopher Cimorelli

One of the great blessings of my life was the encounter with Prof. Dr. Terrence Merrigan in an advanced master’s course, “eology of Christian Doctrine,” in the Fall of 2010 at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. As a newly arrived international student in Belgium, I was in the process of adjusting to a new context with many novel challenges, and great uncertainty. Despite his having been in Belgium for several decades by that point, it was a rather simple question from this distinguished – and, in some sense, intimidating – professor aer class one day that was most disarming: “How are you doing?” A couple of classmates and I felt great relief through the ensuing conversation, which demonstrated genuine concern on the part of Prof. Merrigan, who decades earlier had also been a North American student in a new context and could easily empathize with our situation. He emphasized practical matters, like learning how to be a successful student in the Faculty, dealing with landlords, and even how to read the facial expressions of the Flemish. Despite beginning my time in Leuven in the research unit History of Church and eology, it was the personal connection with Terry that led me into systematic theology and Newman studies, for which I remain ever so grateful. In his role as my promoter and Doktorvater, Terry’s mentorship was critically important to my own development as a theologian and critical thinker. Our meetings were experienced by me as equal parts academic and spiritual direction. Scheduled appointments would oen go far beyond the allotted time, taking us in all sorts of (providential) directions. I recall a meeting in my dissertation years, in which we discussed the possible canonization of John Henry Cardinal Newman. We were not sure if the canonization would come to pass – it did, of course, in October of 20191 – but we shared a laugh at the thought 1 “Cardinal Newman Declared a Saint by the Pope,” BBC News England, October 13, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-50032640 [accessed December 19, 2020].

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of what Newman would have made of two lay theologians (with their own families) discussing his own canonization! It has been a privilege to maintain our connection in the years since the dissertation was defended, and it is an honor to provide a contribution to this Festschrift volume. Terry has always emphasized the polarity and tension in Newman’s thought, which has influenced his own work navigating Newman studies, modern Christian thought, secularization, and interreligious dialogue. Rather than perceiving conflict as terminating in a higher, quasi-Hegelian synthesis, Newman had a proclivity for allowing elements to exist in dynamic tension, which is itself productive and non-reductive. Terry’s important work, Clear Heads and Holy Hearts,2 critically examines this feature of Newman’s oeuvre, and his own work, for example, on interreligious dialogue, exhibits this approach, which can support fruitful exchanges between Christians and non-Christians without neglecting particularities in the areas of history, doctrine, and metaphysics.3 In fact, putting such particularities front-and-center is what makes for a more dynamic exchange that is of greater benefit to the interlocutors and their respective traditions. Given this introduction and framing, this chapter will critically examine the writings of two figures who treated the notion of conscience and its implication for living a meaningful life: namely, John Henry Newman (1801-1890) and Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), a renowned psychotherapist and Holocaust survivor who prioritized the will to meaning. For the audience of this volume, Newman’s life and aspects of his thought are likely more well known, given his authoring of classic texts on doctrinal development, higher education, and religious epistemology, and how his work proved influential at the Second Vatican Council.4 Newman’s canonization has only further increased his profile and significance. is 2 Terrence Merrigan, Clear Heads and Holy Hearts: The Religious and Theological Ideal of John Henry Newman, Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs 7 (Louvain: Peeters, 1991). 3 See the following by Terrence Merrigan: “Saving the Particular: Incarnation and the Mediation of Salvation in the eology of Religions,” in Orthodoxy, Process and Product, ed. Mathijs Lamberigts, Lieven Boeve, and Terrence Merrigan, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 227 (Louvain, Paris, and Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2009), 299-322; “‘For Us and for Our Salvation’: e Notion of Salvation History in the Contemporary eology of Religions,” Irish Theological Quarterly 64 (1999): 339-348; “Religious Knowledge in the Pluralist eology of Religions,” Theological Studies 58 (1997): 686-707. 4 See, for example, John W. O’Malley, What Happened at Vatican II (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 39, 76-77; Ian Ker, Newman on Vatican II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

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chapter will thus attend to some of the biographical details of Frankl’s life in more depth as it proceeds. is investigation, in keeping with the approach outlined above, will examine the shared emphasis on conscience by Newman and Frankl, attending to their similarities and differences without seeking a reductive synthesis. Doing so will bear greater fruit and respect the work of two pivotal thinkers whose lives, respectively, spanned the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Concretely, the chapter is structured in three sections. After a brief section featuring biographical notes, the second section will introduce Newman’s and Frankl’s understanding of conscience and what the experience of conscience implies about human existence, transcendence, and freedom. e third section will focus on the task and limits of conscience in view of responsibility and human fulfillment. It is here that I believe that the arguments of both thinkers are mutually enriching. Frankl’s attention to the individual’s will to meaning arising from an inner exercise of conscience in the here and now – and how this meaning cannot be supplied by any other person or institution – is of potentially great consequence for the psychological-spiritual journeys of many people, especially in more individualistic societies. Yet, Newman’s understanding of conscience and what conscience anticipates transcends the limitations of Frankl’s methodology, particularly in terms of the individual’s relational nature and potential communal and/or ecclesial belonging and fulfillment. As the world faces turbulent times, in calamities ranging from COVID-19 to climate change, a richer understanding of the exercise of conscience, individual meaning, and responsibility to community is needed, and this investigation will contribute to such an understanding through carrying out its stated objectives above. Before getting into the first section, however, I want to make a couple of notes about the source-material utilized in the preparation of this chapter. Given the centrality of the principle of conscience in his work, one could utilize a plethora of Newman’s texts in developing and analyzing his understanding of it. Nevertheless, selections from his “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk,” Grammar of Assent, Philosophical Notebook (vol. 2), Oxford University Sermons, and Arians of the Fourth Century were most useful for this investigation.5 Regarding Viktor Frankl, three texts were 5

John Henry Newman, “A Letter Addressed to the Duke of Norfolk on Occasion of Mr. Gladstone’s Recent Expostulation,” in Certain Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching, vol. 2 (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1900), 246-261 – the letter itself was orginally published in 1875; id., An Essay in

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primarily utilized: Man’s Search for Meaning (1992 edition; first published in 1946),6 Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning (2000 edition; first published in 1948),7 and The Will to Meaning (first published in 1969).8 A host of secondary literature exists for Frankl’s system of logotherapy and his approach to psychotherapy in general. Yet not many of these investigations focus sustained attention on the role of conscience in Frankl’s perspective and logotherapeutic approach.9 1. Biographical Notes is brief section will provide some biographical information, particularly on Viktor Frankl. As indicated above, the life and thought of John Henry Newman will be more familiar to the audience of this Festschrift.

Aid of a Grammar of Assent (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1903) – originally published in 1870; Edward Sillem and A. J. Boekraad, eds., The Philosophical Notebook of John Henry Newman, vol. 2 (Louvain: Nauwelaerts Publishing House, 1970); John Henry Newman, Fifteen Sermons Preached before the University of Oxford, between a. d. 1826 and 1843 (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1909) – originally published under a different title in 1843 and hereaer University Sermons; id., The Arians of the Fourth Century (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1908) – originally published in 1833. 6 Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2006). e original work was entitled, Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager (1946). e English title was originally From Death-Camp to Existentialism. 7 Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning (Cambridge, MA: Basic Books, 2000). is text, in its original Austrian edition, was titled Der unbewusste Gott: Psychotherapie und Religion (1948). e first English edition was titled The Unconscious God (1975). 8 Viktor E. Frankl, The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy, Expanded Edition (New York: Plume, 1988). is book was first published in the USA by World Publishing Co. in 1969. 9 For a critical – and somewhat myopic – treatment of Frankl’s spiritual approach to psychotherapy and knowledge, see the following: Éric St-Amant, “Critique des fondements épistémologiques des approches spirituelles en psychologie,” Canadian Psychology 37, no. 4 (1996): 210-222. Cf. Daniel A.  Helminiak, “Treating Spiritual Issues in Secular Psychotherapy,” Counseling and Values 45, no. 3 (April, 2001): 163-189, which also makes use of Bernard Lonergan’s thought on ‘spirit’ (see p. 166 forward). For a comparison of the thought of Frankl and Karl Jaspers that contains several references to conscience, see Josip Bošnjaković, “Karl T. Jaspers and Viktor E. Frankl: Compared oughts of Two Psychiatrists,” Alcoholism and Psychiatry Research 51 (2015): 89-106. For more on Frankl and the influence of philosophy upon his thought, see Dominik Batthyány and Otto Zsok, Viktor Frankl und die Philosophie (Vienna: Springer, 2005).

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For Newman, ‘conscience’ or the faculty of conscience was a first principle of his entire project,10 which was historical and experiential in nature – one might say, personalist.11 e experience of conscience led him to the firm conviction of not only his own existence, but also God’s, as well as to considerations of the way conscience operates relative to natural and revealed religion(s).12 Newman’s understanding of conscience will be treated in much greater detail below. Frankl became a prominent survivor of the Holocaust, having been imprisoned in Auschwitz and Dachau, among other locations.13 While a well-regarded figure in psychotherapeutic circles prior to the events of the Second World War,14 Frankl rose to even greater prominence aer the war, which had taken much from him – including his first wife, mother, and father, who died in concentration camps15 – but not all; in fact, it was during the cruelty of the Holocaust that Frankl realized the fundamental desire for meaning which characterizes human existence, and which could not be taken away despite the brutality of the conditions he faced. He carefully observed not only his own experience of the camps, but also the characteristics which enabled people to survive. Aer the war, he wrote prolifically about his experiences and how they informed his therapeutic approach that he called ‘logotherapy’, which is built upon a more comprehensive picture of the human subject as a transcendent being for whom the will to meaning is central.16 10

See “e Influence of Natural and Revealed Religion Respectively” (Sermon II, April 13, 1830), University Sermons, 18-19; John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1909), 48, 86-87, 179. Newman’s classic work on development was originally written in 1845, but was significantly edited and reorganized in 1878; I am citing from this latter edition. 11 See, for example, John F. Crosby, The Personalism of John Henry Newman (Washington, DC: e Catholic University of America Press, 2014). 12 See Terrence Merrigan, “Revelation,” in The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman, ed. Ian Ker and Terrence Merrigan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 47-72, at 49-50. 13 Much of the biographical information comes from the 1992 edition of Man’s Search for Meaning (i.e., introduction, preface, and main text), as well as the following sources: “About the Author,” in Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 187-188; e Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, “Viktor Frankl: Austrian Psychologist,” Britannica, August 29, 2020, https://www.britannica.com/ biography/Viktor-Frankl/additional-info#history [accessed December 19, 2020]. 14 “Viktor Frankl: Austrian Psychologist.” 15 Ibid. 16 For a succinct presentation of the main elements of logotherapy, see Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, 95-154. ese pages contain the sections, “Part II: Logotherapy in a Nutshell” and “Postscript 1984.”

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Logotherapy has thus been described as the third Viennese school of psychotherapy, aer Alfred Adler’s school, focusing on the pursuit of status and power (will to power), and Sigmund Freud’s school, emphasizing the person’s struggle with instincts/drives and the superego while realizing the pleasure principle (will to pleasure).17 Frankl argues that the will to meaning is more fundamental to human existence and that the will to power and the will to pleasure are consequences of frustrated, misdirected, or failed attempts to satisfy the will to meaning. He published more than thirty books in all.18 2. Conscience and Its Referents In attempting to introduce the views of both thinkers on conscience, it is useful to do so thematically or using definite subjects. We will begin with conscience defined; the definitions will point to what is disclosed to and/or revealed in conscience. Generally speaking, I will begin with Newman’s reflections before moving to Frankl. 1. Working Definitions of Conscience From as early as 1830, Newman was exploring the nature and role of conscience for individuals and religious communities. He writes, Now […] it is obvious that Conscience is the essential principle and sanction of Religion in the mind. Conscience implies a relation between the soul and a something exterior, and that, moreover, superior to itself; a relation to an excellence which it does not possess, and to a tribunal over which it has no power […] for what is Religion but the system of relations existing between us and a Supreme Power, claiming our habitual obedience.19

Given this characterization of conscience as “the essential principle and sanction of Religion,” it is not beyond the pale to note its fundamental importance in Newman’s thought. In his Philosophical Notebook, Newman even remarks on the foundational role of conscience for the self and religious epistemology.20 Regarding the former, he believed that the 17

Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 89, 93, 130, 138; “Viktor Frankl: Austrian Psychologist.” 18 “About the Author,” in Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 187. 19 “e Influence of Natural and Revealed Religion Respectively” (Sermon II, April 13, 1830), University Sermons, 18-19. 20 For example, see his “Proof of eism,” in The Philosophical Notebook of John Henry Newman, vol. 2, 43-78.

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experience of conscience was just as much a warrant for confidence in one’s existence as the famous proposition, cogito ergo sum; yet, the experience of conscience implies much more than one’s own existence. Merrigan, commenting on this section from The Philosophical Notebook, writes that such a statement for Newman is akin to saying “Conscientiam habeo, ergo Deus est.”21 In his Grammar of Assent, Newman writes, “e feeling of conscience [… is twofold: – it is a moral sense, and a sense of duty.”22 e first feeling, or that of a moral sense, refers to the experience that there is right and wrong. e second feeling, or a sense of duty, refers to the “keen sense of obligation and responsibility,”23 “namely, to do good and avoid evil.”24 While this description might be ‘easy’ or ‘neat’ given its brevity, these two dimensions can involve a good deal of tension, in that one may sense that there is right and wrong, while also having to apply that sense to a particular situation and set of circumstances. Newman observes, in the “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk,” “that conscience is not a judgment upon any speculative truth, any abstract doctrine, but bears immediately upon conduct, on something to be done or not done. ‘Conscience,’ says Saint omas, ‘is the practical judgment or dictate of reason, by which we judge what hic et nunc is to be done as being good, or to be avoided as evil’.”25 We shall see a similar understanding from Frankl regarding the importance of particular decisions here and now, but first we look to main elements of a definition of conscience. He writes, “conscience, along with responsibleness, is […] an irreducible phenomenon that is inherent in the human being as a deciding being […]. In fact, conscience reaches down into unconscious depths and stems from an unconscious ground,”26 and yet makes “momentous, authentic […] decisions that take place completely without reflection […]. In this sense conscience is irrational […] or better put, prelogical. Just as there is a […] prelogical understanding of being, so there is a premoral understanding of meaning, and this is conscience.”27 For Frankl, then, conscience is a phenomenon of 21

Merrigan, “Revelation,” 49-50. Grammar, 105. 23 Ibid., 107. 24 Terrence Merrigan, “‘Myself and My Creator’: Newman and the (Post-) Modern Subject,” in Newman and Truth, ed. Terrence Merrigan and Ian Ker, Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs 34 (Louvain: Peeters, 2008), 16. 25 Newman, “A Letter to the Duke,” 256. 26 Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 39. 27 Ibid. 22

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human existence rising from an unconscious or preconscious ground, and it cannot be reduced, say, to a drive or instinct. Similar to Newman, he speaks of the ability to make important decisions or judgments “completely without reflection;” Newman would perhaps say completely without demonstration in his Grammar.28 Frankl continues to elucidate what he means by conscience with the following statement on its ‘irrationality’. “In a sense, it is irrational, as well, because […] [w]hat is disclosed to consciousness is something that is; however, what is revealed to conscience is not anything that is but, rather, something that ought to be.”29 Conscience thus anticipates what should be made real; in that sense, it is intuitive. It is also “absolutely unique” and personal, in the sense that the person is called to actualize the dictates of conscience in unique situations that are not “comprehended in rational terms” or by a “universal law.”30 “Only conscience is capable of adjusting the ‘eternal,’ generally agreed-upon moral law to the specific situation in which a concrete person is engaged.”31 is latter argument is where Frankl wishes to distinguish between irrational conscience and animal instincts. Such instincts refer to predictable, similar patterns of response in animals to a variety of situations. ink of the squirrel crossing the road. In response to a perceived threat, it attempts to change direction several times before fleeing along a particular course; sometimes this instinct works, sometimes the squirrel becomes roadkill. Frankl believes that, while conscience is irrational, it is fundamentally different from an animal instinct or drive, responding to very particular, indeed unique circumstances and featuring a choice for or against meaning within them. In fact – and similar to Newman – conscience is transcendent in nature. In the quoted material above, Frankl speaks provocatively of conscience realizing what ought to be the case, and in this sense it is not purely rational.

28 I am thinking here of Newman’s understanding of the illative sense and ratiocination. See Grammar, 259ff. 29 Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 40. 30 Ibid., 41. 31 Ibid., 42. Cf. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, 145, which discusses conscience as a “prompter,” indicating “a direction in which we have to move in a given life situation. In order to carry out such a task, conscience must apply a measuring stick to the situation one is confronted with, and this situation has to be evaluated in the light of a set of criteria, in the light of a hierarchy of values. ese values, however, cannot be espoused and adopted by us on a conscious level – they are something that we are.”

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For Newman, this idea would fall within the realm of a “theology of a religious imagination” and thus within the person’s moral life as realizing or obstructing the image of God experienced in and through conscience.32 Regarding the realization of what ought to be the case, Newman writes the following of persons: “the image of God, if duly cherished, may expand, deepen, and be completed, with the growth of their powers and in the course of life, under the varied lessons, within and without them, which are brought home to them concerning that same God, One and Personal, by means of education, social intercourse, experience, and literature.”33 Indeed the very task of one’s moral life is the expansion and growth of this image, the clarity of which is distinct in persons whose lives and conditions are particular. 2. The Transcendent Ground of Conscience It is here that we may pivot to the transcendent ground and theological view of conscience, without which any definition or understanding for both thinkers would be incomplete. In his Grammar, Newman writes that “conscience does not repose on itself, but vaguely reaches forward to something beyond self, and dimly discerns a sanction higher than self for its decisions, as is evidenced in that keen sense of obligation and responsibility which informs them. And hence it is that we are accustomed to speak of conscience as a voice […] or the echo of a voice […].”34 is voice belongs to the “One to whom we are responsible,”35 and our positive response to this voice can lead to feelings of “lightness of heart,” while a disregard issues in shame.36 Newman goes on, reflecting on these feelings and what they mean: ese feelings in us are such as require for their exciting cause an intelligent being: we are not affectionate towards a stone, nor do we feel shame before a horse or a dog […]. If the cause of these emotions does not belong to this visible world, the Object to which his perception is directed must be Supernatural and Divine; and thus the phenomena of Conscience, as a dictate, avail to impress the imagination with the picture of a Supreme Governor, a Judge, holy, just, powerful, all-seeing, retributive, and is the creative principle of religion, as the Moral Sense is the principle of ethics.37 32 33 34 35 36 37

See Newman, Grammar, 117. Ibid., 116. Emphasis my own. Ibid., 107. Ibid., 109. Ibid., 108. Ibid., 110.

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e person who experiences the voice of conscience, or the voice of God in conscience, also experiences feelings consequent upon his/her reactions to that voice. For Newman, such a process and experience denote a relationship with an intelligent, invisible being that is not contained within the world, but who in fact is beyond, holding the person to account for his/her actions. So, beyond a moral sense and sense of duty, conscience for Newman involves “dutiful obedience to what claims to be a divine voice, speaking within us.”38 Newman was writing in a context that sought to reduce conscience to a merely human phenomenon, or a construction of humanity, and he resisted such a characterization of this fundamental human experience.39 To reduce conscience to the merely human, Newman believed that one would be undermining the creative principle of all ‘natural religion’, as well as the irreducible connection to and responsibility before the supreme moral governor.40 is idea regarding conscience as the creative principle of religion will be treated below, subsequent to an examination of Frankl’s thoughts in this general area. Like Newman, Frankl holds that conscience has a transcendent origin that is experienced in the subject, and that this origin is personal in nature. Authentic conscience is thus properly described as a dia-logos, not a mono-logos. 38

Newman, “A Letter to the Duke,” 255. See ibid., 247-250. 40 In his early writings, Newman reflects on distinctions between natural and revealed religion, the latter being associated with God’s work through Israel, culminating in the revelation of Jesus Christ. On so-called natural religion, elsewhere called “traditionary religions” (see Arians, 79ff.) arising in part out of the principle of conscience manifesting in the world, Newman writes: “When […] religion of some sort is said to be natural, it is not here meant that any religious system has been actually traced out by unaided Reason. We know of no such system, because we know of no time or country in which human Reason was unaided. Scripture informs us that revelations were granted to the first fathers of our race, concerning the nature of God and man’s duty to Him; and scarcely a people can be named, among whom there are not traditions, not only of the existence of powers exterior to this visible world, but also of their actual interference with the course of nature, followed up by religious communications to mankind from them. e Creator has never le Himself without such witness as might anticipate the conclusions of Reason, and support a wavering conscience and perplexed faith. No people (to speak in general terms) has been denied a revelation from God, though but a portion of the world has enjoyed an authenticated revelation.” “e Influence of Natural and Revealed Religion Respectively” (Sermon II, April 13, 1830), University Sermons, 17-18. ese ideas will be taken up below in Section III. 39

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rough the conscience of the human person, a transhuman agent personat – which literally means, “is sounding through.” It is not up to us to answer the question of what this “agent” is, since our concern with the origin of conscience is anthropological rather than theological. Nonetheless we may be justified in claiming that this transhuman agent must necessarily be of a personal nature. More correctly, however, we would have to speak of a transpersonal agent of which the human person is but the “image.”41

One may immediately sense Frankl’s Jewish and biblical background in this passage, but one should also note his explicit anthropological focus. Like Newman, Frankl was fighting against reductionism. Within the field and schools of psychoanalysis/therapy, he fought ardently against the reduction of human persons to instincts and drives that reached their apex at the psychological level;42 such would treat the human person as merely a more complex animal, since animals too can be described in terms of somatology and psychology. Consequently, Frankl coined the term noology,43 referring to the sphere that is authentically and specifically human, founded upon the individual will to meaning that is rooted in the transcendence of the subject. Pathologies and conditions may affect the somatic and psychological levels, or the body and mind, but need not be reduced exclusively to those levels. On this point, he writes, So conscience, which we have taken as our model of the spiritual unconscious, is seen to have a key position in disclosing to us the essential transcendence of the spiritual unconscious. e psychological fact of conscience is but the immanent aspect of a transcendent phenomenon; it is only that piece of the whole phenomenon that seeps into psychological immanence.44 41

Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 60. He has been critiqued for his spiritualized psychotherapy that assumes a transcendent foundation. See, for example, “Il reste que le fondement théorique de la logothérapie repose en grande partie sur l’existence d’un ‘Dieu’, ce qui la rend a priori inacceptable selon les critères scientifiques. Frankl n’ajoute d’ailleurs aucune évidence concluante à l’existence de ce dieu. Son seul argument est d’ordre phénoménologique, lorsqu’il dit que notre conscience morale est bien la preuve que nous sommes guidés par quelque chose de supra-humain. Ce refus de reconnaître à l’homme la capacité de s’élever au-delà de lui-même sans prendre Dieu comme modèle est d’ailleurs un thème récurrent dans ses écrits. Dans Le Dieu Inconscient (1975), il s’oppose à Sartre sur ce sujet.” St-Amant, “Critique des fondements épistémologiques,” available from ProQuest Central, https://search-proquest-com.caldwell.idm.oclc.org/central/docview/ 220810645/fulltext/FF072ED6D3204387PQ/4?accountid=26523 [accessed December 19, 2020]. 43 See Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 16. 44 Ibid., 61. 42

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In this passage, Frankl is articulating his position against somaticpsychological reductionism; he also argues elsewhere against its counterpart that sought to treat the person as a machine with which to be tinkered.45 So, while Newman in an age of liberalism fought for revealed religion and the divine, moral governor revealed in conscience,46 Frankl fought for the re-humanization of the subject in psychotherapy.47 His anthropological focus is thus connected to Newman through the emphasis on the transcendent and personal origin of conscience, while nevertheless remaining distinct. 3. Responsibility and Freedom through Conscience For both thinkers, the transcendent, personal nature of conscience reveals a lawgiver of sorts, as we heard with Newman previously, and yet, their reflections on this element of conscience diverge to some degree. Newman writes in Grammar, “If a man has been betrayed into any kind of immorality, he has a lively sense of responsibility and guilt;” this is true even when no one is offended by the act or the act is pleasurable in itself. He uses the language of feeling responsibility, as well as being ashamed and frightened. Relatedly, when remarking upon the moral sense of even a child, Newman cites the “implicit threat” perceived by the child in transgressing the supreme moral authority. While Frankl takes exception to this description of conscience, the fact is that Newman’s thought contains much more on this point, as we shall soon see below. Despite noting that “e self cannot be its own lawgiver,”48 Frankl writes, “true conscience has nothing to do with the fearful expectation of punishment. As long as a man is still motivated by either the fear of punishment or the hope of reward – or, for that matter, by the wish to appease the superego – conscience has not yet had its say.”49 Frankl quite consciously is elucidating his view of conscience against the backdrop of a milieu influenced by Freud and Carl Jung,

45

See Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 111. See John Henry Newman, Apologia pro vita sua (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1908), 285-297. 47 See Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 105. On the humanized or rehumanized subject, see Merrigan, “‘Myself and My Creator’,” 22ff. 48 Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 64. “It is true that man is responsible for himself, but ultimately he is not responsible before himself.” True freedom requires “an intentional referent.” 49 Ibid., 115. 46

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among others.50 Freud’s conception of the Über-Ich, or Superego, is frequently associated or conflated with conscience (Gewissen), understood however as a human creation to help the Ego/Das Ich order the drives and passions of the Id/Das Es and taking the form of an introjected father image.51 us, unconscious drives determine the human person in this regard and are ultimately negative in tone. Jung similarly viewed the religious unconscious merely as an archetype of the mind that determined outward religiousness.52 While in the concentration camps, Frankl observed that freedom was not entirely taken away, because he was still able to discover the fundamental choice for meaning amid the horrific and dehumanizing circumstances. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that he reacts so negatively to psychotherapeutic conceptions that would reduce the person merely to drives and archetypes. Regarding freedom and conscience, he writes, All freedom has a “from what” and a “to what.” e “from what” of man’s freedom is his being driven, and the “to what” is his being responsible, his having conscience. ese two facets of the human condition are best expressed by a simple admonition from Mari[e] von Ebner-Eschenbach: “Be the master of your will and the servant of your conscience!”53

us, the ‘drivenness’, to use Frankl’s term,54 of the human subject is rooted in his/her transcendent origin and end, experienced in and through conscience. True freedom, then, involves deciding for responsibility and meaning, potentially even in the worst of circumstances. is is what true conscience involves for Frankl, and why he likely would take exception to some of Newman’s language involving fear of punishment and reproach. However, Newman’s understanding of conscience contains more depth on this point involving emotions experienced from conscience. In fact, he spends a great deal of time in Grammar elucidating the idea that conscience yields not only negative emotions, but also positive ones, such 50 Frankl notes quite a few figures with whom he both agrees and disagrees: Alfred Adler, Sigmund Freud, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hebbel, Oskar Pfister, Martin Heidegger, etc. 51 Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 63. On the Latinizing of Freud’s German terms, see Merrigan, “‘Myself and My Creator’,” 6-9. 52 Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 70. 53 Ibid., 59. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916) was one of the more important Austrian writers of the late-nineteenth century, writing a number of novels in the area of psychology. Frankl cites her work, but does not provide the original source information. 54 Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 71.

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as happiness and approval.55 In addition, the authority of the moral governor experienced in and through conscience indicates the overall positive understanding of the experience, namely, that the emotions generated from conscience stem from a just source before Whom one is responsible.56 Positing a transcendent ground, Newman here is perhaps more ‘real’ in his analysis than Frankl – that is, in terms of the actual emotional experiences of one’s moral life, as one either follows or violates conscience, in the moment and/or understood in retrospect. Nevertheless, Newman has something more important and fundamental in mind than such emotions as fear or approval. Rather, “conscience is a connecting principle between the creature and his Creator; and the firmest hold of theological truths is gained by habits of personal religion.”57 In other words, conscience is the experiential bridge between Creator and creature, bringing to light the Other who grounds and centers our existence, and its cultivation fosters a real appropriation of theological truth. And, in his discussion of the moral life of children, Newman endeavors to show how even a child is able to experience this fundamental, personal relationship with God in conscience that facilitates one’s growth toward goodness and justice; hence, one may grow in love toward this lawgiver.58 A life lived in serious response to conscience yields knowledge of and love for God, the true ground of freedom and meaning. 3. The Limits of Conscience and Human Fulfillment While both thinkers posit the transcendent origin and end of conscience, and would advocate the importance of realizing the dictates of conscience and the fundamental relationship at the core of human existence, they differ more so on how conscience relates to human fulfillment understood historically and communally. I want to begin with Frankl, especially in light of the corrective which I believe Newman provides to his much more individualist approach – I should say that, given Frankl’s professional vocation as a therapist working with individual clients, I do not say this pejoratively. As the twentieth century advanced, Frankl noted with anxiety that youth are facing a crisis of society’s – indeed of our own – making. He felt that a deficient, reductive anthropology and withering materialism were 55 56 57 58

See Newman, Grammar, 105-110. On this point, see ibid., 113-114. Ibid., 117. See ibid., 112-114. Cf. Merrigan, “‘Myself and My Creator’,” 25.

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facilitating an existential vacuum. 59 People were becoming hypercognizant of their own happiness as an object,60 while simultaneously becoming divorced from traditional communities and wisdom. ey were falling prey to a Freudian homeostasis principle by which it becomes important to reach a stasis through satisfying drives.61 Ultimately, he argues that this combination of factors was driving increasing rates of addiction, depression, and aggression.62 is anxiety prompted him to try and re-humanize psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, while centralizing the importance of the will to meaning of the transcendent subject. In terms of concrete recommendations, Frankl was well aware of the limits of individual conscience, but his methodology understandably limited his ultimate conclusions. To diagnose neuroses that stem from truly human frustrations, he argues that “Cognizance of self-transcendence […] is indispensable.”63 In combating “the age of meaninglessness” in which “Traditions and values are crumbling,” he calls for the logotherapist not to supply meaning or an answer to the patient, but to help the patient in being educated to responsibility, to find meaning for himself/herself in particular situations.64 e “principal assignment” of education, then, is “in refining the individual’s conscience – his only capacity still to find meanings despite the wane of traditions and values.”65 Yet, this tactic is fraught with difficulties, because “[conscience] not only leads us to meaning but may also lead us astray. Conscience may err, and I cannot know for certain whether my conscience is right and another’s conscience […] is wrong, or whether the reverse is true. Not that there is no truth: there is. And there can be only one truth. But no one can be absolutely sure it is he who has arrived at this truth.”66 Frankl is not against tradition or religion in themselves – in fact, he oen encouraged patients to explore their religiosity and even explicitly notes the importance of a future orientation in the pursuit of meaning, as well as the need for common values and denominators for human survival.67 Yet, given more current trends, he argues that, “If religion is to survive, it will 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67

See Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 27, 63, 89ff. Ibid., 89-90. See ibid., 105-107, 137-138. See ibid., 15, 140. Ibid., 111. Ibid., 119-120. Ibid., 119. Ibid., 118. See ibid., 55-57, 134-135.

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have to become a profoundly personalized religion which allows any human being to speak a language of his or her own when addressing himself or herself to the ultimate being.”68 Given the benefit of more hindsight in the years since Frankl’s passing, I would say that the cultivation and experience of individual conscience is a necessity, but that such a linguistic pluralism and individualism put too much pressure solely on individual persons desperate for belonging in our present time. It is here that Newman’s thought has something to supplement Frankl’s perspective. Like Frankl, Newman believed in the education of conscience to responsibility. Terrence Merrigan writes, “e quality of the soul’s response to the voice of conscience determines, in no small measure, the evolution of the nascent relationship between itself and the Divinity […]. Newman insists that the ‘image’ of God must be expanded, deepened and completed ‘by means of education, social intercourse, experience, and literature’” – an idea referenced above in regard to the expansion of the image of God in conscience.69 In his “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk,” Newman challenges the popular, reductive views of conscience by affirming that conscience only “has rights because it has duties” to its author, and so the person is responsible for its formation, particularly in matters of religious obligation: such formation involves “serious thought, prayer, and all available means of arriving at a right judgment on the matter in question.”70 While Newman spent a great deal of time later in his career articulating the experience of conscience and what that means for religious epistemology, one would do well to revisit some of his earlier works in order to see how conscience is understood in his theology of history, the development of which heavily marked his early career. In particular, his reflections in Arians of the Fourth Century and his 1830 university sermon, “e Influence of Natural and Revealed Religion Respectively” (April 30, 1830), are apropos. In these texts, Newman holds that, from the beginning of human history, God has been preparing peoples for the reception of the gospel. All persons experience “the active presence of Him, who aer all dwells intelligibly, prior to argument, in their heart and conscience.” 71 e image of God through conscience is reflected on, developed, and transmitted through what Newman calls “traditionary 68 69 70 71

Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 149. Merrigan, “‘Myself and My Creator’,” 17, 19, citing Newman, Grammar, 116. Newman, “A Letter to the Duke,” 250, 258. Newman, Arians, 76.

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religion,” referring to non-Christian religious systems, which can be said to contain seeds of revelation.72 In fact, early Christians made use of such traditionary systems as they preached the gospel in new contexts, seeking necessary connections.73 Despite this remarkable view for the 1830s, Newman was clear that conscience, regardless of its dignity and function as the creative principle of natural religion, is “oriented towards a clearer image of the God on whom” all traditionary systems depend.74 e impression of God from natural religion is “philosophically inaccurate,” or even “very faint and defective,” despite the practical certainty it might afford and the action it enables.75 Revealed religion is distinct not in the ability of members to lead a moral life that pursues blessedness, but rather in its possession of “authoritative documents of truth, and appointed channels of communication with [God].”76 Revealed religion thus responds to the anticipations generated by natural religion itself for a clearer image of the transcendent source experienced precisely in conscience.77 Revealed religion also responds to the limitations of God’s image experienced in and through the subject’s background, abilities, context, and personal engagement with conscience.78 God’s revelations thus provide for the transmission of a clearer image of God that grounds moral life and religious commitment carried out in communal form; God’s revelations help to bind people together. For Newman, then, I have argued that history functions as a divine pedagogy for humanity,79 preparing peoples for revelations which can assist them in living out the relationships with God and each other. Ultimately, conscience is the principle of religious life and experience of God, but anticipates God’s own revelations that ‘recapitulate’, to use a term from Irenaeus of Lyons,80 the moral life of conscience given human finitude. While Newman was indeed personalist, even writing that “e religious

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Newman, Arians, 79. See ibid., 45-50, 65ff. 74 Christopher Cimorelli, John Henry Newman’s Theology of History: Historical Consciousness, Theological ‘Imaginaries’, and the Development of Tradition, Studies in Philosophical eology 60 (Louvain: Peeters, 2017), 134. 75 Newman, Arians, 76-77, 82. 76 Ibid., 80. 77 Newman, Grammar, 422-423. 78 Merrigan, “‘Myself and My Creator’,” 17-22. 79 Cimorelli, John Henry Newman’s Theology of History, 136-139. 80 Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, III.18.1-7, IV.1.2, in The Christological Controversy, trans. and ed. Richard A. Norris, Jr. (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1980), 49-55 (esp. 49 and 54), 59. 73

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history of each individual is as solitary and complete as the history of the world,”81 history demonstrated to him that God provided for not only a clearer image of the divine, but also for an image that would bind the people of God together in a community endowed with both authority and authentic channels of communication with God. It is somewhat ironic, then, that Frankl expended such effort to delineate the human quest for meaning, but that the limitations and anticipations of conscience are never met by the transcendent voice and source at the root of it all. Frankl’s beautiful – and, I would say, necessary work – terminates, unfortunately, in the individual’s potential satisfaction with the discovery of meaning, but does not truly facilitate the sharing of that discovery. He admitted that theology necessarily can go beyond the limits of psychology, and even noology,82 particularly with questions of religious belonging, and we must be thankful for that admission. 4. Conclusion Despite the summary conclusions above, this chapter will conclude with two analogies to foster greater appreciation of the connections and distinctions between Newman and Frankl. I was struck by the first analogy, which was briefly mentioned at a youth ministry conference in January 2017 by Kenda Creasy Dean of Princeton eological Seminary.83 Regarding the difficult process of theological/spiritual formation of youth – a demographic whose well-being in the contemporary context was of great concern to Frankl – Dean introduced the process of molting for lobsters.84 While lobsters enjoy a formidable degree of protection from their shells, they nevertheless outgrow them. To grow a larger, necessary shell, that is, in order to develop and mature using a power within them, lobsters need to molt or shed their old shells. As molting occurs, lobsters remain completely vulnerable to a number of predators as the new shells form and harden. is is analogous perhaps to how many persons experience the moral and spiritual life, but who, unlike lobsters, 81 “Steadfastness in the Old Paths” (March 21, 1830), Sermon 18, in Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. 7 (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1908), 248. 82 Frankl, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, 16, 80-81. 83 is is referring to the 2017 meeting of the High School Youth eology Institute (HSYTI) initiative of the Lilly Foundation, in conjunction with the Forum for eology Exploration (FTE) (January 2017, Indianapolis, IN). 84 See “Lobster Biology: Physiological Processes,” Lobsters.org, http://www. lobsters.org/tlcbio/biology3.html [accessed July 25, 2018].

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have the choice to turn away from the voice of conscience, even repressing vulnerability to the ou disclosed in its operation. Moreover, if vulnerability is experienced in solitude, without the benefit of an ecclesia or community, such repression is all the more likely. When considering the individual lobster molting, Frankl’s view comes to mind, but perhaps a more communal analogy exists. Newman’s perspective on conscience holds that this fundamental faculty and capacity of human persons finds its true home in revealed, ecclesial religion. Contrary to the notion that such religion is an impediment to the individual search for meaning, Newman believed that a consideration of conscience demonstrates a loving God answering the deepest prayers and longings of the human condition. e particularities of history, as Terry Merrigan’s work has consistently indicated, are precisely where the living God encounters humanity. It is in the particular that transcendent truths are experienced and revealed, and that the real object of conscience becomes clear, gathering the human family together and promising it meaning and communion through times of joy and suffering. It is in this sense that a different analogy from the natural world emerges: namely, that of the giant spider crab, a creature that also molts. However, giant spider crabs have a particular tradition, wherein the normally solitary creatures gather together in mounds of tens of thousands, to molt in proximity.85 Each crab must individually molt, that is, grow through a difficult, painful process, but one that is intrinsic to their being. During this process, predators also abound. However, the spider crabs are vulnerable together, increasing their chances of survival.

85

See Jess Staufenberg, “ousands of Giant Spider Crabs Gather in Australian Port – and It’s Going to Get Bigger,” Independent, June 17, 2016, https:// www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/giant-spider-crabs-gather-intheir-thousands-in-melbourne-port-a7087281.html [accessed July 25, 2018].

4 Purgatory as Agony in Newman’s Dream of Gerontius An Essay on the Church’s Suffrages for the Dead1 Andrew Meszaros

e satispassio that accompanies an academic career dedicated to scholarship in the academy and service to students precedes a well-deserved rest. And for this reason, it is not altogether unfitting that an essay honoring that scholarship and service would reflect on the Last ings and, in particular, purgatory. 1. Introduction e doctrine of purgatory and the practice of praying for the dead have taken a severe blow in recent decades. In Newmanian parlance, one could say that where a belief in purgatory still exists, it tends to be a notional one, because a real one would spur the action concomitant with such a belief: namely, praying for the dead. In words that unfortunately do not shock us, Karl Rahner says through the voice of a fictional theologian: “to be honest […] it must be admitted that the doctrine of purgatory does not seem particularly important today even to the devout Christian.”2 Indeed, judging not only by advertising within the funeral industry, but even by the well-intended parochial praxis of calling 1 While living in Ireland for a number of years, where Catholic churches are replete with plaques and stained glass windows reminding visitors to pray for the soul of this or that person, may have exerted some inspiration for this essay, the real catalyst was the many different conversations in which Professor Merrigan either reflected aloud on the profundity of Christ’s agony in the garden, or lamented his parish’s inability to pray for the dead while instead simply ‘remembering’ them. While I have inferred these two – Christ’s agony and prayer for the faithful departed – to be themes close to Merrigan’s heart, I reflect on them together here in the humble gesture of a theological essay, and by no means presume that my reflections answer adequately to Merrigan’s concerns. 2 Karl Rahner, “Purgatory,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XIX: Faith and Ministry (New York: Crossroad, 1983), 181-193, at 187.

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a requiem mass a ‘Celebration of the Life of X’, the message is clear: funerals are for the living, not for the dead.3 Our ‘remembering’ the dead at mass, or in the month of November is not a reminder to pray for them, but amounts to recalling memories of our loved ones. In fairness to Hans Küng, who advocates praying for the dying but not for the dead, he seems to have had his finger on the theological-cultural pulse for some time now.4 e reasons for the decline in the praxis of, and urgency in, prayers and suffrages for the dead are complex and multiple. at we find it hard to believe that our beloved deceased are not this very minute enjoying paradise can be attributed, among other factors, to an understandable longing that they be happy, but also to a benumbed sense of sin and personal responsibility, a difficulty with the intrinsic relationship between sin and punishment (at least from a Biblical worldview),5 and perhaps an impoverished sense of God’s holiness and justice that is overshadowed by an unrelated and palatable mercy. And yet, from a Christian point of view, banal attempts at comfort such as, “I’m sure she’s happy with God in heaven,” though well-intended, can also trivialize the loss of a loved one by not taking seriously the deepseated human rebellion against such a loss, which is but one indication that something is not quite right about a world in which our beloved die. As Gabriel Marcel once put it, to declare your love for someone means telling her, “ou shall not die.” And yet our beloved die anyway because “the wages of sin is death.” However, Saint Paul continues, “But the gi of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). Praying for the dead is an act of true love. By it, one is saying with Marcel not only, “ou shall not die,” but also, “ou shall have life abundant; ou shall enjoy the highest good, the vision of God.” 3 Of course, this is true, but not merely from a sociological or therapeutic point-of-view. Laying the deceased to rest (or praying or doing penance for them) brings us consolation, from a theological point-of-view, precisely because those activities bring about an objective good in which all can delight and by which all can be consoled. See, e.g., omas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae [ST] Supp., q. 71, a. 12, cor. 4 Hans Küng, Eternal Life?, trans. Edward Quinn (London: Collins, 1984), 176-177. 5 Yves Congar, Wide World My Parish: Salvation and Its Problems (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1961), 66: “e idea of punishment cannot be separated from the idea of sin, nor the idea of making amends from that of having committed offence against God. e link between these things is part of religious harmony as the Bible teaches us to live it, and is involved in the true idea of Christian repentance.”

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In this essay, I will offer an interpretation of Newman’s Dream of Gerontius that draws a parallel between the soul’s experience of judgment and purgatory, on the one hand, and Christ’s agony in the garden, on the other. Such a parallel is rooted in the Dream’s textual allusions to the agony, but the elaboration of the parallel is my own. In a more adventurous spirit, I will argue that such an interpretation helps shore up the Church’s rationale behind her penance and prayer for the dead. What follows is an attempt, an essay in the strict sense of the word. 2. The Development of Newman’s View of Purgatory Given the speculative excesses of both Catholic theology and piety, issuing at times in a view of purgatory described by Yves Congar as “an organized torture chamber,” replete with a material fire, boiling oil, and a freezing department,6 Newman’s development – as well as more contemporary re-imaginings – of purgatory is, one might say, an effort to make the doctrine of purgatory “less terrible to the imagination.”7 Not a few have suggested that the doctrine of purgatory was itself in need of purification and that the uncontrolled speculation surrounding it was one factor in its practical abandonment.8 Scholars have, in general, and rightly, observed that Newman’s theology of purgatory follows the tradition of Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510) and Francis de Sales (1567-1622), which is less melodramatic and vivid, and whose sparse attention to suffering is offset by descriptions of the joy of expected union.9 While the newly converted Catholic Newman’s writings about purgatory in his Sermon Notes (1849) resonate with the standard theology of the day – i.e., that a material flame is a cause of pain, that 6

Congar, Wide World My Parish, 62. Newman uses this expression about the doctrine of eternal damnation. (Newman, Apo., 6). [Unless otherwise stated, I use the Longmans Uniform edition of Newman’s works, along with the abbreviations from Rickaby’s Index.] No matter how one squares it, the doctrine of eternal damnation is terrifying. But it might be less “terrible to the imagination” if one conceives of it without an externally inflicted punishment such as fire and, instead, as a self-inflicted desolation for those so at odds with God that, were they to be in heaven in their present state, it would be intolerable for them. 8 E.g., Yves Congar, “Le Purgatoire,” in Le mystère de la mort et sa célébration, Lex Orandi 12 (Paris: Cerf, 1951), 279-336, esp. 312-313, 317-319. 9 St. Catherine of Genoa, Treatise on Purgatory, trans. H. E. Manning (London: Burns, 1858). Cf. Francis de Sales’ article on purgatory in The Catholic Controversy, trans. H. B. Mackey, Library of St. Francis de Sales 3, 3rd ed. (London: Burns & Oates, 1909), 363-392. 7

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the fire of purgatory is a lesser and temporary punishment of the righteous by the same fire that punishes the damned in hell, and this, as a consequence of purgatory’s proximate ‘location’ to hell10 – the later Newman’s Dream of Gerontius strikes a very different tone, with any talk of fire taken in a spiritual sense.11 While Newman maintains the penal dimension, he emphasizes the medicinal.12 Furthermore, Newman dwells comparatively little on suffering, pain, and fire, while echoing the most important characteristics of Catherine’s vision. And given Newman’s stature, his Dream is considered to have propelled this tradition forward, helping it to become the dominant one.13

10

Aquinas, ST Supp. (Appendix II) a. 2. E.g., “For e’en thy purgatory, which comes like fire, Is fire without its light” (“Dream of Gerontius,” in V.V., 323-370, at 351 [hereaer cited as Dream]. Cf. CCC, 1031. As the Church has not defined the precise nature of this purification, one need not hold with numerous Fathers (e.g., Gregory the Great and Augustine) and medieval Doctors (e.g., Aquinas and Bonaventure) that the fire is material or physical. I have not the space in this piece to adequately evaluate theologically the different understandings of penal fire in Newman, on the one hand, and more traditional understandings of it, on the other. Two brief points, however, are worth mentioning. First, “pain of sense” has been interpreted as physical fire by traditional theology, but it need not be, nor has it always been. Nor is it particularly helpful, or credible, to dismiss the teaching of Aquinas, Augustine, et al. on the corporeal fire simply on the grounds that a disembodied soul cannot be affected by a corporeal fire. is objection was a common one which many of the medieval doctors confronted. (See e.g., Aquinas, ST Supp., q. 70, a. 3.) e second point is that modern – seemingly more tolerable – images of purgatory do not do away with pain. Catherine of Genoa and Newman retain a pain, the pain of sorrow; it is a pain not caused by a material fire, but by an agony over one’s sins. Whether replacing pain of sense caused by a material fire with the pain of grief caused by guilt helps the credibility of the doctrine in a postmodern age is another question. at the pain of grief for one’s sins helps remove the need for punishment is affirmed by Aquinas in Summa contra gentiles III, 158. 12 E.g., Newman’s angel both nurses and immerses the soul in “penal waters.” 13 E.g., Congar is one who pairs Catherine and Newman together in Wide World My Parish, 67-68. Newman claims in a letter to Pusey in 1867, in L&D, XXIII, 256, that he had yet to see Manning’s translation of her work. For the development of Newman’s thought on purgatory, see Sean Hugh McLaughlin, Consumed Yet Quickened by the Glance of God: John Henry Newman’s Theology of Purgatory, DPhil esis, University of Oxford, 2014. e full thesis is available at https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:e4a96c3f-7383-4394b55b-3cde2b34b195/download _f ile?f ile_format=pdf&safe_f ilename= THESIS01&type_of_work=esis. 11

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More than simply leaving aside the more graphic and untoward speculations about purgatory, Newman’s re-imagining of purgatory has just as much, if not more, to do with infusing in his writings about purgatory – whether in the Sermon Notes or in the Dream – a certain Christocentrism. In 1849, Newman appeals first to God’s oikonomia, his plan for salvation, to justify the fittingness of the Church’s belief in the purgatorial state: God could have saved us without the passion and without pain, but he chose the cross instead. “Hence,” Newman summarizes, “‘through many tribulations we must enter’, etc., either in this life or next. As Christ [suffered] without sin, so we for our own sins. Suffering in next life is in purgatory.”14 And in his Dream, this same Christocentricity is brought home to us by the parallel Newman draws, subtly but no less truly, between purgatory and Christ’s agony in the garden. To be clear from the outset, the parallel that I develop below between post-mortem purgation, on the one hand, and Christ’s agony in the garden, on the other, is a parallel that I believe has a foundation in Newman’s Dream. e argument here is not that this parallel was fully intended or worked out by Newman, but simply that there are enough allusions to Gethsemane in the dream that justify a more sustained theological reflection on how the two are related. 3. Purgatory and Christ’s Agony: A Parallel In Newman’s Dream, there are both explicit textual references and more subtle allusions in content to the agony. e most obvious textual references are those which speak of the Angel of the Agony. Toward the McLaughlin’s thesis, though highly informative and possessing much merit, overstates, I believe, the dichotomization between the penal and medicinal representations of purgatory. All purgatory is in some sense penal, and if Trent did not define it, it took it for granted because all sin requires satisfaction or penance. A similar argument is made by Juan Rodrigo Vélez Giraldo, Death, Immortality and Resurrection in John Henry Newman, Doctoral esis, University of Navarra, Pamplona, 1999. Extract available at DADUN: Death, immortality and resurrection in John Henry Newman (unav.edu). A brief resume of his work on the topic can be found in his “Newman’s eology in the Dream of Gerontius,” New Blackfriars 82 (2001): 387-398. ere Vélez does not exclude the punitive dimension as such but distinguishes between ‘vindictive’ and ‘remedial’ punishment, claiming for purgatory the latter. 14 John Henry Newman, Sermon Notes of John Henry Cardinal Newman, 1849-1878, ed. Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1913), 24.

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beginning of the poem, a dying Gerontius prays for assistance as he faces the unknown: O Jesu, help! pray for me, Mary, pray! Some Angel, Jesu! such as came to ee In ine own agony… Mary, pray for me. Joseph, pray for me. Mary, Pray for me.15

ere are other occasions where Newman uses the word agony without necessarily denoting Christ’s own in the garden. But given the theological genre and the ability, but refusal, to use other words, it is not unreasonable to interpret these uses of the word, within a particular context of the poem that might refer primarily to Gerontius’ or another Christian’s own agony, as allusions to Christ’s own.16 For example, as Gerontius finally dies, he encounters an angel who guides him on a journey towards the Judge. When Gerontius asks why it is that he has such serenity and joy in approaching the judgment seat whereas while he lived he feared death and judgment, the angel replies that the “calm and joy” is “heaven begun,” a foretaste of the just judgment he will receive on account of the fact that he already lived a Godfearing life: It is because en thou didst fear, that now thou dost not fear, ou hast forestall’d the agony, and so For thee the bitterness of death is past.17

Gerontius’ fear of death and judgment – his fear of this agony – has, paradoxically, prepared him for it. And when Gerontius expresses unease at the angel’s warning about experiencing the brief sight of God, the angel clarifies by way of reference to Francis of Assisi that, by the Eucharist, which Gerontius received before he passed away, he learned that glorification is always preceded by suffering: ere was a mortal, who is now above In the mid glory: he, when near to die, 15

Dream, 329. e fluidity of the word ‘agony’ in relation to Christ’s suffering and our own – both physical and spiritual – is on clear display in pre-conciliar Catholic devotion. One need only peruse one of the many editions of the Raccolta to get a taste. An English version is The New Raccolta, or, Collection of Prayers and Good Works to which the Sovereign Pontiffs have attached Holy Indulgences (Philadelphia, PA: Peter F. Cunningham, 1903). 17 Dream, 342. 16

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Was given communion with the Crucified,– Such, that the Master’s very wounds were stamp’d Upon his flesh; and, from the agony Which thrill’d through body and soul in that embrace, Learn that the flame of the Everlasting Love Doth burn ere it transform.18

As the angel and Gerontius proceed closer to the Master, they begin to hear the choirs of angels singing God’s praise and narrating salvation history. Aer they have “pass’d the gate, and are within/ e House of Judgment,”19 the hymn begins to direct its words at Gerontius, and introduces for the first time the idea of the “double agony” of physical and spiritual pain that is necessary for atoning for sins committed. Yet still between that earth and heaven– His journey and his goal– A double agony awaits His body and his soul. A double debt he has to pay– e forfeit of his sins: e chill of death is past, and now e penance-fire begins

Aer the choir’s doxology, the guiding angel explains to Gerontius, “ey sing of thy approaching agony.”20 Gerontius’ agony, the angel informs him, will consist of two pains, “so counter and so keen–/e longing for Him, when thou seest Him not;/ e shame of self at thought of seeing Him,–/ Will be thy veriest, sharpest purgatory.”21 Coming ever closer to the “Presence-chamber,” they begin to ascend the sacred stairs, where a new band of angels begin to sing about God’s infinite goodness, a glance of which Gerontius is about to be permitted. is goodness and love of God, sing the angels, cannot be told of, let alone understood, by “fallen man.” “It needs, to tell the triumph ou has wrought,/ An Angel’s deathless fire, an Angel’s reach of/ thought.” And, more precisely, the angel most equipped to tell of God’s goodness and love is none but the angel of the agony: 18

Dream, 352. Ibid., 354. 20 Ibid., 358. 21 Ibid., 360. Here we see Newman’s departure from the standard theology of the day. With the first of these, Newman has maintained the classical ‘pain of loss’ or pain of delay of the beatific vision. But where the scholastic and baroque tradition would have expected a “pain of sense” (e.g., Aquinas, ST Supp. [Appendix I] q. 2, a. 1, cor.), Newman substitutes for it a pain of “shame of self.” 19

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It needs that very Angel, who with awe, Amid the garden shade, e great Creator in His sickness saw, Soothed by a creature’s aid, And agonized, as victim of the Law Which He himself had made; For who can praise Him in His depth and height, But he who saw Him reel amid that solitary fight?22

It is one thing to praise the Holiest in the height of His glory. But it is the angel who witnessed Christ in Gethsemane who can praise him in the “depth” of his agony. As the “presence-gate” is opened and entered, the angel and Gerontius hear the choirs rehearsing the fall of Adam and God’s sending a “second Adam to the fight.” And here, in that portion of the poem which has entered into English hymnody, Newman tells us that this second Adam defeated the enemy by enduring “the double agony in man/ For man should undergo.” And this double agony of spirit and flesh corresponds to the two major loci of the passion: Gethsemane and Calvary: “And in the garden secretly,/ And on the cross on high.”23 At this point, Gerontius is coming upon his impending judgment and entering into the “veiled presence of our God.” And the angel informs him that, Before the rone Stands the great Angel of the Agony, e same who strengthen’d Him, what time He Knelt Lone in that garden shade, bedew’d with blood. at Angel best can plead with Him for all Tormented souls, the dying and the dead.24

And then, as the accompanying angel hints, the Angel of the Agony intercedes for the soul of Gerontius: Jesu! By that shuddering dread which fell on ee; Jesu! By that cold dismay which sicken’d ee; Jesu! By that pang of heart which thrill’d in ee; Jesu! By that mount of sins which crippled ee; Jesu! By that sense of guilt which stifled ee; Jesu! By that sanctity which reign’d in ee; Jesu! By that Godhead which was one with ee; Jesu! Spare these souls which are so dear to ee; Souls, who in prison, calm and patient, wait for 22 23 24

Dream, 361. Ibid., 364. Ibid., 365.

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ee Hasten, Lord, their hour, and bid them come to ee, To that glorious Home, where they shall ever gaze on ee.25

Aerwards, Gerontius leaves the angel to go before the judge. We know not what exactly passes between the two except for what the angel tells us: namely, that the encounter with Emmanuel ‘seizes’, ‘scorches’, and ‘shrivels’ the soul of Gerontius, who now “lies/ Passive and still before the awful rone./ O happy, suffering soul! For it is safe,/ Consumed, yet quicken’d, by the glance of God.”26 Gerontius’ last words are a plea to be taken away to be purged, to sing, and sooth my stricken breast, Which ne’er can cease To throb, and pine, and languish, till possest Of its Sole Peace.27

And the poem closes with the angel gently and reassuringly dipping the soul into the “penal waters.”28 At this point, we can say that in the Dream, we have explicit descriptions of the purgatorial process as something agonizing. Gerontius’ purgatory is described with the same phrase as Christ’s passion: namely, as a “double agony.” But more than this, the Angel of Agony plays a conspicuous role in the drama. As he dies, Gerontius invokes the Angel of the Agony. e guiding angel teaches that it is this Angel of Agony who can most adequately convey the loving goodness of God. And later, Gerontius’ prayer is finally answered when the Angel of Agony intercedes for him before the rone of judgment. What is le to shore up the foundation for this parallel between purgatory and Christ’s agony is an inter-textual point. What Gerontius is confronted with at judgment is essentially the same as what, according to Newman’s interpretation, Jesus is confronted with in the garden: sin. e Dream’s “pain of shame” is the result of the glance that Gerontius is granted of God’s face at the seat of judgment. When Gerontius sees God, he encounters the chasm between Holiness and his current state. e angel tells Gerontius that, relative to God, Gerontius will see himself as “vile”; that he will “hate and loath” himself; that, though he can no longer sin, he will feel that he has sinned. His spiritual agony, then, is an 25 26 27 28

Dream, 365-366. Ibid., 366. Ibid., 367. Ibid., 369-370.

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intense humiliation: “e shame of self at thought of seeing him,–/ will be thy veriest and sharpest purgatory.”29 In his sermon, “Mental Sufferings of our Lord in His Passion,” Newman describes Jesus’ agony in a similar vein. ere in Gethsemane, Jesus is having to confront sin, not his personal sin (of which there is none), but the sin of the world for which he must suffer. And now, my brethren, what was it He had to bear, when He thus opened upon His soul the torrent of this predestinated pain? Alas! He had to bear what is well known to us, what is familiar to us, but what to Him was woe unutterable […] He had, my dear brethren, to bear the weight of sin; He had to bear your sins; He had to bear the sins of the whole world.30

e object of encounter is the same – i.e., sin – as well as its effect (i.e., an agony), for in the two instances, the experiences of Gerontius and Jesus both show the ultimate incompatibility of sin with holiness. For Gerontius, a sinner, the holiness of God is agonizing. For the Word made flesh, the weight of sin is too. Sin is an easy thing to us; we think little of it […] But consider what sin is in itself; it is rebellion against God […] Sin is the mortal enemy of the All-holy, so that He and it cannot be together […]31

At issue is the lack of any connaturality between sin and holiness. As God’s holiness makes Gerontius sick and loathsome, so too does sin Jesus. ere He knelt, motionless and still, while the vile and horrible fiend clad His spirit in a robe steeped in all that is hateful and heinous in human crime[…]and filled His conscience, and found its way into every sense and pore of His mind, and spread over Him a moral leprosy, till He almost felt Himself to be that which He never could be[…]Oh, the horror[…]His very memory is laden with every sin which has been committed since the fall, in all regions of the earth.32

In this vision, Jesus sees everything from the awful, heinous cruelty of humanity, to its petty pride and selfishness. He cries to His Father as if He were the criminal, not the victim; His agony takes the form of guilt and compunction. He is doing penance, He is making confession, He is exercising contrition, with a reality and a virtue infinitely greater than that of all saints and penitents together;

29 30 31 32

Dream, 360-361. Newman, Mix., 335. Ibid., 335-336. Ibid., 336-337.

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for He is the One Victim for us all, the sole Satisfaction, the real Penitent, all but the real sinner.33

Both Jesus and Gerontius see in their respective visions what it is that requires satisfaction and their contrition and sorrow is the beginning of it. e sin Gerontius sees is his own, whereas for Jesus it is not. But given their respective missions – one as saved, the other as savior – they each willingly undergo the necessary penance. Aer his agony, Gerontius: “Take me away, and in the lowest deep/ there let me be.”34 Jesus, aer his: “Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand” (Mt 26:46). e parallel between Gerontius’ purgatory and Christ’s agony in Gethsemane is, then, not founded only on the explicit allusions in the Dream to the Gospel story, but also on a similar drama. A closer examination of the angel who strengthens Jesus will assist in our reading of Newman’s Dream. 4. Developing the Parallel: The Angel of the Agony It is only in Luke’s narrative that we find the angel strengthening Jesus in the midst of his agony. And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”  And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow (Lk 22:41-45).35

Not only does Luke’s version include the angel, but his version is unique in indicating the reason for the disciples’ slumber: sorrow or grief. Accordingly, the disciples do not fall asleep because they had too much

33

Newman, Mix., 339. Dream, 366. 35 Much of contemporary literature on Lk 22:43 is taken up with the debate about its authenticity on the grounds that it only appears in Luke, and because the line appears irregularly in manuscripts. For a recent status quaestionis, see Lincoln H. Blumell, “Luke 22:43-44: An Anti-Docetic Interpolation or an Apologetic Omission?,” TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 19 (2014): 1-35. Also arguing the possibility of its authenticity is Claire Clivaz, “e Angel and the Sweat Like ‘Drops of Blood’ (Lk 22:43-44): P69 and f 13,” The Harvard Theological Review 98 (2005): 419-440. For a theological interpretation of the angel, one is more successful in turning to older sources. 34

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to eat or drink, but because intense sadness cripples them.36 In this, Luke can be seen to be contrasting how the disciples and Jesus confront their respective spiritual challenges.37 Whereas the disciples fail to turn to God for aid, Jesus does so and God proves his fidelity and answers Jesus’ prayer, not by letting the cup pass, but by sending an angel to strengthen, comfort, and encourage him in consuming that cup.38 e Christian tradition has commented extensively on the angel’s strengthening of Jesus, and while it has offered multiple interpretations, one convergence that transcends denominational lines is that the episode in some way highlights Christ’s humanity.39 Another theologian observes that it is meant to emphasize the essentially spiritual struggle that Jesus faced, which could be comforted only by a pure spirit.40 As to how the angel strengthened Jesus, theologians can only offer speculations more or less fitting with antecedent theological principles. Classical theological assumptions would include, for example, that Jesus’ 36 See John Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, vol. 3, trans. William Pringle (Edinburgh: e Calvin Translation Society, 1846), 237. It is also notable that the Greek for sleep in Matthew’s gospel is καθεύδω, a stronger word that can connote a moral aspect and culpability. Luke, however, uses κοιμάω, which is a more neutral word. 37 Robert J. Karris, “e Gospel according to Luke,” in The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990), 675-721, at 717. 38 Darrell Bock, Luke 2: 9:51–24:53, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), 1761. See also Henry Wansbrough, “e Four Gospels in Synopsis,” in The Oxford Bible Commentary, ed. John Barton and John Muddiman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 1001-1027, at 1026. 39 For Aquinas (1225-1274), the angel strengthens Jesus, not for his sake, but for ours, so that our faith in his humanity might increase (ST III, q. 12, a. 4, ad. 1). For John Calvin (1509-1564), the angel’s coming brings home the distress undergone by Jesus (Calvin, Commentary, 237). And for the Baptist, John Gill (1697-1771), the episode is about God’s condescension: that the creator of the world is strengthened by a creature. (John Gill’s Exposition of the Old and New Testament [1746-1763], and his commentary on Luke 22 can be found online at https://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/gill/luk022.htm [accessed October 23, 2020]. 40 John Hardon, “Christ Strengthened by the Angels,” Conference No. 14 for the Dallas Carmelites (February 28, 1996): “Only a spirit can strengthen the spirit. e angelic spirit strengthening the spirit of Christ’s soul. Only an angelic being can bring courage to the human soul. Not to know this is not to begin to begin to understand what the Agony in the Garden really means, and how much we have still to learn from the experience of our Redeemer in cooperating with Him in the redemption of our own soul and the soul of others.” http://www. therealpresence.org/archives/Angelology/Angelology_025.htm.

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human nature was full of grace and enjoyed the beatific vision (or at the very least enjoyed all that knowledge which was relevant for his saving work, including the salvific significance of his death and resurrection). Given these, then any strengthening that the angel performed was not interiorly changing Christ’s powers or illuminating him, but rather comforting him ‘externally’, meaning that the angel was giving voice to truths which Christ already knew, but would nevertheless address the very human fear of sin and death that Jesus expressed in the garden.41 As ‘let this cup pass’ expresses the natural human dread of what is to come, so too the angel’s message elicits a natural desire for the greater good that would be achieved out of the evil that is the passion. As Cornelius a Lapide speculates, e angel spoke the following, or like words to Christ. “O Lord, bravest of men, y prayer is most acceptable to y Father; because, notwithstanding y natural dread of death, ou resignedst yself wholly to the will of the Father […] Endure the cross for the joy that is offered ee, as the future author and perfector of the faith of very many […] us ou wilt cause SS. Peter and Paul, Laurentius, Vincentius, Agnes, Cœcilia and very many other martyrs and virgins, men, and noble heroes and heroines boldly to undergo martyrdom for God, and the faithful, with other holy men, who triumphed gloriously over the flesh, the world, and the devil. I know that ou, O Lord, hast no need of any strengthening of mine, who am myself strengthened by ee both to be and to live; but, that this my ministry which I execute as a steward at the command of God y Father may be acceptable to ee, I pray again and again.”42

is meditation of the angel’s (possible) words recognizes that, according to classical theological principles, Jesus needs no strengthening, but, according to God’s plan, receives it by God’s ordinance. In other words, when Jesus confronts all the sin in the world – past, present, and future – and fears how it will be unleashed upon him the next day, the angel’s strengthening amounts to ‘reminding’ Jesus, as it were, of all the fruit his passion would yield: the merit and virtue that humanity is capable of with God’s grace. e vision of sin is counter-balanced with a vision of sanctity. 41 Some modern theologians take issue with the traditional interpretation of Christ’s words in the garden (expressed in its most classical form by Maximus the Confessor) on the grounds that it does not take seriously enough Jesus’ humanity which, this line of argument believes, involves real doubt about God’s plan and a real struggle or oscillation between the object of Christ’s human and divine wills. 42 Cornelius a Lapide, The Great Commentary, S. Luke’s Gospel, trans. omas W. Mossman, 4th ed. (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1908), 485-486.

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e strength provided by the angel can be contrasted with the failure and weakness of the disciples. eir failure to “keep watch” with Jesus is not simply a failure to follow his example in prayer to withstand all trials in general,43 or to ask for the requisite strength to withstand the coming temptation to abandon and betray Jesus,44 but is also, more immediately, a failure to stand in solidarity with a friend in distress. In theological commentary, the words of Psalm 69 have been used to express Christ’s disappointment: “I looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none” (Ps 69:20).45 5. Prayer for the Dead according to the Newly Imagined Purgatory Significantly, the Church has never defined the precise way in which prayers for the dead aid the souls in purgatory. Only that our prayers aid the souls (and are not simply therapeutic exercises for ourselves) has been taught authoritatively.46 e theological tradition, however, has reflected on this matter and, based on liturgical practice, there is a consensus on there being two fundamental classes of offerings for the dead. To the first class belong those prayers and works that are united to the Church suffering by virtue of the individual’s charity (propter unionem charitatis). is is simply an application of the mystical body of Christ to the welfare of the dead. Because the many members are incorporated into one body by the grace which inheres in each, when one suffers, all suffer and when one benefits, all benefit.47 e second class of offerings for the dead – suffrages in the technical sense of the term – are those which are explicitly intended for the souls in general or for an individual soul. ese are united to the church suffering by an explicit intention (propter intentionem in eos directam). And 43 M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock, The People’s New Testament Commentary (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 272. 44 Ibid., 96-97. 45 Cornelius a Lapide, The Great Commentary, S. Matthew’s Gospel, Chaps. XXII to XXVIII, trans. omas W. Mossman, 5th ed. (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1908), 205-209. 46 For the Council of Lyons (1274), see DH 856; for Trent (Sess. 25, 1563), see DH 1820 (Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations on Matters of Faith and Morals – Enchiridion symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum, ed. Peter Hünermann, Robert L. Fastiggi, trans. Anne Englund Nash [San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2012]). For a more popular and pious account see Frederick William Faber’s chapter, “Purgatory,” in All for Jesus (Baltimore, MD: John Murphy, 1855), esp. 372. 47 Again, in a more devotional spirit, Faber, All for Jesus, 376.

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this second class of offerings include both prayer or supplication (per viam impetrationis) and penance or satisfaction (per viam satisfactionis).48 It might be tempting for some to blame a re-imagined purgatory that is soer and “less terrible to the imagination” for the decline in praying for the dead. When purgatory is imagined as a place of extrinsically imposed punishment (e.g., by material fire), the rationale for prayers for the dead is clear: the prayer aims either at begging God’s mercy to hasten the end of and/or to soen the blows of, the punishment, or at begging God to accept some penance on behalf of the soul in need. But when one opts for a more medicinal or restorative approach rather than a punitive or retributive one, one according to which the suffering is not extrinsically imposed but is intrinsic to the very confrontation between sin and holiness, and therefore necessary, then the rationale for prayers for the dead becomes less obvious.49 According to such a view, one would never wish the soul to forego the purification process in the same way that one would never want a beloved to forego a life-saving treatment, no matter how unpleasant the process and its side-effects. e difference, at least prima facie, seems evident: it makes sense to ask God to turn the penal fire down; but it is not at all helpful to ask God to spare the scalpel. Nor does it make sense to pray for a successful purgation in the same way one prays for a successful surgery. Here below the outcome – even of some routine procedure – is uncertain, but the ultimate issue of the purificatory process under the guidance of the divine physician is not. In other words, a greater sense of urgency seems to prevail if the soul is subjected to torments which can be abridged by our prayers and penances; but if the soul, which must undergo a necessary procedure, is in the safe hands of the divine physician, whether and how we can assist is far from clear.

48

e summary here is based on Charles Journet’s reading of Aquinas, Quodlibet II, q. 7 in The Theology of the Church (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2004), 204-205. See also Aquinas’ treatise on suffrages in ST Supp. q. 71, a. 12. See also Charles Journet, “L’Église souffrante,” Nova et Vetera 7 (1932): 146-199. 49 I am not opting for the medicinal, restorative, or remedial over the penal, retributive, or juridical. Following Aquinas, I would say that all sin requires some sort of satisfaction and that this satisfaction both restores justice or right order (in both the agent and within relationships) and is medicinal (Aquinas, ST Supp. q. 13, a. 2, cor.; Supp. q. 12, a. 3, cor.). My focus in this piece on the medicinal here is contrasted with an image of extrinsic punishment (e.g., a material fire), not with the fulfilment of divine justice, which Catherine’s Treatise upholds (Catherine of Genoa, Treatise on Purgatory, 11, 20, 37, 39, 41, 47).

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What in this essay I attempt to show is that reading Newman’s Dream through the lens of Christ’s agony helps avoid a sense of helplessness, and instead provides a theological-imaginary foundation and incentive for our devotion to the dead, even if we opt to embrace a purgatorial tradition “less terrible to the imagination.” If the purgatorial process is indeed akin to Christ’s agony in the garden, it is no major leap to extend the agony’s relevance to the related theological question of suffrages for the dead. In Newman’s Dream, the prayers of those at Gerontius’ bedside resound at the throne of God, where the angel of the agony is also interceding: “I hear the voices that I left on earth,” says Gerontius. And his Angel replies It is the voice of friends around thy bed, Who say the “Subvenite” with the priest. Hither the echoes come: before the rone Stands the great Angel of the Agony, e same who strengthen’d Him, what time He knelt.50

Gerontius is surrounded by agents of help: his family is ‘behind him’ as it were, and the Angel of the Agony is before him. And his guiding Angel offers Gerontius this double-assurance of aid from both angels and from those whom he has le behind: Angels, to whom the willing task given, Shall tend, and nurse, and lull thee, as thou Liest; And masses on the earth, and prayers in heaven, Shall aid thee at the rone of the Most Highest.51

With the afore-established allusion to the agony, it is not unreasonable to see the behavior of the apostles in the garden as the foil not only to the Angel who comes to Christ’s aid, but also to the faithful Christian who comes to support the souls in purgatorial agony. e apostles in the garden were commanded to keep watch, but failed, whereas Gerontius’ family and friends are succeeding, and Gerontius takes notice: “I hear the voices that I le on earth.” Christ, on the other hand, never hears the voices of those whom he le behind him in the garden. Christ’s grief in the garden is enhanced by his friends’ failure to accompany him in his

50 51

Dream, 364-365. Ibid., 370.

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time of torment.52 Christ is isolated, abandoned, and alone (with the exception of the Angel in Luke). We cannot know for sure what Jesus expected of his disciples when he commanded them to stay awake, keep watch, and not to undergo the test. But the narrative as a whole, and his disappointment in them in particular (especially with Matthew’s threefold repetition) strongly suggest that Jesus was not only stoically offering them a lesson in spiritual combat, but sought his friends’ solidarity, companionship, and some kind of support or even aid.53 Taking the disciples as a lesson and the Angel of the Agony as an example, the faithful have reason to make offerings specifically intended to benefit the deceased (propter intentionem in eos directam). Our prayer could be considered a consolation, like the angel consoling Christ in the garden, and like what the apostles should have done but failed: namely to offer spiritual support and accompaniment. Just as, according to various interpretations, the angel is said to console Christ in the garden by revealing to him the merits of the saints, so too our prayers could aid the soul by drawing God’s attention to all the merits of the deceased soul, akin to a diagnostician informing the physician what, in the patient, is still healthy and therefore in no need of treatment. (Of course, we pray not to inform an ignorant God. We ‘inform’ God, as it were – and pray to an omniscient God – because he has told us to; because it is by prayer that God has ordered his providence to be carried out.)54 Our prayers for the dead (per viam impetrationis) ask God to take into account the merits of the individual during the purificatory process, in a way similar to how the liturgical assembly begs God to look not on our sins, but on the faith of the Church. e spiritual support that the disciples could have shown to Christ in the garden brings home to us the importance of our active participation in the suffering of the soul by way of penance or satisfaction (per viam satisfactionis). Here I do not simply mean that the apostles could have shown an empathy with Christ by staying awake. In enjoining them to stay awake and keep watch, Jesus is issuing his disciples a spiritual 52 Cf. Dale C. Allison, Jr., “Matthew,” The Oxford Bible Commentary, 844885, at 880. 53 e commentators for The Navarre Bible describe the pericope as narrating the “failure of the disciples to keep him [Jesus] faithful company.” The Navarre Bible: New Testament (Dublin: Four Courts, 2008), 141. 54 In praying, we are not trying to persuade a fickle God or inform an ignorant one. Cf. Mt 6:7-13. God’s knowing “what you need before you ask him” is a reminder to avoid babbling, not an exhortation not to ask.

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challenge. Spiritual sleep or remaining awake are eschatological metaphors akin to being children of the day and not the night (1 ess 5:57).55 By staying spiritually awake, resisting the temptation to despair, and demonstrating fidelity, the apostles could have consoled Jesus by diminishing the intensity of the vision of sin that Christ had to bear. It is classical teaching that, in making sacrifices or committing penances on behalf of the departed soul, the Christian is restoring an order that was dislodged by the sins of the departed. To the extent that the consequences of past sins can be rectified, the purification of the soul is furthered.56 is reminder to stay awake and keep watch is also a reminder that, beyond performing penances with a specific intention for the dead, our first and most fundamental gi to the departed is the pursuit of holiness, the life of grace and virtue. Our good of holiness is not our own, but benefits the entire Church, including the departed members propter unionem charitatis. In his commentary on the Gospels, John Calvin brings the reader’s attention to the fact that in Luke’s gospel, the evangelist tells us the reason for the apostles’ succumbing to sleep: from immoderate sorrow. For Calvin, the cause is not food- or drink-induced fatigue, but a paralysis that stems from being overwhelmed by fear and sadness. ere is, for Calvin, a twofold danger:

55 Boring and Craddock, The People’s New Testament Commentary, 163. Further in the narrative, Jesus says, upon his capture, “When I was with you day aer day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” David L. Balch, “Luke,” Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible, ed. James D. G. Dunn and John W. Rogerson (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), 1153. e command to keep watch is also the same as what Jesus asks of all his disciples with respect to a Christian vigilance about God’s visitation. Mk 13:36-37: “Watch therefore – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning – lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: ‘Watch’.” 56 It is worth noting that the efficaciousness of applied penance (per viam satisfactionis) depends on the via impetrationis. What we are praying for is not that a debt or punishment disappear, but that our work of devotion or charity satisfy for the debt of another; that a work of love compensate or contribute in some small way towards re-ordering a world that is dis-ordered. It is by God’s mercy for which we pray, that our own merits are accepted on behalf of the suffering soul, for by justice, our merit is our own. God’s mercy permits the ‘suffrage’ on behalf of another. Such an arrangement is according to God’s economy, whose pattern he set with the incarnation and passion of his Son.

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For if we dread no danger, he [Satan] intoxicates and drowns us in sleep; and if we experience fear and sorrow, which ought to arouse us to pray, he overwhelms our senses, so that they do not rise to God; and thus, in every respect, men fall away and forsake God, till he restores them.57

If we continue to apply the dynamics of the agony to purgatory, Calvin’s observation about the apostles – paradoxically to be sure, as one who had no time for the Romish doctrine – is applicable to the Church’s attitude towards the dead. e pilgrim Church is liable to “dread no danger” and therefore refrain from keeping watch with the soul in distress, or it can be overwhelmed with sorrow at the loss of a loved one, and thereby also fail to keep watch. e former is a presumption that issues in indifference; the second is a despair that issues in paralysis. In his poem, “e Golden Prison,” Newman asks those he leaves behind to avoid both of these errors. Weep not for me, when I am gone, Nor spend thy faithful breath In grieving o’er the spot or hour Of all-enshrouding death; Nor waste in idle praise thy love On deed of head or hand, Which live within the living Book, Or else are writ in sand; But let it be thy best of prayers, at I may find grace To reach the holy house of toll.58

at we pray for the dead is an exercise of the virtue of hope, which overcomes despair but not without confronting the challenges and obstacles that hinder the goal’s achievement. Christ’s perseverance and reliance on God in his sorrow exhibits for us the virtue requisite for praying for the dead. 6. Conclusion In the mystical tradition of Catherine of Genoa, Newman’s poetic depiction of purgatory avoids images of an externally-imposed fire torturing a soul begging for mercy. So while Newman’s representation cannot do away with the penal aspect of purgatory, he does succeed in rendering

57 58

Calvin, Commentary, 237-238. Newman, “Golden Prison,” V.V., 303.

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the doctrine “less terrible to the imagination.” But in doing so, the pastoral challenge remains of maintaining the practice of – let alone the urgency in – praying for the dead, in conformity with the Church’s faith and earliest tradition. e practice of prayers for the dead stands or falls with faith in their efficaciousness and necessity. We will not pray if we do not believe it accomplishes anything; and we will not pray if there is nothing to accomplish. My contention has been that, to better understanding the compatibility and even unity between the penal and medicinal (or penitential and ameliorative), and to provide a rationale for our prayers for the dead, it is helpful to read Newman’s Dream Christocentrically. For in Christ’s passion, these two aspects – the penal and medicinal – converge: “by his wounds, you have been healed” (1 Pt 2:24; cf. Is 53:5). And in the agony we find a pattern for our intercession. e agony in the garden offers two stark allusions relevant to purgatory. e first is the vision of sin, and the second the role of mediation. Both Jesus and Gerontius experience an agonizing vision of sin, while the Angel of the Agony assists them both. We have, then, not only a concentration of sin and its consequences in the vision, but also, with the Angel, an instance of mediated assistance or intercession. And whereas Jesus’ companions le behind in the garden fail to assist, those Gerontius leaves behind him offer prayers whose echo consoles him on his journey. Newman’s Dream thereby dramatizes purgatory as the doctrine with which the Catholic imagination takes seriously God’s holiness, our fallenness, and the theological gi of hope in Christ. It answers to that perennial human longing for eternal communion with God and our loved ones. What is more, the doctrine of purgatory coheres with and shores up the doctrine of the Incarnation and, in particular, the true humanity of Christ. Seeing purgatory as our own agony in the garden highlights this coherence. e one through whom all things were made, the Lord of all creation, is strengthened by a creature in his agony. e Christian’s suffrage for the dead is also a continuation of this incarnational logic because creatures strengthen creatures and thereby participate in God’s redemptive work. at a Christian can intercede and assist in another’s agony is the dignity of the Christian vocation and manifests the Son’s continual condescension.59 God calls creatures to assist one another, in 59 To use the phrase of Faber, “at He should let us do with His satisfactions what we will” (Faber, All for Jesus, 377).

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the way that he took on a created human nature to do the same. e pilgrim Church on earth is called to minister to the dead like the angel did to Christ, and to stay awake and keep watch and accompany the dead, who, like Christ, must confront sin to overcome it. Reading Newman’s Dream Christocentrically, with special attention to the agony, places purgatory in a more paschal framework and thereby reveals the efficacy of our prayers and penances. at is why it is crucial to see our prayers and penances as contributing to the re-establishing of an order that was dislodged by sin, a continuation of Christ’s work on the cross. If we are tempted to think that we need not pray for the dead, or that the soul is on a conveyor belt that automatically – mechanically – leads it through its purgation like a metal being tested – that “God’ll take care of ‘em,” as it were – then it behooves the Christian to examine his spiritual posture before Christ in agony: had we been in the garden with the apostles, what would we have done?

5 An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent Or: On Liturgy’s Spirituality Joris Geldhof

e title of the present contribution is an obvious allusion to John Henry Newman’s famous study with the intriguing title An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent,1 a book I came to know through the engaging classes of Professor Terrence Merrigan in the late 1990s. What I learnt (to appreciate) was that Newman’s tome was basically an ingenious attempt at underpinning, and at developing compelling reasons in support of, strong reality and truth claims that are intrinsic to the Christian faith. In other words, it was a kind of foundational theological epistemology, standing in the extraordinary tradition of British common sense philosophy but with unique Christian accents. Newman argued that for truth to be real it is not only important that assertions are correct, but also that ideas are incorporated in life. One could say that, for Newman, a truth to live from is ultimately more significant than mere theories and the systems of propositions of which they consist. e assent of the faith, then, is rather based on the embrace and interiorization of an encompassing vision than on the checking of a series of individual statements through processes of reasoning alone. Famous in Newman’s argument are the distinction between ‘notional’ and ‘real’ assent and the role of the ‘illative sense’. e latter is notoriously difficult to define, but its essence lies in a mental act of inference based on an accumulation of sufficient evidence on the ‘objective’ side and a serious commitment on the ‘subjective’ side. Inasmuch as the Christian faith relies on the apostles’ witness and the Church’s tradition, it will never be the outcome of individual thinking only. As a consequence, theology must not only deal with the content of beliefs, but also, equally, with believers’ reception of them. In this context, Jan Hendrik Walgrave, a renowned specialist of Newman’s work, very dear 1 John Henry Newman, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, ed. Ian T. Ker (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

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to Professor Merrigan, and a fine Dominican theologian all throughout, lucidly observed: Faith is therefore at the same time and essentially both a dogmatic assent and a personal commitment. As real, faith is prolonged in the Christian life in search of holiness; as notional, it is prolonged in theological reflection in search of clear knowledge.2 e two movements are not alien to each other. […] Uniting in a balanced way the notional clarity of the dogma with the intensity of Christian experience is therefore for Newman the ideal condition of faith.3

In other words, Newman brilliantly exposed an intrinsic tension between rationalism on the one hand, which is mainly interested in the cognitive content of dogmas, and experientialism on the other hand, which tends to exclusively insist on the lived reality of Christian faith as the sole standard for truth. His point is to always keep a well-reflected balance between the two. As a corollary, he calls to not exaggerate on either side, so that theologies neither become dry speculations detached of any connection with existential queries nor cheap and woolly stories to all too easily identify with. Sadly, however, one of the flaws of Newman’s exposé on the grammar of faith as a real assent is a thorough and pervading Liturgievergessenheit.4 Like so many theologians of his age, the liturgy hardly appears on his intellectual horizon, and when it appears, it is usually not taken seriously as an eminent theological and scholarly resource. Liturgy for Newman seems not to be primarily the celebration of the fullness of the paschal

2

See in this context Terrence Merrigan, Clear Heads and Holy Hearts: The Religious and Theological Ideal of John Henry Newman, Leuven Pastoral and eological Monographs 7 (Louvain: Peeters, 1991). 3 Jan Hendrik Walgrave, “Foi et dogme dans la théologie de Newman,”  in Selected Writings – Thematische Geschriften: Thomas Aquinas, J.  H. Newman, Theologia Fundamentalis, ed. Georges De Schrijver and James Kelly, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 58 (Louvain: Leuven University Press and Peeters, 1982), 232-241, at 235: “La foi est donc en même temps et essentiellement et un assentiment dogmatique et un engagement personnel. En tant que réelle, la foi se prolonge dans la vie chrétienne en quête de sainteté; en tant que notionelle, elle se prolonge dans la réflexion théologique en quête de connaissance claire. Les deux mouvements ne sont pas étrangers l’une à l’autre. […] Unir d’une manière équilibrée la clarté notionelle du dogme à l’intensité de l’expérience chrétienne est donc pour Newman la condition idéale de la foi” (the translation above has been made with the help of DEEPL and revised by the author). 4 For an exploration of this notion, see Joris Geldhof, Liturgical Theology as a Research Program (Leiden and Boston, MA: Brill, 2020), 16-23.

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mystery. Clearly, he worked with another understanding of the concept of ‘mystery’, whereby he exclusively focused on its being enigmatic and incomprehensible. According to him, “mystery is a proposition” and “the assent which we give to mysteries, as such, is notional assent.”5 Of course, it is crucial to avoid anachronisms. It makes very little sense to employ twentieth-century conceptualities, like e.g. Odo Casel’s encompassing theory of Mysteriengegenwart, to evaluate nineteenth-century theologies. Neither is it advisable to apply insights from one field of expertise – in this case sacramental theology and patristics – to thereby suggest that progress made in another area – here theological epistemology and fundamental theology – is obsolete or insignificant. So, the abovementioned blind spot in Newman’s thinking should not elicit any dismissive criticism let alone a vehement rejection. Rather, the oblivion of liturgy in Newman’s work should be taken as a mere observation and, at the same time, as a warning and an incentive for future theologies: to neither forget nor neglect liturgy. eologies today should be construed in such a way that their variegated investigations into the lex credendi of the Church can at least be corroborated by its longstanding lex orandi, if the lex orandi itself is not the explicit starting point for their research and reflections. e goal of the present contribution is to do exactly that with respect to Newman’s ‘grammar of assent’. In trying to expound what a ‘grammar of ascent’ means, I hope to deliver relevant support for Newman’s account of the Christian faith from a contemporary perspective. It will be shown how a thorough reflection about the fundamentals of liturgical spirituality meaningfully complements as well as undergirds Newman’s theological epistemology. To do that properly, however, implies certain choices and, therefore, of necessity, limitations. In particular, it is fitting to select a well-chosen case study, which in this case is provided by the oenoverlooked solemnity of the Ascension – usually, Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost receive most attention from the side of theologians. Liturgical scholars however agree that the feast of the Ascension exhibits essential elements of the paschal mystery as a whole and that it has its rightful place in Easter time.6 It is worth highlighting those elements first before embarking on a critical discussion of some interesting theological scholarship around the motif of ascent in Christian faith. Of particular interest in this double movement – i.e. the heortological exploration and the 5

Newman, Grammar of Assent, 36. Matias Augé, L’anno liturgico: È Cristo stesso presente nella sua Chiesa (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011), 153-165. 6

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review of theological literature – is how an authentic Christian spirituality is engraed on, embedded in, and expressed by the liturgy. 1. Elements from the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension in the Roman Rite As for the present discussion of the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, reference will be made to its current form in the Missale Romanum including the lectionary and the Breviarium Romanum. In other words, our exclusive focus will be its shape and content in the Roman rite and its celebration in the Catholic Church. In addition, it is important to include both the regime of the Eucharist and the regime of the liturgy of the hours, because a systematic heortology cannot consist of an analysis of the readings and the prayers of the mass only. I will subsequently discuss the prefaces of the Ascension, the orations, the New Testament readings of the mass during the day (in die), psalms 47 and 68, which have a special significance for the feast of the Ascension, and the readings from the Fathers of the Church provided for the office of readings in years I and II. Together this selection of liturgical and Biblical material allows a profound insight into the composition of the solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension (In ascensione Domini), as the feast is officially called. e goal of these brief investigations is to show how the themes of ascent and ascension are interwoven with other images, ideas and visions, and how they can incite a liturgical spirituality. 1. Two Prefaces e most recent version of the Roman missal – i.e. the emended reprint of the third typical edition which came out in 2008 – offers two prefaces for the feast of the Ascension of the Lord.7 ey can both be used in the time between Ascension and Pentecost, too. While the first one is a new composition which came into being in the context of the liturgical reforms aer Vatican II, the second one is the same that was already there in the 1570 missal of Pius V and which originally stems from the

7

Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, reimpressio emendata (Rome: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 2008), 535-536. Translations are taken from the official English translation that was approved for use in the dioceses of the US by the USCCB, of which there are many separate editions.

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Hadrianum, the sacramentary which Pope Hadrian offered to Charlemagne for use in his empire.8 e first preface excels in a rich theological content, in particular through making use of an abundance of Christological titles. Christ is called king of glory (Rex gloriae), conqueror of sin and death (peccati Triumphator et mortis), mediator between God and humanity (Mediator Dei et hominum), judge of the world (Iudex mundi), and Lord of hosts (Dominusque virtutum). It is rather rare that Christ is described with such a wealth of images in the euchology of the Roman rite. For the composition of this prayer, the reformers were inspired by prayers from the ancient Verona collection, which in its turn resonates with ideas from Leo the Great’s ascension homilies. More important, however, is that they underscore the central idea of the traditional ascension preface. is latter text emphasizes the petition that Christ “might make us sharers in his divinity” (ut nos divinitatis suae tribueret esse participes). In other words, the ascent of Christ to heaven is not meant to create an insurmountable distance. Rather, it shapes the opportunity to go where He has gone before. Furthermore, the two prefaces unanimously underline that this is a reason for immense joy.9 2. Four Orations for the Mass during the Day e Roman missal provides two options for the collect of the mass during the day, which is highly exceptional. e situation is the same as with the prefaces: the first alternative is a new composition of the reformers based on patristic material, in particular Leo the Great, and the second one is the traditional collect with roots in the Hadrianum. Whereas the first two editiones typicae of the Roman missal had omitted the traditional collect, the third one took it up again.10 ematically, the prayers advance the idea of joy because of Christ’s ascension, for it is to be considered as a kind of promotion for humankind staying behind. It is an

8 Patrick Regan, Advent to Pentecost: Comparing the Seasons in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2012), 285, 282. 9 e formula with which they connect the mirabilia Dei to the singing of the Sanctus is the same in the two texts: “erefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise.” Literally, the Latin text says: Quapropter, profusis paschalibus gaudiis, totus in orbe terrarum mundus exsultat. 10 Regan, Advent to Pentecost, 284, 282.

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incentive for the Church to follow Christ: “where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope.” e prayer over the offerings continues this line of development inasmuch as the missal mentions the “most holy exchange” (commerciis sacrosanctis) between Christ and humanity, to which it also refers on Christmas.11 Christ’s ascension, again, does by no means cause alienation but on the contrary establishes a profound connection beyond his death and resurrection. Finally, the prayer aer communion reinforces this once more: “grant, we pray, that Christian hope may draw us onward to where our nature is united with you.” 3. Readings from the New Testament e identity of the feast of Jesus’ ascension into heaven is obviously marked by the opening verses of the Acts of the Apostles. Luke reports that aer the resurrection Jesus appeared to the apostles and that he showed them that he was alive (Acts 1:3). He also urged them not to leave Jerusalem and to wait for the Spirit to come (Acts 1:5, 8). e subsequent story of the actual ascension, however, is very concise and does not contain many narrative details. It is simply said that Jesus was elevated before the eyes of the apostles and that a cloud hindered their sight (Acts 1:9). e interpretation of what happened is laid into what two men in white cloths, who suddenly appeared on the scene, declare: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? is Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11; NRSV). is latter verse, with the notorious addressing ‘Men of Galilee’ (Viri Galilaei), has exerted a quite considerable influence on the history of the liturgy. It is there as the introit of the mass during the day and in the antiphons of the liturgy of the hours. It is important to realize that this account in Acts 1 is certainly not the only passage from Scripture which has impacted on the understanding of Christ’s ascension as a whole. Together with Adrien Nocent, who wrote a noteworthy and extensive commentary on the revised liturgical year, one could even contend that “if we had only Luke’s account, we would be unable to elaborate a theology of the ascension.”12 e readings 11 Missale Romanum, 155 (in the prayer over the offerings in the mass during the night). 12 Adrient Nocent, The Liturgical Year II: Lent, the Sacred Paschal Triduum, Easter Time, trans Matthew J. O’Connell, intr., em. and ann. by Paul Turner (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014), 398.

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from the gospels in years A, B and C constitute one additional element. In each case it is the last verses from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke that are read. ey concern the farewell of Jesus, which in all cases goes along with words of comfort and instructions. Moreover, the fact that Jesus’ destiny is ‘up’ in ‘heaven’ is key for understanding the point of the ascension. Normand Bonneau explains: ese gospel passages amplify and elaborate various dimensions of Jesus’ enthronement at the right hand of God, figurative language signifying that through his resurrection Jesus is exalted as Lord and thus shares fully in God’s power. rough his resurrection, ascension, and exaltation, Jesus has been established henceforth as the only mediator between God and humankind.13

In addition to the gospels, there are also the second readings. Originally, it was only a passage from Ephesians 1 that was foreseen for the three years A, B and C. It is still possible to do that, but the lectionary now provides an alternative for years B and C. None of them adds anything narrative to the understanding of the ascension; they rather deepen its theology through images. e three selections proposed for the feast of the Ascension bring out different dimensions of Jesus’ enthronement at God’s right hand. e Year A reading from Ephesians 1 stresses Jesus’ power over all earthly rule and dominion and describes him as the head of his body, the Church. In Year B, Ephesians 4 elaborates on the Christ-Church relationship, explaining that it is Christ the head of the Church who creates unity and makes the body grow. e passage from Hebrews for Year C develops the salvific aspects of Jesus’ ascension. As the high priest, Christ enters, not the Holy of/ Holies in the temple at Jerusalem, but the heavenly sanctuary not made by human hands and thus fulfills once for all the sacrifice that takes away sin.14

4. Psalms 47 and 68 In addition to the abovementioned texts, psalm 47 is instrumental to comprehend the liturgical theology of the ascension. It is a relatively short psalm but it prominently figures both as the responsorial psalm in the Eucharist in years A, B, and C, and as the second psalm of the second

13 Normand Bonneau, The Sunday Lectionary: Ritual Word, Paschal Shape (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998), 83. 14 Bonneau, Sunday Lectionary, 91-92.

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vespers.15 e psalm stands out in a certain triumphalism in that it depicts God as a mighty ruler who subdues the nations. e appropriate response to his victories is endless praise, as is strongly put forward in verse 6: “Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises” (Ps 47:6; NRSV). However, the privileged position of psalm 47 in the liturgy actually depends on the previous verse: “God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet” (Ps 47:5). For in the Latin of the Vulgate, the first part of this verse simply says Ascendit Deus in iubilo. Clearly, the liturgical tradition of the Church has seen in this verse an allusion to Christ’s ascension aer the resurrection. It is therefore no coincidence that it is taken as the refrain in the responsorial psalm and as the antiphon in the vespers. Psalm 68 is a much longer piece of text than psalm 47 (36 verses instead of 10), but shows large correspondence with respect to its content and overall tone. Psalm 68 praises God for his mighty interventions, mightier than any earthly king can achieve. Again, the appropriate response is abundant and unceasing praise, as it is concisely put in one verse towards the end of the psalm: “Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord” (Ps 68:32). But it is once more one single verse that directly connects the psalm to the feast of the Ascension: “You ascended the high mount, leading captives in your train and receiving gis from people” (Ps 68:18). e first part of this sentence in the Latin of the Vulgate is Ascendisti in altum, with a verb form of the root ascendere, akin to the noun ascensio. It is again not a coincidence that this verse is used as the second antiphon in the office of readings. Antiphons in the liturgy of the hours help focus the ones who pray them by putting salient accents; their function can be compared with the alleluia verses preceding the reading of the gospel in the Eucharist. 5. Readings from Leo the Great and Augustine of Hippo In addition to a hymn and psalms, the office of readings essentially consists of a reading from Scripture and one which is traditionally taken from the Fathers of the Church but which can nowadays also be drawn from contemporary spiritual authors. For the solemnity of the Ascension, however, this latter possibility has not been taken as an option. e office of ‘matins’ in the tradition already had a reading from one of Leo 15 e first vespers are sung on the eve of the feast, the second on the day of the feast itself. Lauds and vespers are considered the ‘hinges’ of the liturgy of the hours in Sacrosanctum concilium (#89a).

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the Great’s famous homilies, and that choice was reinforced by the liturgical reforms aer Vatican II. For the second cycle of readings – there is now a Year I and Year II in the office of readings – an excerpt from a homily of Saint Augustine of Hippo was selected. Leo the Great underscores that the ascension must be seen in continuity with the risen Jesus’ appearances to his disciples, which are to be interpreted as an encouragement of the early Christian community’s faith. Leo correspondingly reassures his audience that Christ’s ascension into heaven, although it was a farewell, is not a reason for sadness but instead a source of immeasurable joy.16 It is this joy which the Church should join in. In his turn, Augustine likewise states that Jesus’ disappearance into heaven is neither a removal nor an alienation but the deepening of a bond of love. He makes it clear that the ascension is something which happens ‘today’ (hodie), and that it is thus an event which people can associate themselves with at any time. By way of concluding this first section, three elements stand out. First, the concise heortological analysis of the feast demonstrates that the ascension is a complex and multi-layered mystery of faith. It is not only dependent on the story of the risen Jesus’ vanishing before the eyes of his disciples as told by Luke. e liturgy weaves many more themes and images through the feast and so offers a rich palette of meanings. Second, there is an intrinsic connection between the ascension and the Christ event, which makes it impossible to suppose that the ascension of Jesus Christ is only a minor element in the event as a whole. erefore, it is theologically inappropriate to consider Christ’s ascension into heaven as less important than e.g. the incarnation. As the ascension is an integral part of the Easter cycle, so much so that the Easter cycle is impossible to imagine without it, so it is the case that it is at once an integral dimension of the Christ event. ird, the ascension involves the community of the Church. e role of the apostles is not to be reduced to a narrative detail. On the contrary, the roots of a Christian-and-ecclesial life of 16 e famous and oen-quoted line that “what was to be seen in our Redeemer has passed over in the sacraments” is likewise taken from an Ascension homily by Leo the Great. e idea expressed in this line has nearly acquired the status of a principle. For an interpretation of it, see my essay “Paschal Joy Continued: Exploring Leo the Great’s eology of Christ’s Ascension into Heaven,” in Preaching after Easter: Mid-Pentecost, Ascension, and Pentecost in Late Antiquity, ed. Richard W. Bishop, Johan Leemans, and Hajnalka Tamas, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 136 (Leiden and Boston, MA: Brill, 2016), 386-404.

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mission, service, and testimony lie in the culmination of the post-resurrection appearances in the ascension of Christ the head of his Church. Taking together these three observations, which were made on the basis of an exploration of the liturgy of the feast of the Lord’s ascension as it is currently celebrated in the Roman rite, and using well-known systematic-theological vocabulary, one could say that the ascension functions as the hinge between the economic and the immanent Trinity. Moving from a reflection on how the triune God is operative in world and history to a contemplation of who God is in Godself, means making a transition via the ascension. 2. The Motif of ‘Ascent’ in Liturgical Theology and Spirituality is latter assertion is now to be elaborated in some more detail. e goal of the present section is to find evidence for it in sound theological scholarship which has explicitly dealt with the age-old motif of ascent and ascension in Christian faith and theology.17 An interesting and most fitting starting point for these explorations is David Fagerberg’s definition of liturgy: “Liturgy is the Trinity’s perichoresis kenotically extended to invite our synergistic ascent into deification.”18 It gives rise to reflections about different aspects related to the central topic of this essay, the grammar of ascent. 1. Ascent and Participation One of the thought-provoking aspects of Fagerberg’s definition of liturgy is the combination of kenosis and theosis, which makes one think of the exitus-reditus scheme underlying not only omas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae as a marvelous intellectual construction, but also faith as such. As Julie Canlis says in her book about ascent and ascension, “[t]he 17 at this motif is centuries old, and that it has deep roots in both the Old and the New Testament, can be derived from an encyclopedia entry such as “Ascent of the Soul” by Frederick van Fleteren in Augustine through the Ages: An Encyclopedia, ed. Allan D. Fitzgerald (Grand Rapids, MI and Cambridge: Eerdmans, 1999), 63-67. 18 David W. Fagerberg, On Liturgical Asceticism (Washington, DC: e Catholic University of America Press, 2013), 9 (italics in the original), 113-114. In more recent publications, Fagerberg has repeated and further elaborated this definition. See e.g. id., Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology (Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2016), 6; id., Liturgical Mysticism (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Academic, 2019), xvi.

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Summa is less a sterile intellectual apologetic, as it is oen caricatured, than an invitation prayerfully to consider humanity’s beginning and end, a beginning and end that are ordered wholly to God.”19 Faith can thus be understood as the sharing of the permanent movement which originates in God, which permeates and encompasses the entire creation and which will finally return in God. Fagerberg’s definition implies that humankind has been equipped to cooperate with the upward part of this movement (hence the allusion to ‘synergy’), the goal of which is to overcome anything which hinders the full reconciliation between God and humankind. Or, as Canlis expounds with a reference to Calvin, “[t]he entire Christian life is an outworking of this ascent – the appropriate response to God’s descent to us – that has already taken place in Christ. us, […] the only appropriate human ascent is a matter of participating in Christ.”20 e conviction that it is possible to participate in this grand dynamic, is absolutely fundamental and requires some further elaboration. According to Canlis, it is “impossible to deny that the concept (and praxis) of participation is at the center of Christian faith.”21 One of the arguments she puts forward to underpin this claim is based on an interpretation of what koinônia (communio) means, and how it is related to different aspects of the Christian faith. “As such, koinônia is at the center of Christian theology (the study of God), anthropology (the study of ourselves), and spirituality (the Christian pattern of experience: being led by the Spirit into God’s own triune communion).”22 e concept is used both in Hellenistic philosophy and in the Bible, primarily in the corpus of Paul’s letters. As a consequence, a Christian understanding of koinônia interweaves ontological and scriptural undertones into a fascinating whole, in such a way that one cannot simply dismiss it as something alien which was borrowed from Greek metaphysics, or else as something equally alien which cannot be matched with contemporary worldviews. “e early Christians so readily appropriated the language of participation because it offered a conceptual way into how they perceived their altered reality and worship.”23

19 Julie Canlis, Calvin’s Ladder: A Spiritual Theology of Ascent and Ascension (Grand Rapids, MI and Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2010), 37. 20 Ibid., 3. 21 Ibid., 5. 22 Ibid., 8. 23 Ibid., 17.

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Put differently, participation is real and not only notional. It is not only the result of an individual subject undertaking rational considerations; it is an awareness of sharing a reality like and with others. is awareness and this sharing shed an interesting light on the concept of active participation, which became the key notion in the history of the Liturgical Movement.24 is concept has oen been misunderstood, as if it could be reduced to offering more prominent roles to the laity in celebrations of the Sunday Eucharist by the parish community. Before such practical consequences are drawn – and they are by no means insignificant – it is crucial to have a sense of why they matter. ey matter because active participation in the liturgy is first and foremost a real sharing in the upward movement from humanity to divinity. Before active participation is a pastoral program it is a doxological necessity and an ontological possibility. As a corollary, liturgical spirituality is and has to be profoundly mystagogical, in that it initiates in this mysterious reality and prepares for a growing familiarization with what it means to ‘ascend into deification’. 2. Ascension and Christ e only and unique mediator in that process is Jesus Christ, the one whose self-emptying flows forth from the Trinitarian perichoresis, which is nothing but a mystery of love. e purpose of the Son of God’s incarnation and earthly mission and ministry is to unite humankind, to extend the invitation for salvation universally, and to prepare all people for the ascent to heaven. In his noteworthy exploration of what an “ascension theology” would be, Farrow notes that this ascent, as a sharing in Christ’s ascension, is not a static business but a dynamic undertaking, one moreover with deep roots in Old Testament symbolism: “Just as the ark, with its mercy seat, moves from Sinai to Zion, tracing out the mighty arc of God’s saving hand among the people of Israel, so Jesus moves from the earthly Zion to the heavenly, tracing out God’s salvation both for Israel and for all the world.”25 Canlis meaningfully adds: “It is Jesus’ ascent back to the Father into which humanity is included and which completes the economic mission of the second person of the Trinity. 24 Jozef Lamberts, ed., The Active Participation Revisited: La participation active 100 ans après Pie X et 40 ans après Vatican II, Textes et études liturgiques / Studies in Liturgy 19 (Louvain: Peeters, 2004). 25 Douglas Farrow, Ascension Theology (London and New York: T&T Clark, 2011), 46.

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Ascent thus becomes the metaphor that governs the entire Christian life – a life marked by a ‘return’ to God and inclusion in the triune life of love.”26 Two classical images having Christ at their core stand out to further elucidate this mysterious reality. e first one is Christ the High Priest, a Christological image with close ties to central themes in the Letter to the Hebrews. Its author sketches a contrast between the worship of the old covenant, in the context of which animal sacrifices took place on a regular basis, and the worship of the new covenant, which no longer requires any bloodshed and which is moreover meant to endure forever. Still according to the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, Christ replaced the figure of the high priest whose responsibility it was to offer the right sacrifices in the temple and to enter yearly into the holy of holies. Christ himself became “the high priest of the good things that have come” (Heb 9:11) and, as such, the “mediator of a new covenant” (Heb 9:15). e text continues: “Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf” (Heb 9:24) – a verse which is read in the liturgy of the mass in Year C (cf. supra). It is there, in the heavenly realm, where he intercedes for humankind and where he continues to assure them of salvation in his name. Dom Columba Marmion, who wrote an intriguing spiritual commentary on the mysteries of Christ as represented by the liturgy, accordingly emphasizes that “Christ does not enter there alone. Our High Priest takes us with Him, not in a symbolic way but in reality. […] On the day of His ascension, Christ, Supreme High Priest of the human race, took us with Him, by right and hope, to heaven.”27 Orthodox theologian Boris Bobrinskoy, who profoundly reflected on these same realities, draws the attention to the fact that the Letter to the Hebrews connects the idea of Christ being a new kind of high priest with his being a ‘forerunner’ (prodromos in Greek). Its author encourages Christians and assures them of an unshakable hope. “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 6:19-20). Bobrinskoy explains:

26

Canlis, Calvin’s Ladder, 93. Columba Marmion, Christ in His Mysteries, trans. Alan Bancro (Leominster: Gracewing, 2009), 366. 27

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is passage expresses a truth which is of the utmost importance for an understanding of Christian worship, namely that it was not only in his capacity as High Priest, but also as ‘forerunner for us’ that Jesus entered heaven. By penetrating within the Holy of Holies, he draws us aer him into the intimacy of the life of the Trinity, which had hitherto been inaccessible to fallen mankind, into the very heart of the divine Glory.28

e second image is arguably less centrally Christological but obviously inconceivable without strong Christological import. It is the (mystical) Body of Christ, which has evident ecclesial and sacramental aspects, which are interwoven with each other in complicated but fascinating ways.29 e emphasis on these sacramental and ecclesial dimensions, however, should never form an excuse to look away from Christ’s bodily nature, as Canlis knows. “Ascent is primarily Christ’s, yet his mission was to include us in his ascending return to the Father. Union with God is only through his body, his humanity, his ‘weakness’. Ascent is with Him and is ‘up’ to his physicality, where he lives and reigns with the Father.”30 In other words, the threefold meaning of the ‘Body of Christ’ – Jesus’ earthly existence, the Church of which he is the head, and the consecrated host – cohere and may never be torn apart. is implies that Christ’s ascension as the capacitation for humankind’s ascent infuses meaning into all three mentioned dimensions of his Body. In this context, Marmion concludes that “the members share in the glory of the head, and the joy of one person is reflected in the whole body. at is why we share in all the treasures Christ possesses; His joys, His glories, His beatitude become ours.”31 A genuine liturgical spirituality, therefore, will unfold itself as a series of attempts to join and, where necessary, to heal and to relieve the Body of Christ, so that its ascent is made smoother. 3. Ascent and Eucharist It will come as no surprise that the Eucharist situates itself precisely at this crossroads between vertical and horizontal dimensions. Hence it is instructive to briefly investigate how the motif of ascent resonates with the many meanings of the Eucharist. First of all, it can be noted that the central prayer of praise and thanksgiving, which since antiquity has been 28 Boris Bobrinskoy, “Worship and the Ascension of Christ,” Studia Liturgica 2 (1963): 108-123, at 113. 29 Henri de Lubac, Corpus Mysticum: The Eucharist and the Church in the Middle Ages, trans. Gemma Simmonds et al. (London: SCM Press, 2006). 30 Canlis, Calvin’s Ladder, 114-115. 31 Marmion, Christ in His Mysteries, 357.

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the central part of Eucharistic celebrations, is called the anaphora. Literally, the Greek verb anapherein means to carry up and corresponds with the Latin verb offerre, from which the noun oblatio is derived. e Eucharistic oblation is that which is brought to the altar, from where it is taken up into heaven, as the Roman canon, the sole Eucharistic prayer in use in the West for one and a half millennium,32 beautifully expresses: We humbly beseech you, almighty God, bid these things be borne by the hands of your angel to your altar on high, in the sight of your divine majesty, that all of us who have received the most holy body and blood of your Son by partaking at this altar may be filled with all heavenly blessing and grace; through Christ our Lord.33

Another relevant liturgical component is the “sursum corda” call, the second of three elements of the introductory dialogue with which the people gathered for the Eucharist are invited to prepare themselves for the Eucharistic prayer containing the words of institution, which were traditionally considered to constitute the consecration of the bread and wine. is call is commonly rendered as “Li up your hearts” and responded to with, “We li them up to the Lord.” e Latin original is more succinct and interestingly has no verb in the first part: “sursum corda” – “habemus ad Dominum.” It actually simply says “up with the hearts” and thereby affirms the overall tendency of the anaphora at its very outset: up to where the Lord is. is upward movement finds its point of culmination in the final doxology with which the Roman canon – as well as all the other Eucharistic prayers of the post-Vatican II Roman missal – ends: “rough him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever.” e accompanying rubric stipulates that at this point the chalice and the paten are both

32 Enrico Mazza, The Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Rite, trans. Matthew J. O’Connell (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004 [1986]). 33 Ronald C. D. Jasper and Geoffrey J. Cuming, Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed, ed. Paul F. Bradshaw and Maxwell E. Johnson, 4th ed. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2019), 208. For the Latin original of this part of the prayer, the Supplices te, see the standard edition of Anton Hänggi and Irmgard Pahl, Prex eucharistica: Textus e variis liturgiis antiquioribus selecti (Fribourg/CH: Éditions Universitaires, 1968), 435. Whereas the Latin text currently in use in official liturgical books such as the Missale Romanum hardly deviates from this latter source, the common English translation in liturgical use shows a bit more variety. e stability of the text, however, is a remarkable given of the liturgical tradition.

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‘raised’, a ritual gesture which again symbolically alludes to the general ascending move which the Eucharist makes. is upward movement, however, is not a simple liing but goes along with, and conditions, a substantial transformation, as is clearly put forward by Canlis: “[C]ommunion in the Lord’s Supper is not a human activity but the Spirit’s means of grounding and reconstituting our very being. As such, the Eucharist is an extension of that all-radical, alltransforming communion we share, by invitation, with the Trinity.”34 Marmion is aer something similar, when he connects the Eucharistic communion with Christ’s glory: “rough holy communion, we are united to Jesus; and in coming to us, Our Lord grants us to share in hope the glory He enjoys in reality.”35 at perspective of glory is at once an invitation to permeate all of reality with it, and from there the role of Christian faithful in the world can be adequately described. It comes down to assisting in the work of the abovementioned sweeping change of reality. Fagerberg captures this very accurately, when he evocatively writes: “e laic in the city should become as dead to sin as the hermit in the desert, for the laic has been thrown back into the world to obey the King’s commands: beget justice, spiritualize creation, sit on the throne as royal homo adorans,36 and gather up the cosmos into the liturgical ascent to God.”37 Inasmuch as it is true that all these aspects converge in the Eucharist, it ought to play a premier role in any Christian and liturgical spirituality. 4. Ascent, Heaven, and Theosis A further aspect of the motif of ascent in Christian faith and liturgical spirituality concerns heaven. ‘Heaven’ is the place where the ascended

34

Canlis, Calvin’s Ladder, 171. I would nuance, however, the harsh denial of the Lord’s Supper being a human activity, and say that it is ‘not only’ a human activity. It is likely that here plays a difference between Protestantism and Catholicism. 35 Marmion, Christ in His Mysteries, 358. 36 e use of the image of the human being as first and foremost homo adorans, is an allusion to the groundbreaking liturgical theology of Alexander Schmemann, who, in line with traditional teachings of the Orthodox tradition, interpreted Adam primarily as a priest and the fall as a rupture in the ‘natural’ communication with God. Christ, the Son of God and High Priest, came to rectify this rupture, so that the human beings’ sacrifices of praise again reach God, and so that genuine communication between the two partners is restored. 37 Fagerberg, Liturgical Asceticism, 146.

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Christ went to and where he is sitting, or seated, as the words of the creed have it while repeating several passages from Scripture, at the right hand of the Father. e word ‘heaven’ moreover appears in the German and Dutch name for the feast of the Ascension (Himmelfahrt resp. hemelvaart). However, the spatial implications of this imagery are by no means uncontested; they are widely considered obsolete, dependent on prescientific cosmologies (and thus useless), even deceiving and unnecessary for a contemporary understanding of Christianity. Some philosophers, who still ask the God-question, propose to finally leave behind any spatial presuppositions when one talks about God and to resolutely opt for the route of interiorization.38 is proposal implies that any metaphysical idea of God is problematized and that any such presentation is replaced by a subtle yet profound awareness of the givenness of being, including our own being, within which God’s existence can slowly, but always in a vulnerable fashion, be suspected or (re)discovered. e problem with this proposal is not that it has no promising potential for the future of Christian faith, especially in so-called post-secular cultures. Rather, the problem is that it is untenable if Bible, liturgy, Church, and tradition are to continue to play a role in shaping the Christian imagination. Farrow competently captures the paradox involved here: e place to which Jesus goes in his ascension – the ‘there’ and ‘then’ of the life which he lives at the Father’s right hand as founder of the new Jerusalem – is really a place, yet it is not one to which we can refer on our own terms, cosmological or otherwise. It is not somewhere in this world, a Lebensraum attainable by political or technological conquest; nor yet is it somewhere in addition to this world, an ‘outside’ to which one escapes. Rather it exists by virtue of the transformation or reconstitution of this world in the Spirit. Hence it can be referred to only indirectly […], and can be touched only sacramentally.39

is sacramental touch is definitely a touch by grace enabling a share in Christ’s eternal glory.

38 Ignace Verhack, Wat bedoelen wij wanneer wij God zeggen? (Kalmthout: Pelckmans; Zoetermeer: Klement, 2011); id., Gegevenheid: Pleidooi voor een postseculier geloven (Averbode: Uitgeverij Averbode, 2019). 39 Farrow, Ascension Theology, 47. Elsewhere Farrow clarifies: “[T]he ascension is not merely removal from a place but also to a place. If in the resurrection Jesus is already transfigured and transformed – the mortal being made immortal – in the ascension he is also translated or relocated. at is, he is taken up and placed by God where he properly belongs, just as God once took Adam and put him in Eden” (ibid., 45).

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From this perspective, the Christian life is a journey (in growing) in mystery. To the question “where this path leads,” Fagerberg straightforwardly responds that “the end of a human being is theosis,” and he continues: e purpose of the descending incarnation was to enable an ascending deification. To overlook that last act of the paschal mystery is to miss the purpose of the whole economy. In the Ascension, the divine nature of Jesus was not returning from whence it came aer docetically discarding a temporary humanity. His human nature also ascended into heaven.40

Farrow concurs: “Ascension, in other words, is deification, and deification nothing but the fulfillment of man’s creation. It is not a return to the eternal past aer an unhappy episode in time. It is the setting of man, once and for all, within the open horizons of the trinitarian life and love, where he may flourish and be fruitful in perpetuity.”41 As was done at the end of the previous section, it is useful to resume three central thoughts, which ran through the above discussion of some pertinent scholarship on the motif of ascent and ascension. e goal of drawing out these ideas is to profile a contemporary liturgical spirituality. First, while having Jesus Christ as a focal point of one’s attention, the ascension functions as a universal invitation for ascent. His ascension is seen as preparing the way for anyone who wishes to follow him. However, there are no restrictions for whom that can be, since literally any person on earth is both invited and capable of following him. Second, this very awareness poses a continuous challenge to the Church and to the ways in which it offers, interprets, and lives communion. It is not because the Church is communion with Christ that it possesses and controls his Body, for it ascended into heaven. In other words, Christ’s ascension is above all an immense gi to humanity, a treasure which no one can measure. ird, it has become clear that the ascension is above all a “mystery to be understood,” much more than that it would be a “miracle to be believed” – to employ a most apt formulation by Henri de Lubac.42 As a mystery which allows itself to be understood, it is also porous, and the porosity of mystery is both an ontological and a doxological reality. It means that a Christian and liturgical spirituality is geared to permeating the mystery through letting oneself be permeated by it. It is a spirituality situated at the ongoing transition of economic and immanent Trinity. 40 41 42

Fagerberg, On Liturgical Asceticism, 186. Farrow, Ascension Theology, 36. De Lubac, Corpus Mysticum, 240.

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3. Concluding Reflection is latter exercise is never only something notional but always something real. It does not suffice to investigate the mystery if one obstinately refuses any kind or degree of absorption by it. Liturgy requires real assent as much as it supposes real ascent. And, as Walgrave thoughtfully noted, this of course involves a movement towards God; the assent becomes a well of the ascent: “Real assent is in the believer the source of a movement towards God.”43 Or, as Farrow says: e doctrine of the ascension, properly understood, does not articulate an optimistic faith in an era of progress in unity or equality, and of advance towards God. It articulates the most primitive and the most costly of all Christian confessions: Κυριος Ιησους, Jesus is Lord. Pastorally speaking, its primary purpose is to put to the church the Sinaitic question, which is the question of faithfulness to its Lord in the time of its hiddenness.44

Put differently, dogma and doxa are intimately intertwined. e understanding of the dogma, or indeed mystery, of Christ’s ascension is rooted in, as well as conducive to, prayerful confession and communion. It marks one’s faith commitment as much as it establishes a sacramental, i.e. real and symbolic, connection with God and his people. To this insight Bobrinskoy adds that it is all about a sharing in and of the same Spirit: e Ascension of the Savior and the historical Pentecost (Acts 2) are two events that mark a boundary between the evangelical mode of the presence of Christ (manifested in the flesh, 1 Tim 3:16), and the ecclesial mode of his presence. If during the time His life on earth, the Savior was the favorite, plenary locus of the presence of the Spirit, from then on the Spirit, who animates the ecclesial body of Christ, is, in turn, the locus, the proper space of the presence of Christ, of ‘the One who is, who was, and who is to come’.45

Maybe this is the reason why Marmion confesses a particular preference for the solemnity of the Ascension: “Of all the Feasts of Our Lord, I dare to say that, in a certain sense, the Ascension is the greatest, because it is the supreme glorification of Christ Jesus.”46 e life of the Christian

43

Walgrave, “Foi et dogme,” 238: “L’assentiment réel est dans le croyant source d’un mouvement vers Dieu.” 44 Farrow, Ascension Theology, 61. 45 Boris Bobrinskoy, The Mystery of the Trinity: Trinitarian Experience and Vision in the Biblical and Patristic Tradition, trans. Anthony P. Gythiel (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1999), 168-169. 46 Marmion, Christ in His Mysteries, 347.

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consists in becoming better and better at speaking the language of that glorification; it is a matter both of genuineness and skill, of humble sharing and a willingness to continuously learn. e acquisition of this language is none other than a thoroughly liturgical one, including a devotion to the feast of the Lord’s ascension and a sharpening of one’s ‘oblative sense’.47 But, in any case, it can be concluded that the vocabulary of Christian spirituality only makes sense inasmuch as it is engraed on, and if it aids, a liturgical grammar of ascent.

47

I am hoping to develop the conceptual potential of this notion at some point in the future. In doing that I would like to further honor Professor Terrence Merrigan, whose fine theological intuitions have always been and will always be an inspiration to me.

Part II

Christology, Trinity, and Church

6 Tilling the Ground for a Later Christology Raymond F. Collins

Writing an essay in honor of a former student and distinguished colleague is always a challenge, especially when the writer remembers the younger colleague’s foray into theological studies as a first-year student in the (then) Faculty of eology of the Catholic University of Leuven. e challenge is all the more daunting when this former student has made a name for himself in the contemporary academic world through his writings on (St) John Henry Cardinal Newman, on Christology and the Trinity, on interreligious dialogue, and on the significance of secularization. Contributing further to the challenge is that the writer is a scholar who has worked in none of these fields but is a biblical scholar, a New Testament scholar who had the honor of teaching the young Terry Merrigan when the latter first arrived in Leuven and who cherishes the memory of turning the keys of his office on the third floor of the Maurits Sabbe Library over to a still young Professor Merrigan when he himself le Leuven in 1993. Given my long history with Terry, I dare to go back to the beginning and enter a reflection drawn from Terry’s own introduction into a disciplined study of the New Testament, his first course in New Testament, devoted particularly to Paul’s oldest extant letter, his first to the essalonians. Using a close reading of that letter as a starting point, I would like to highlight those passages in the letter that can usefully be exploited in the development of New Testament Christology because they explicitly draw attention to the Christ. ese passages are like clods of soil in which later Christology has its roots. 1. The Beginnings Any systematic reflection in Christology must necessarily begin, if not always explicitly, with the text of the New Testament. It is there that we find our oldest extant evidence of the existence and significance of an individual ‘nicknamed’ the Christ. I write of a nickname since, insofar

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as I know, there is no evidence of a person with the given name of Christ in the first century of the Common Era. e English word ‘Christ’ is a derivative of a Greek adjective, christos, meaning rubbed with, smeared with, or – in a ritualized but not necessarily religious setting – anointed with oil. It is not uncommon for nicknames to be substantivized adjectives, or neologisms derived from adjectives. Christology (Christo-logos) is nothing other than rational and systematic discourse about a person nicknamed Christ, the anointed one. To be understood, such discourse must be elaborated in the language of the people to whom it is addressed. Otherwise it is but meaningless gibberish. So, let us go back to the beginning, the first lodestone of Terry’s delving into Christology. is beginning is the first words in the New Testament, that is, a collection of writings, twenty-six ‘books’ individually composed during the course of almost a century, beginning less than a score of years aer the death of one Jesus of Nazareth. is Jesus seems to have acquired the nickname ‘Christ’ in death. Within the Jesus movement which emerged aer Jesus’ death, the nickname was almost exclusively used of this Jesus. ‘Christ’ was used of Jesus, either as a stand-alone designation of the person whose given name was Jesus or as a complimentary epithet for him. roughout the following centuries, Jesus was so oen called Christ that many, both within and outside of the Jesus movement consider Jesus’ proper name to be Jesus Christ, oblivious to the reality that the binomial designation consists of a proper name and a time honored-epithet. 2. The Church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ e first written words of the New Testament are the greetings of a letter of Paul to a small community of believers in essalonica, then a free city in the Roman province of Macedonia. ese words are: “Paul, Sylvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the essalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace” (1 ess 1:11). ese words conform to the pattern of a typical letter written in the Hellenistic culture of Paul’s day. e reader recognizes traces of the classic ‘X to Y, greetings’ formula with which a typical Hellenistic letter began.

1 e translation is that of the New Revised Standard Version. is is the English language version of the Bible that will be used throughout this essay.

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ere are, however, significant differences between what Paul wrote, or rather dictated, and the simple greetings found in the epistolary handbooks. In fact, major differences can be identified in all three elements of the epistolary formula. To begin, Paul’s letter opens with the names of a trio of individuals who are joined in sending greetings to the essalonians, instead of the name of a single author,2 as is typically the case with the vast majority of Hellenistic letters discovered to date. Each member of the trio is identified simply by his given name.3 Absent is any epithet that would identify the relationship between any of these individuals and the community of essalonica.4 e designation of the letter’s addressee is, however, rather expanded. Rather than being addressed to a single individual, this letter is addressed to a group that gathers, an assembly.5 e group is demarcated from other groups by means of two qualifying phrases, each of which employs what we would call proper nouns to set this group apart from others. e first is a geographical indicator, “of the essalonians,” which indicates that those who gathered were inhabitants6 of the Macedonian capital. In addition to this demonym, Paul employs a two-part religious identification of his addressees, “in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” e first part of this complex phrase identifies Paul’s addressees as a religious group but does not distinguish them sufficiently from other religious groups that might happen to meet in Corinth – and there were a number of these. e second part of this identification distinguishes Paul’s addressees from other religious groups, most notably Jewish groups who would have embraced God, that is, Yahweh, as Father but would not readily use ‘Lord’ for the relatively insignificant and unknown Jesus. 2 To this day, epistolary critics continue to discuss the role that these cogreeters had in the composition of the letter, that is, how much of a say did Silvanus and Timothy have in the writing of the letter. at is, were they actual co-authors of the letter or did Paul merely conjoin their names to his in sending greetings because they were with Paul in evangelizing the believing community at essalonica. 3 ‘Paul’ identifies himself by means of a name drawn from that of an Aemelian gens, as was his wont in dealing with Hellenists, rather than by his given name, Saul, the name of the legendary Hebrew king. 4 See, however, 1 ess 2:7. 5 e translation of ekklēsia as ‘church’ introduces unnecessary nuance, and most likely an anachronism, into the term. e Greek term simply connotes a group of those called together, an assembly. 6 Cf. 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 1:1. In the Corinthian correspondence, Paul would cite the proper name of the city rather than a noun that refers to its inhabitants.

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e third part of the Hellenistic epistolary greeting is the greeting itself. A simple ‘greetings’ (chairein) suffices in ordinary Hellenistic correspondence, but Paul uses a more complex greeting, one of whose words, ‘grace’ (charis) echoes the common epistolary greeting of Paul’s day. Most probably Paul’s greeting is an epistolary appropriation of a ‘liturgical’ greeting used in bi-lingual assemblies of believers. In sum, the first element in the development of a New Testament Christology and, ultimately, the foundation of the Christology of later generations of Christian theology, including our honoree, is a rather benign identification formula.7 It indicates that the nickname Christ was attributed to a person named Jesus, but it does not offer any indication of the nickname’s connotation nor does it offer any evidence of the appropriateness of the sobriquet for a person named Jesus. at Paul complements the identification of Jesus with a nickname suggests that there is some degree of familiarity, perhaps even intimacy, between himself, the community, and the one named Jesus. at Paul is not constrained to explicate the proper nouns in his identification implies further that at least some of the nuances of his terminology were grasped by members of the community. ey may have been aided in their understanding by the use of ‘Lord’ in the religious language of the devotees of the various cults in essalonica as well as in the religious language of Jews in essalonica.8 Indeed some members of the church of the essalonians, though admittedly in small numbers, may have been members of the synagogue, before becoming members of the ‘church’ of the essalonians.9 Despite our inability to grasp the full meaning of Paul’s language, there is no doubt that Paul’s identification formula was significant for both himself and for the community to whom he was writing. It is of the nature of a letter that it be understood by both its author and its

7 ere is a similar two-part identification formula in 1 ess 2:14, with both a geographic and a religious component. In this case the theological component is used principally to distinguish communities that owe allegiance to God but not to Jesus Christ from communities that do acknowledge allegiance to God and to Jesus Christ. 8 It is, of course, anachronistic to speak about interreligious dialogue in the first century church, but in recognition of Professor Merrigan’s commitment to interreligious dialogue and his abiding interest in Christology, it is worth noting that the religious language of non-believers contributed significantly to the early emergence of first-century  Christology. 9 Cf. Acts 17:1, 4.

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addressee(s). Otherwise, it fails to function as a medium of communication and it would fail in its function as a letter. e simple identification marker “in […] the Lord Jesus Christ” is thus the oldest extant manifestation of a Christology whose significance needs to be unpacked by subsequent generations of theologians. Since Paul failed to expand on the elements of his identification marker, it is clear that the recipients of his letter were familiar with who Jesus was. ey recognized him as the one to whom the community’s allegiance was sufficient to set them apart from other God-fearing assemblies in essalonica. And they were aware, at least to some degree, of the connotations of what it meant for him to be called Christ. 3. Faith, Love, and Hope in Our Lord Jesus Christ As Paul continues his letter to the essalonians,10 he continues to provide his readers with snippets of information that provide further insights for the development of Christology. In 1:3, describing the activity of the community, Paul uses a formula, “in our Lord Jesus Christ,” that resembles the identification formula of 1:1 but adds a pair of nuances to his earlier usage. e first person plural pronoun, ‘our’ (hēmōn) indicates that there is a relationship between the Lordship of Jesus and the community itself. Jesus is not said to be Lord absolutely without further qualification; he is acknowledged as Lord (kyrios) of the community, the ‘church’. e second nuance adds that the relationship between Jesus and the community extends particularly to its defining activity, namely, its life of faith, love, and hope. ere is an “in Christ”11 quality to its members’ activity, their way of being. 1 essalonians 1:10 adds additional material for the further development of Christology. is single verse is particularly important not only because it offers significant new dimensions to the relationship between Jesus and the community but also because it offers new insights into the relationship between Jesus and God. Jesus is the Son of God, whom, the verse implies, dwells with God in heaven. As the significance of Paul’s words continues to unfold, we read that God has raised him, Jesus, from the dead. Jesus no longer abides among the dead. is enables the community to enjoy a different type of relationship with Jesus. ey await the appearance of Jesus from heaven. Jesus is an 10 Since scholars generally consider 2 essalonians to be pseudepigraphic, it is appropriate to qualify 1 essalonians as Paul’s letter to the essalonians. 11 Cf. Acts 1:26.

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awaited one, the expected one. is expectation would eventually cast Jesus as an eschatological figure but not necessarily at this point in history. Jesus is awaited at some point in the future, but Paul offers no intimation that the realization of this expectation will be a final, definitive, or ultimate, reality. Jesus, according to 1 ess 1:10, is not simply (the) one for whom the community awaits. He is awaited as the deliverer, the rescuer. He is, in effect, the expected Savior of the community. e corollary of this is that the members of the church of the essalonians are to be a saved community. In effect, the community’s understanding of Jesus, the foundation of later Christology, develops in tandem with its understanding of God and its own self-perception, its own self-awareness. 4. Apostles of Christ As Paul turns his attention from what he, Silvanus, and Timothy recall about the essalonians, to a short rehearsal of what they are presumed to remember about him, the burden of 1 essalonians 2, he notes that they might have made demands as apostles of Christ (hōs Christou apostoloi).12 is brief mention of something that Paul and his companions did not do opens up a new chapter in Christology. e Jesus who is called Christ13 is someone who sends out emissaries; emissaries who have authority over those to whom they have been sent, sufficient authority for them to make compelling demands upon those to whom they have been sent. Reflecting on the essalonians’ situation, Paul observes that they became “imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea” (2:14b). Praising them for their active faith, Paul perceives them as following the way of life of the first generation within the Jesus movement. To do so, he uses a two-part identification formula similar to the one found in 1:1. As that earlier formula, it contains both a geographic and a religious component. In the case of the churches in Judea, the theological component of their identification, “in Christ Jesus,” is used principally to distinguish communities that owe allegiance to God but not to Jesus Christ from communities that do acknowledge allegiance to God

12

Cf. 1 ess 2:7. is is the first of three absolute, that is, unqualified uses of Christos (Christos) in 1 essalonians. e others are to be found in 3:2 and 4:16. 13

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and to Jesus Christ, Christian communities, Christian churches, in today’s jargon. One similarity between those Judean communities and the church of the essalonians is they both suffered at the hands of their neighbors. e Judeans were, however, also guilty of a particularly egregious deed. Paul’s thought is rooted in a biblical tradition relative to the killing of the prophets.14 He writes that the Jews killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets. is is the only time in Paul’s correspondence that he describes the Jews as being active participants in the Lord’s death.15 Jesus’ death at their hands is all the more serious in that he is identified as ‘lord’ (kyrios), as someone more than a mere prophet, although in some ways comparable to the prophets of yore. 5. A Co-worker for God in Proclaiming the Gospel of Christ Letters, by their very nature are a form of virtual presence. ey are an author’s way to be present to his addressee(s) in spite of whatever it may be that separates them from each other. Oen letters explicitly profess an author’s wish to be with and physically see the person or persons to whom he is writing. As Paul writes to the essalonians, he speaks of his intense personal desire to visit them.16 Unable to do so, Paul employs the next best options. His letter itself represents one of those options. A letter is a way of being present when one is absent. An alternate mode of being present, in spite of one’s absence, is sending an emissary, a personal representative. Paul took this option before deciding to dictate his letter.17 His choice of emissary was Timothy, one of those whose greetings the letter was intended to convey.18 To commend Timothy to the essalonian believers, Paul writes of him as a “co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ” (en tō euangeliō tou Christou) (3:2). e reference to Christ is an objective genitive.19 e good news (euangelion) is about Jesus Christ, who he is and 14

Cf. 2 Chr 36:15-16; Neh 9:27, 30; Jer 2:30. Cf. 1 Cor 2:8. 16 Cf. 2:17–3:5. 17 e occasion for writing the letter was Timothy’s return from essalonica. Cf. 1 ess 3:6. 18 Cf. 1 ess 1:1. 19 Cf. Rom 15:19; 1 Cor 9:12; etc. Contrast with 1 ess 2:2, 8, 9, where the qualifying genitive is a subjective genitive, suggesting that the message originated with God. 15

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what he has done. is second use of the stand-alone nickname for Jesus in 1 essalonians indicates that already by this time in the history of the Jesus movement (ca. 50 ) a narrative, a story about Jesus had been developed by believing missionaries. Having rejoined Paul, Timothy shared with him good news about the essalonians’ faith and love. On the whole, this report encouraged Paul. In this letter, he shared his joy with one caveat, namely, that “they stand fast in the lord” (hymeis stēkete en kyriō). Once again Paul speaks of their desired way of life as being in the lord, that is, in Christ, with total allegiance to him. Timothy’s return to Paul (3:6-10) was a source of great joy for Paul. e report was upbeat and strengthened Paul’s resolve to visit those believers in Macedonia. He prayed constantly for the opportunity to do so. ere were any number of reasons as to why he wanted to see them face-to-face. Paul mentioned one such reason in particular. He wanted to restore whatever was lacking in their faith (3:10c). Paul does not specify what the deficiency was, but First essalonians 3:6 might well provide a first clue. What Paul had to say about the essalonians’ faith and love was indeed good news but the returning emissary had nothing to say about their hope. At least Paul does not refer to what Timothy might have said about their hope. eir hope was, nonetheless, a feature of the essalonians’ lives which Paul had commended in his initial praise of the essalonians (1:3). 6. And May the Lord Make You Increase and Abound in Love Paul’s desire to visit the church at essalonica leads him to pray for divine help to realize his desire (3:11-13). Mention of “the coming of our Lord Jesus,” with the same words that Paul used in 2:19, appears at the end of his short wish prayer, in 3:13. A striking feature of the coming is that our Lord Jesus is not expected to come by himself. Rather, he will be accompanied by a retinue of all his saints (meta pantōn tōn hagiōn autou). But who are these ‘saints’, these holy ones? In his later letters, Paul frequently uses this designation to speak of faithful believers but there does not seem to be any trace of this usage in the first of his letters. It is an idiosyncrasy that Paul used in later correspondence. It is possible that in 3:13 the apostle may have been dependent on Zech 14:5, “en the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” In Paul’s scriptural source, the holy ones are angels. is wish prayer is exceptional insofar as it is addressed to “our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus” (1 ess 3:11). is is the sole

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prayer to Jesus, albeit in tandem with God our Father, in Paul’s extant writings. eir tandem relationship builds on what Paul had written in 1:10. Here the apostle’s plea is that God and his Son take a role in ensuring that the small band of missionaries have the follow-up visit to the believers at essalonica for which they so eagerly and incessantly desired. at prayer is addressed to Jesus as well as to God and places him in the same sphere as God himself. It remains for systematic theology to determine the tandem relationship of their activity and the nature of their being jointly addressed in prayer. Of particular interest may be that Paul uses a qualifying ‘our’ (hēmōn) with respect to both God our Father and our Lord Jesus in the joint address of 3:11. Immediately thereaer (3:12), however, Paul modifies his wish prayer by adding a petition that it is addressed to Jesus alone. It is directed to the Lord (kyrios). Given Paul’s use of this title as a qualifying epithet for Jesus in verses 11 and 13, there can be no doubt that the intended recipient of the petition in v.12 is Jesus. Without mentioning his addressee by name Paul continues with a prayer addressed to Jesus in v. 13. It should be noted that, whereas the petition addressed to God and to Jesus has the band of missionaries as the intended recipients, it is the community whose relationship with Jesus has already been indicated in 1:1 that is the intended beneficiary of the petitions addressed to Jesus. Paul initially prays, “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all” (1 ess 3:12) and then adds that he keep them blameless until the coming of the Lord Jesus.20 Immediately aer his striking wish prayer, Paul addresses the essalonians in paraenetic discourse. He begins with an encouraging prelude (4:1-2) which twice speaks of the Lord Jesus. “We ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus,” Paul writes. With reference to von Dobschütz’s commentary of more than a century ago,21 the late Abraham Malherbe insightfully observed, “It is therefore better to understand ‘in the Lord Jesus’ as qualifying both the subject and objects of the verbs. Paul’s exhortation takes place within a relationship defined by the Lord Jesus.”22

20

By this point in his letter, “the coming of our Lord Jesus” had become almost a conventional formula. 21 Ernst von Dobschütz, Die Thessalonicherbriefe, Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, 7th ed. (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1909), 156. 22 Abraham J. Malherbe, The Letters to the Thessalonians, e Anchor Bible 32B (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 219.

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Paul’s short preamble concludes with a reminder of the ethical instructions that he had previously imparted to them, presumably on the occasion of his earlier missionary visit. He writes of the precepts that he had given “through the Lord Jesus.” e preposition ‘through’ (dia) bespeaks an authoritative precept. is notion is reinforced with the use of the ‘Lord’ title for Jesus. e very title suggests serious authority. In effect, the ‘instructions’ that the missionaries had given to the essalonians were commands of the Lord Jesus himself. It may be Paul’s desire to think of being present to the essalonians, his parousia to them, his own hopes in that regard, and what he is going to do to assuage his longing that prompts him to think about another hope and another presence. He writes about “our Lord Jesus at his coming” (parousia).23 Undoubtedly this ‘coming’ is the event for which the essalonians were waiting, according to the description of them which Paul has limned in 1 ess 1:10. e Lord Jesus whose coming Paul and his fellow apostles await is the Son of God who has been raised from among the dead. 7. The Dead in Christ A break in Paul’s thought occurs immediately aer the two snippets of paraenesis in 4:3-12. A disclosure formula seems to mark a new beginning. ere is something about which Paul does not want his addressees to be in the dark. He says so explicitly. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (4:13). Paul’s concern is two-fold. He does not want the community to worry about the fate of its members who have died. Moreover, he does not want the community to lose its sense of identity by grieving as do those who have no hope. To achieve his goal, Paul resorts to an image that would have been familiar to anyone who lived in a relatively large city in the Hellenistic world, the victory parade. At its most impressive, the parade would be that of a victorious Emperor passing through one of the cities of the Empire on his way to Rome. On a lesser but still grandiose scale, the parade would feature a victorious conqueror returning in triumph aer a victorious military excursion. It is not my intention to fully analyze this exercise in Paul’s religious imagination. I only wish to briefly look at the elements in this scenario

23

Cf. 1 ess 2:19.

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that would contribute significantly to a developing Christology. e most significant is the unadorned two-part creedal formula of 4:14, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again” (pisteuomen hoti Iēsous apethanen kai anestē). e use of a deponent verb is noteworthy. e use of a deponent verb rather than the transitive verb egeirein, which most commonly appears in Paul’s creedal formulae,24 allows him to focus initially on Jesus rather than on God. God appears almost immediately thereaer as the actor in a soteriological drama but he acts through Jesus. Jesus is God’s agent in the salvation of those who are gathered in the presence of God: “rough Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died” (4:14b). e grounds for this assertion are to be found in “the word of the Lord” (4:15). In this phrase the ‘Lord’ designates Jesus, but not the historical Jesus. “e word of the Lord” is not a remembered word of the historical Jesus who had lived a decade and a half earlier; rather it is an utterance of a Christian prophet who speaks with the authority of Jesus, the risen Lord. Paul describes the scenario which he has constructed as “the coming of the Lord” (hē parousia tou Kyriou).25 Undoubtedly this ‘coming’ is the event for which the essalonians were waiting, according to the description of them which Paul has limned in 1 ess 1:10. e Lord Jesus whose coming Paul and his fellow apostles await is the Son of God who has been raised from among the dead. Paul develops his imagery since he wants to offer a scenario in which those who have already died are not in a disadvantageous position vis-àvis those who are alive at the time of the Lord’s coming. e victory march provides the raw materials for Paul’s active religious imagination. Everything is under the control of the Lord. It is Jesus who assembles the parade. At the indicated moment the Lord will descend from heaven26 and the first unit will be assembled. It will consist of those whom Paul calls the dead in Christ (hoi nekroi en Christō), those who belonged to Christ at the time of their deaths. Aer these have been raised, the second unit will be assembled. is unit will consist of those still alive at the time of the Lord’s coming. e members of this second unit will join with members of the first unit in the heavens. Together they will meet with the Lord in the heavens and be with him forever. eir salvation will have been achieved.

24 25 26

Cf. 1 ess 1:10; 1 Cor 15:4; etc. Cf. 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 5:23. Cf. 1:10a.

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In the final chapter of his first writing, Paul turns his attention from the unknown future to the immediate present. e coming of the Lord continues to impinge upon the day-to-day existence of the community. e awaiting community must remain convinced of the certainty of that coming and be aware, not only of its inevitability but also that it will come as a surprise. ere is no telling exactly when the Lord will come. 8. This Is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for You Paul changes vocabulary as he begins to write about how the believers at essalonica should live as they await the coming of the Lord. Instead of writing about the coming of the Lord Paul writes about the day of the Lord (5:2), using an expression that he borrows from his Scriptures.27 at day was to be a day of judgement for some and a day of salvation for others. As such, it was a good image for Paul’s paraenesis. Images of day and night, light and darkness, classic in Hellenistic moral exhortation were easily associated with the image of a day of the Lord. Moreover, the title ‘Lord’, used so oen of Jesus throughout this missive, created a literal link with the biblical motif, even though in its scriptural use the title referred to Yahweh. For Paul’s addressees,28 the day of the Lord is a day of salvation. e reality places them in one diptych of the day of the Lord, rather than the other, the day of wrath.29 e salvation that these faithful believers shall obtain is “through our Lord Jesus Christ” (dia tou Kyriou hēmōn Jēsou Christou). On the day of the Lord, Jesus’ day. Jesus will be God’s agent in the conferral of salvation.30 e fullness of having accepted Jesus as Lord and belonging to him will be a reality. Aer the general paraenesis imparted under the rubric of the coming of the day of the Lord,31 Paul addresses a series of brief exhortations on organized life in the community. First of all, he addresses the issue of leadership, telling the members of the community to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you “in the Lord” (en kyriō) (5:12b-c). e qualifying phrase suggests that the authority of those who are in charge of the community is an authority under Jesus the Lord and exercised in his name. 27 28 29 30 31

Cf. Amos 5:18-20; Zeph 1:14-15; etc. Note the hēmas in 5:9. Cf. 5:9a. Cf. 4:14b. Cf. 5:2.

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On a personal note, Paul urges the members of the community to pray ceaselessly and to give thanks always and everywhere.32 e rationale? “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (5:18b). Paul adduces a motif developed in late Judaism in order to urge his addressees to give thanks in all circumstances. Some commentators suggest that the desired prayers of thanksgiving bear upon particular conditions in essalonica. is may well be the case; the focused paraenesis of chapter 5 concerns the life of the essalonian community. Moreover, the descriptive phrase God “in Christ Jesus,” while in the first instance, implies that God’s will is mediated through Christ Jesus, might also denote some particular direction towards those who are in Christ Jesus. 9. Farewell Paul concludes his first letter with a final wish prayer (5:23-24), a request (5:25), a greeting (5:26), a formal command (5:27), and a final blessing (5:28). e exegete will find much to discuss in his or her interpretation of the letter’s final elements, but they present less of a challenge for one who reads the letter with a desire to discover early traces for the development of Christology. e wish prayer (5:23-24) is the third and final wish prayer in Paul’s first letter. Its interpretive issues are primarily anthropological,33 not Christological. Its eschatological focus is mediated by the use of the now familiar formula, “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:23c).34 A final formal command such as appears in 5:27 is a rarity in Hellenistic letters. Nonetheless, there is something that Paul wants the essalonians to do. He appears constrained to make sure that they do so. Using a rare appeal to the Lord’s authority over the essalonians and himself – both he and they stand under the Lord’s authority – Paul orders his addressees to ensure that his letter be read to the entire community: “I solemnly command you by the Lord (enorkizō hymas ton kyrion) that this letter be read to all the brothers and sisters.” Paul’s oath underscores the importance of his order. A final blessing (5:28) appears in all of Paul’s letters but no two are alike. Typically, they reflect the language of the opening salutation of his letter but the initial greeting of 1 essalonians, the first of Paul’s letters,

32 33 34

Cf. 5:16-18a. Cf. 5:23b. Cf. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15.

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is unusually short.35 In his farewell, his final salutation, Paul prays that the gis of God accrue to the essalonians through our Lord Jesus Christ: “e grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (5:28). What a comprehensive prayer! What a final wish! What an acknowledgement of Jesus’ role as Lord of the church of the essalonians!

35

Cf. 1:1c.

7 From Mountain to Mountain The Tremendous Significance of Jesus’ True Humanity for Salvation Jeffrey C. K. Goh

When I first arrived in Leuven in September 1989 as a nomikόs (as Professor Raymond Collins would call me, a lawyer from Malaysia) desiring only to leisurely read some theology, little did I suspect I would end up writing a doctoral dissertation under the tutelage of Professor Terrence Merrigan. Teaching Christology and Interreligious Dialogue at the time, he had a special interest in incarnational theology. To him I dedicate this theme-choice, with special reference to issues of salvation with which Asian students of mine seem particularly concerned. Since the rise of modern technology, nature and history have become increasingly contingent on humanity instead of the other way around. As mystifying forces in nature and history diminish in the face of scientific enlightenment, so too do the gods and demons lose territorial hold on human allegiance.1 In the field of creation studies, the question of pressing urgency is how the earth that came into being as a gi from the Creator, but has become so ravaged by human creatures, may again be humanized.2 With modern technology, the human condition is no longer oppressed by finitude which we experience in solidarity with all other creatures; nor do we share the world as a sacrament of communion with God and neighbors. Instead, the main problem is now the humanity of the human world.3 Just as this humanity has been impaired in various

1 So Jürgen Moltmann observes in The Crucified God (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), 92. 2 See Pope Benedict XVI, In the Beginning (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1990), 33-39. Pope Francis raises alarm bells in the human roots of the current ecological crisis, promotes awareness on integral ecology, and sounds a clarion call for “ecological conversion” in his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ (2015). 3 Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 9. Moltmann’s sentiment is echoed in Pope Benedict’s stress on “the human threat to all living things” in the opening words

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ways, from “oppression from without,” through “contamination,” and “wounded within,”4 the corrective must entail a complete reinsertion into the social milieu the true humanity singularly displayed in Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ true humanity, God endured our forgetfulness of finitude in creatureliness and entered into it to do the necessary work of restoration to our true selves.5 Jesus’ fully incarnated, true human nature holds the key, his spiritual openness and obedience to God replacing Adam’s rebellion6 and inaugurating a new creation. “True humanity and true Christianity are one.”7 1. The Necessary Messiness e Incarnation is about truly assuming the human body and the human nature. Docetic claims have no place here. Instead, in Jesus’ assumption of the human body, three elements constantly cohere. First, God became entangled in human existence and its necessary mess. Second, Jesus in his earthly mission, identified and entered into solidarity with “the human condition – its problems, longings, sufferings, failures, dreams, and hopes.” ird, we are called “to get involved in human beings.”8 is call to “get involved in” the suffering body appears in many Gospel stories, a pair of which are notably graphic and instructive. At the Last Supper, Jesus taught by getting involved in his disciples to whom he was bidding farewell, knelt to wash their feet, and told them that they would be blessed if they followed his example and did the same

of In the Beginning where chapter 3 on sin and salvation brings the focus back to the cross of Christ, the place of human obedience. 4 Unpacked in Gerald O’Collins, Interpreting Jesus (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1983), 135-139. 5 “us the Old Testament account of the beginnings of humankind points, questioningly and hopefully, beyond itself to the One in whom God endured our refusal to accept our limitations and who entered into those limitations in order to restore us to ourselves”; Benedict XVI, In the Beginning, 74. 6 In the  New Testament, an explicit comparison is twice made by Paul between Jesus and Adam. See Rom 5:19 and 1 Cor 15:22 while in verse 45 he calls Jesus the ‘last’ or ‘ultimate’ Adam. 7 Herman-Emiel Mertens, Not the Cross, But the Crucified (Louvain: Peeters, 1992), 91, 105-107, referencing Schleiermacher and Paul Tillich. See Gal 6:15; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:10; N. T. Wright, The Epistles of Paul to the Colossians and to Philemon (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), 44; Monica K. Hellwig, Understanding Catholicism (New York: Paulist, 1981), 48-49. 8 Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Easter People (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2005), 114.

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(Jn 13:15-17). So by word and deed shall an evangelizing community get involved in people’s daily lives, embracing them by “touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others,” and taking on the “smell of the sheep.” e Church’s missionary mandate is best reflected in a field hospital attending to wounded bodies. Far from being “a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” Pope Francis much prefers a “church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets.”9 Little of these activities will be evident, however, if Catholics remain piously prayerful but supine ‘cryptoMonophysites’ as Karl Rahner accuses them of. Rahner’s prognostication aims to see a Church that is mission-diligent, rather than prayerfully orthodox but indolent and failing to remember the words and deeds of Jesus. And then, in his post-resurrection encounter with Christ (Jn 20:2429), omas was invited to put his finger into the nailed hands and pierced side of the previously savaged and now raised body of Jesus. at invitation was necessary, for omas would not and could not be a seriously believing and properly acting disciple following aer the footsteps of Jesus the Suffering-Servant Messiah, unless and until he had touched – gotten involved in – the wounded body of the crucified and risen Lord. To be really involved in the vicissitudes of human existence, Scripture calls us to get into human wounds and human woundedness. For the Easter people, to truly serve someone who suffers, to be truly in solidarity with them, our resurrection-practices10 in Christian ministry first require of us to stay with their wounds. e post-resurrection omasepisode tells us not to avoid the wounds, nor run away from them. You come close to a person only if you come close to their wounds.11 Wherever Jesus’ divinity is over-emphasized, or when Jesus is worshipped exclusively as God, his profound insights get eclipsed, his greatness deprived, and his stark challenge gets muted.12 is man of full 9

Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (2013), 24, 49. A phrase coined by Wendell Berry, “Manifesto,” in The Country of Marriage (New York: Harcourt, 1973). 11 In The Wounded Healer (New York: Image Books, 1990), Henri Nouwen suggests how Jesus shows the way to be wounded healers. To authentically minister to wounded bodies requires of us not to hide our own wounds, but to first get in touch with our own woundedness. Only when our wounds cease to be a source of shame, can they become a source of healing, and we become wounded healers. 12 N.  T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2015), 11. 10

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humanity with “extraordinary independence, immense courage, and unparalleled authenticity” gets underrated,13 and his role as mediator of God’s love and grace in all human messiness gets eclipsed, which in turn affects the work of authentic humanism in society, and impedes the emergence of a free, compassionate, and warm social order.14 is significance of Jesus’ humanity enjoys impeccable precedents in the New Testament. On the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, Peter spiritedly proclaimed: “This Jesus whom you crucified, God has raised him up and made him both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:1-4, 36). is pristine apostolic kerygma bolted out of the urgency of the resurrection-proclamation, the disciples’ most desperate need at the time being to overcome the colossal scandal and humiliation of the Roman-style crucifixion of their leader. Proclaiming “Jesus crucified is risen” and “Jesus is the Christ” became the apostles’ first and most pressing task, and Pentecost accorded them both the clarity in wisdom and the courage in spirit to launch that Easter Christology. We have here the New Testament root of the raising of a human being to God, to be the Messiah for whom generations of Jews have been waiting.15 It represents the equating of a first-century peripatetic preacher in ancient Palestine who died a violent and humiliating death, with the one Messiah sent by God. is linking of the particular with the universal, trans-historical,16 discloses an original, ‘from below’ approach as being crucial in shaping the way Christians imagine Jesus, beginning in history with his real life events, and in the early disciples’ struggle with his identity.17 13 Albert Nolan, Jesus before Christianity (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1976), 117. 14 See Kurien Kunnumpuram, Jesus (Bombay: St Paul’s Society, 2011), 197. 15 is raising of the human Jesus by God was so central to the faith of the early Church that within 15-20 years aer Jesus’ death, by around the year 50  when he began writing to young communities that he had evangelized, Paul was already referring to the ‘tradition’ that he had received (παρέλαβον) and which he had faithfully passed on (παρέδωκα) to the communities (1 Cor 15:3). 16 Walter Kasper puts it succinctly in Jesus the Christ (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1976), 15-16: “When we say that Jesus is the Christ, we maintain that this unique, irreplaceable Jesus of Nazareth is at one and the same time the Christ sent by God: that is the Messiah anointed of the Spirit, the salvation of the world, and the eschatological fulfillment of history.” 17 See Karl Rahner, “e Two Basic Types of Christology,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XIII: Theology, Anthropology, Christology, trans. David Bourke (New York: Seabury, 1975), 213-223. Rahner thinks the low and ascending approach more appropriate today, which contrasts with the official Vatican

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Centered on the resurrection and glorification of Jesus, this earliest apostolic kerygma18 first spoke of the active agency of God. Second, God’s action was upon Jesus as the human subject who did not rise, but was raised from the dead by God whose action the disciples perceived as affirming everything Jesus taught and did and stood for as being very good. In that vindication, God ratified and authenticated Jesus’ authentic human life and mission. ird, God’s action was ultimately carried out pro nobis, as the resurrection of Jesus inaugurated the decisive advent of salvation of humanity19 – in raising Jesus from the dead, God began the process of raising the dead. Disciples came to see Jesus in his life and work – his earthly, human existence – as having been endowed with messianic and saving power. is is of profound implications to Christian spirituality and Christian living. All our work, our sacrifices, in service of the kingdom of God, and in the spirit of Christ, shall not be in vain. God who raised Jesus from death is faithful. He did it for Jesus; He will do it for us. Aer the New Testament period, attempts to unveil the mystery surrounding the person of Jesus disclose issues that include a heretical tendency towards Christological maximalism so that exclusive divinityclaims always had to be balanced with Jesus’ historical specificity.20 Of note is the eventual success of the Antiochene school at Chalcedon in balancing Nicaea’s divinity-emphasis in homoousios21 with Jesus’ full and methodology exemplified in the CDF “Notification on the works of Father Jon Sobrino, SJ” of November 26, 2006. “Official Christology of the church is a straightforward descending Christology which develops the basic assertion: God in his Logos becomes man.” See Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity, trans. William V. Dych (New York: Crossroad, 1992), 286; John Macquarrie, Jesus Christ in Modern Thought (London: SCM Press, 1990), 371ff. 18 e importance of resurrection would later diminish, notably so in the Fourth Gospel. In virtue of his preexistent divine glory, Jesus became a god-like man, a theios anēr, and was already the “resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25). See Peter C. Hodgson, Winds of the Spirit (London: SCM Press, 1994), 247. 19 Jacques Dupuis, Who Do You Say I Am (Quezon City: Claretian, 1994), 61-62. 20 George A. Lindbeck suggests that in the face of all those controversies over the identity of Christ, what ultimately became universal orthodoxy was the joint pressure of three rules: monotheistic, historical specificity, and christological maximalism. See The Nature of Doctrine (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1984), 94-95. 21 On how the debate over Jesus’ degree of divinity escalated from heated argument to violence and bloodshed at Nicaea, see Richard E. Rubenstein, When Jesus Became God (New York: Harcourt, 1999).

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complete humanity.22 History attests that a turn back to the historical figure of Jesus, is a helpful corrective against distorting ideologies. For starting with the earthly Jesus and moving from there to an understanding of him making present God’s eternal Word, both in his person and in his words and deeds, is a helpful way to avoid the utilitarian manipulation of Jesus’ image.23 Here, Chalcedonian insights on the genuine subjectivity and the conscious and free will in Jesus’ human nature are essential to an integrated model of salvation. e two natures in the Chalcedonian hypostasis being unmixed, Rahner insists that the wholeness of Jesus’ human nature is not diminished. is insight must be preserved for purposes of countering monothelitism, as well as a piety amongst the ordinary faithful and an ‘official’ theology which are tinged with monophysitism. In this way the genuine subjectivity, the created human nature of Jesus, his conscious and free will – “a created energeia” – shall not be so constantly forgotten.24 Jesus’ true humanity is an indispensable key in soteriological issues. 2. How Jesus Achieved Our Salvation In the Western dominant debt-repayment model of redemption, humanity’s unrepayable sin-debt to God necessitated the incarnation of the Son 22

By ‘true God’, Council Fathers meant ‘true God’ in the experience of human beings and not the doctrinal statement of a sole metaphysical category, so it is “more sensible to talk about the intent of Chalcedon than about its actual content.” See Tarsicius van Bavel, “Chalcedon: en and Now,” Concilium 153, no. 3 (1982): 55-62, at 61. Rahner sees Chalcedon as “not end but beginning, not goal but means, truths which open the way to the – ever greater – Truth.” See Karl Rahner, “Current Problems in Christology,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. I: God, Christ, Mary and Grace, trans. Cornelius Ernst (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1961), 149-200, at 149. Aloys Grillmeier in Christ in Christian Tradition (Atlanta, GA: Knox, 1975) sees hypostasis used in an “intuitive and not a speculatively refined way,” thus always needing further elucidation. 23 Alejandro Garcia-Rivera, “What Are eologians Saying about Christology?,” America, September 17, 2007. 24 Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith, 287. If the divinity over-stress no longer runs in academic settings today, anecdotal evidence abounds to testify to the continuing power of Rahner’s ‘crypto-Monophysitism’ in the pulpits and the pews, and in popular Christology. See Enda Lyons, Jesus: Self-Portrait by God (Dublin: Columba, 1994), 17; Marcus J. Borg and N. T. Wright, The Meaning of Jesus (New York: HarperCollins, 1999), 7-8 and 157; Gordon Fee, “e New Testament and Kenosis Christology,” in Exploring Kenotic Christology, ed. C. Stephen Evans (Vancouver: Regent College Publications, 2010), 26-27 and 71.

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of God. Redemption became the inner motive of the Incarnation. In Anselm’s 1098 classic treatment of the satisfaction theory of redemption,25 only the death of Jesus Christ the Son of God alone could be a sufficient vicarious satisfaction for the sins of the world, which was possible because of the sinlessness of his human nature and its hypostatic union with the Second Person of the Trinity. at was redemption wrought on the cross, a theory that held sway for centuries. Salient elements of Anselm’s thoughts reign even in contemporary times,26 waning only with cultural sensitivities. Critical remarks in rejecting Anselm’s theory include: the honor-rule of the medieval feudal system and the debt-repayment-rule of the Latin juridical system current in his Sitz im Leben on which his theory is reliant;27 the negative image of a vindictive and wrathful God quite contrary to the God of mercy portrayed by Jesus in the Gospels;28 the conferring of exclusive redemptive value on Jesus’ death without taking into account the entire paschal mystery, let alone Jesus’ entire life and ministry;29 erroneous premise of physical suffering, imposed or freely accepted, being sufficient to cancel out evil;30 and too much emphasis on sin and too little emphasis on love.31 And yet, in all this, the significance of Jesus’ humanity in Anselm’s thoughts is easily overlooked. He posted a very healthy reminder on 25

Anselm of Canterbury, Why God Became a Man (Toronto: Mellen, 1976). Morphed perhaps in some ways, to such as the Penal Substitutionary Atonement model which still runs strong in the Evangelical circles. 27 Mertens, Not the Cross, 70-74. 28 In Mercy (New York: Paulist, 2013), Walter Kasper insists on mercy as God’s most important attribute. is inspired Pope Francis’ The Face of Mercy (Misericordiae Vultus – the papal bull of indiction for the Jubilee Year of Mercy). O’Collins calls the language of anger, punishment and propitiation in any penal substitutionary theory a “monstrous view of God” and a “misinterpretation of the New Testament” in Interpreting Jesus, 150-152. 29 Maurizio Gronchi, Jesus Christ (Rome: Urbaniana University Press, 2013), 107. Jesus’ life, suffering, death, and resurrection, seen as a unit, is God’s liberating deed on behalf of humanity. See Robrecht Michiels, “Jesus and Suffering,” in God and Human Suffering, ed. Jan Lambrecht and Raymond F. Collins (Louvain: Peeters, 1990), 39. 30 Gronchi, Jesus Christ, 107-108. Indeed, to suggest “a defensiveness, even a petty vengefulness on the part of God,” is to misidentify “the God whose power is his compassion.” Hellwig, Understanding, 97. 31 Gronchi, Jesus Christ, 107. Benedict XVI stresses God’s fundamental love and forgiveness reconciling justice and love on the cross in Deus caritas est (2005), 10. Rejecting legalistic satisfaction, Peter Abelard opted for Christ’s example of love and stressed the human response. 26

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human sin as something that leaves behind a dreadful aer-effect which continues to plague society, even when the sin has been punished or its continued commission halted. So God’s honor which demands iustitia and debitum is not claimed for God’s own egotistic good, but for human goodness and the integrity of creation.32 Correcting a common misinterpretation of Anselm, Gisbert Greshake points out what matters is not God’s honor that has been offended, but the consequences such an offence redounds to the “marred and derailed world.” Le unresolved, humans dishonoring God remain “deranged creatures in a disrupted world.”33 Ultimately, the theory is about the human good, not the good of God. What is key here is the way Anselm understands God’s honor anthropologically. Indeed, Greshake accords value to Anselm’s stress on the exercise of Christ’s human freedom and in his insistence that salvation is a public act – the removal of the public consequences of sin. In this light, God is neither vindictive nor seeking revenge. To this, Kasper adds the link between divine justice and God’s fidelity as Creator in Anselm’s theory. God could not simply secure the restoration of God’s honor out of pure love, without involving humanity. Instead, by binding Himself to the order of justice, God safeguards human honor, respects human freedom, and retains faith in creation. God’s self-binding to the order of justice is the expression of his fidelity as Creator.34 e significance in human contribution in freedom thus retained by Anselm, Pannenberg incisively observes a turning point in Christology. Salvation no longer turns directly on the divinity of Jesus, but on his true human nature. Humans have a crucial role to play.35 3. An Integrated Model of Love, Non-Violence and Human Freedom To overcome the negative aspects of Anselm’s satisfaction theory, a few elements must be integrated, amongst which three are notably requisite: love, non-violence, and freedom.

32

Gronchi, Jesus Christ, 107; Kasper, Jesus the Christ, 220; Gerard H. Luttenberger, An Introduction to Christology (Mystic, CT: Twenty-ird Publications, 1998), 209. 33 Mertens, Not the Cross, 71-72. 34 Kasper, Jesus the Christ, 220. 35 Wolart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man (London: SCM Press, 1968), 42-43.

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1. Salvation by Love God’s love, which stands at the origin both of creation and redemption (Gen 1:1; Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 4:9-10; Rev 21:5), is the fundamental starting point in comprehending God’s project of human salvation. Redemption operates in terms of Jesus’ supreme example of love manifested not just in his death but throughout his life, death, and resurrection. Jesus preached love in his kingdom-building mission on one mountain (the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5–7), and he freely lived what he preached to the very end on another mountain (Golgotha, Mt 27:33). From mountain to mountain,36 in the Matthean grand schema, Jesus preached and lived the message of God’s kingdom, and called his disciples to do the same. God’s love and grace in human salvation is a paramount Scriptural key. To appreciate the depth of Jesus’ self-giving love and courage, two dimensions of his excruciating experience are of singular importance. First is the devastating power of the passion and the cross as they lay before him, of which his triple passion-predictions (Mark 8–10) and the Gethsemane Garden blood-sweating agony (Lk 22:39-46) are indicative. Second is his apprehension as those critical events unfolded and penetrated his entire being. Unless we truthfully face Jesus’ apprehension, we will not do justice to the human suffering he bore. Attempts to mitigate the magnitude of his suffering risk de-humanizing him and proportionately surrendering to monophysitism and a magical interpretation of salvation. Jesus was truly human (Heb 4:14-16), and he inspires all the more when we face in clarity and truth the inevitable dread and darkness as he anticipated the cross, and the immense suffering he endured in the ensuing events.37 In Jesus on the cross, the Church recognizes with clarity a truly and fully human being who was the most singularly faithful and most beloved Son of God (Mk 15:39). His victory over fear and suffering is an expression of the presence and victory of God’s love and life.38 But, Scriptures also insist with equal clarity that, as an element of great significance for understanding salvation, the salvific work of Christ demands positive human response to God’s love. Reconciliation affects the inner disposition of the human subject. Abelard thus spotlighted personal conversion and turning away from sin as liberating the human

36

A phrase I used in the CANews April 2011 article, posted as “30. Easter: From Mountain to Mountain,” at www.jeffangiegoh.com of 16.4.2011. 37 Luttenberger, Introduction, 194. 38 Ibid., 196-197, 359, n. 21.

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person for a life of love. He avoided the mythical vision of human sins having vanished upon God’s Son dying on the cross. Instead, he saw clearly that giving his life on the cross out of love, Jesus wanted to transform human hearts by love. From mountain to mountain, from preaching to living, suffering and dying, Jesus invited a responsive love in humans. So Abelard rightly insisted on human agency – the subjective need of the human person to embark on a journey of ethical liberation.39 We are saved by positively responding to Jesus’ love, not by some magical vicarious punishment on the Son of God, so we might escape punishment. Jesus, in real time, responded to God’s love, lived, suffered, and died to show us how to live better, in authentic humanity. What Jesus wanted was that we remember – the Gospels stressing this in unison – and do the same. 2. Salvation by Non-Violence Today more than ever, a violence-saturated world needs to re-imagine and showcase the non-violence of God in the death of Jesus, in contrast to a wrathful and violent God who planned and willed the death of His Son. Senseless massacres and oppressive power that darken an already broken world must be decisively interrupted. Only when more and more individuals and the institutions of civil society choose active, creative non-violence as a way of life, will we have a chance of creating a more non-violent society that moves towards a culture of peaceful co-existence. As people across the globe daily lament a growing reality of violence, all the more is this task urgent. A fundamental internal conversion from violence to non-violence is a very hard step, but the most courageous and the most needed moral and spiritual turning for work in human rights, justice, and peace. roughout his public ministry, Jesus was a maker of peace, an agent of restorative justice, and a proponent of non-violence. Jesus, the human face of God (Jn 14:9), was singularly absorbed in advancing the kingdom of God on earth ‘as it is in heaven’.40 While the hated oppressive Roman

39

Mertens, Not the Cross, 75. Mark 1:9-15 renders three veritable catechetical panels on Jesus’ baptism, temptation and kingdom-preaching and offers a blueprint for Christian life and mission. Energized by the Spirit at River Jordan, and emerging victorious against Satan in the wilderness, Jesus began to live and preach the kingdom of God all the way to the cross. See Jeffrey C. K. Goh, “Family: Seedbed of Vocation,” in Slightly More Theological category at www.jeffangiegoh.com. 40

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occupation marked the historical time of his earthly ministry, Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God and called the peace-makers ‘blessed’.41 He proclaimed a new, non-violent order rooted in the unconditional love of God, calling all to love their enemies (Mt 5:44), to offer no violent resistance to one who does evil (Mt 5:39). From mountain to mountain, Jesus’ life and ministry dramatized this call, including urging Peter to put down his sword at his Gethsemane arrest (Mt 26:52), and praying on the cross for forgiveness for his persecutors (Lk 23:34). On the cross, Christ died for peace; in death, he conquered violence. In this, Jesus showcased his kingdom-mission to humanize a not very human situation and opened up new possibilities other than violence for humanity, including the imitation of God’s universal love and nonretaliation. He broke the pattern of sin, absorbing hate and malice without passing them on. By his attitude and behavior, Jesus showed humanity how even in an extreme situation to submit to divine grace. We are saved by imitating Jesus’ non-violence, not by an alleged violent plan of God to have His Son killed on the cross to appease His anger. roughout the history of the Church, every explanation of the atoning effect of the cross had to explain why God’s saving act involved a violent death. Yet, explanations slide downhill once they co-opted the idea that God used or accepted violence for the greater good of our redemption. From his study of ancient myth and Greek tragedy, however, René Girard realized that the idea of redemptive divine violence has an ancient pedigree. It dominated the ancient world of ritual sacrifice and myth, a world firmly convinced that violence and the sacred were intertwined for the good of the many at the expense of the few. Making startling connections between religion, violence, and culture, his groundbreaking work42 enlivens theological debates, especially on the question of whether and how we are to understand Christ’s death as a ‘sacrifice’. His theory of non-violence seriously affects the doctrine of the atonement, helps us to see our savage-souls, and is good teaching for a weary world that its salvation rests not in violence but in non-violence. 41 e God of gracious forgiveness, peace, and non-violence has a standing and urgent call to all to enter upon the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18). See Emmanuel Katongole, The Journey of Reconciliation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2017). 42 Starting with Violence and the Sacred  (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972), Girard has attracted a huge following. See S. Mark Heim, Saved from Sacrifice (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006); Scott Cowdell, René Girard and the Nonviolent God (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2018); Grant Kaplan, René Girard, Unlikely Apologist (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2016).

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Unlike others, Girard interprets the Passion and crucifixion of Jesus as God’s unmasking of the powers of violence in the world. God is antiviolence. God exposes violence for what it is, rather than willing the violent death of Jesus. For Girard Jesus’ death on the cross was not a sacrifice, for what God wants is “mercy, not sacrifice” (Hos 6:6; Mt 9:13; 12:7). Jesus’ death on the cross was not a violent penal atonement; it was to expose and to end all scapegoating violence. Violence and exclusion in the scapegoat mechanism had served as forces of social bonding in ancient societies, but when Jesus fell prey to that mechanism and died as countless others did, Girard insists that the Gospel texts unmask the process and reveal it as a fraud and an attack on the God who is nonviolent love. at unmasking is attested in two points. First, Jesus was not the guilty scapegoat but an innocent victim. e fraudulent use of the scapegoat mechanism on him is proven in the very words of Caiaphas the high priest, who gives voice to the ways of this world when he pronounces the formula rationalizing ancient sacrificial systems: “[…] it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation perish” (Jn 11:50). e judgment passed upon Jesus – a prime instance of the scapegoat mechanism unconsciously at work – is thus a human deed, not a direct divine act. Responsibility for Jesus’ death lies entirely with human beings – “is Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). On this count, Girard identifies the angry divinity at the cross who demanded the sacrifice of an innocent substitute victim as the same angry divinity at the ancient sacrificial altars. But this divine being was not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – it was us! We are the ones who need our anger appeased. What God did through the death and resurrection of Christ was to reveal that the sin we needed redemption from, was the way we have constructed human culture on the graves of sacrificial victims. Jesus, by taking the place of one of our victims, revealed that God was not on the side of the perpetrators. Rather the opposite – it was God we had been persecuting all along. And so, God did not will the death of Jesus; humanity did. God did not demand violent punishment; humanity did. God was not the perpetrator; God was the innocent victim. And, God-in-Jesus died on the cross, to expose our violence against all innocent victims, and to put an end to scapegoating sacrifices. But how was that exposure of fraud finally achieved? e answer lies in the resurrection.43 43 See Leo D. Lefebure, “Beyond Scapegoating,” Christian Century 115 (1998): 372-375.

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Second, therefore, Jesus’ response in love and non-violence is affirmed as good by God who raised him in the resurrection. While his opponents plotted his death, Jesus acted in a manner consistent with his own preaching. His response to evil was not retaliation by mimetic violence, but intensification and expansion of his love to encompass even the misdeeds of his foes. In the face of violence, his response was love and nonviolence. And so, in raising Jesus from the dead, God simultaneously declared that the scapegoating of Jesus is a fraud and calling him guilty is a lie, and that Jesus is an innocent man and a victim of violence. e resurrection exonerated him of all charges from the victimizers. By raising Jesus from the dead, God vehemently and definitively delivers the message that the crucifixion of Jesus is an unacceptable violence, an affront to God. All that Jesus stood for is being affirmed by God as ‘very good’. His values of love and non-violence vindicated, humanity is saved from the false claims of violence. Furthermore, in Jesus’ death and resurrection, he has made all things new again, for darkness, sin, violence, and death no longer have the last word. Now, there is possibility of new life: humanity is no longer bound to death, but saved for the possibility of life eternal. e Dutch New Catechism states the case with force and clarity, placing focus on the human person, instead of ‘guilt and evil’ and ‘the right order of things’ stressed since the Middle Ages. A wrong is not put right through the simple expedience of inflicting pain and punishment, but ‘by regrets, works and love’. In fact, for order to be restored, and for redemption to be achieved by Jesus, Scripture points not primarily to his pain and his death, but rather in the direction of ‘the service and goodness of his life’ which made for the ‘satisfaction’ on our behalf. And then, the Dutch New Catechism articulates the truth in these memorable words: The Father did not will the pain and the death, but a noble and beautiful human life. at it ended in such a death was due to us. Jesus did not shrink from it. His death was his total obedience. And so in fact he made satisfaction for us. In this sense, his death was the will of the Father. at suffering and death appear precisely at this moment of rendering satisfaction is a great mystery. But it would be wrong to explain it by saying that the Father willed that blood should flow.44 [Emphasis added.]

e Old Testament is in a sense a long love story of God who, suffering the infidelity and the covenant-breaking Israelites as the chosen people,45 44 45

A New Catechism (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969), 281. See Peter Fransen, The New Life of Grace (New York: Seabury, 1969), 16.

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entered into a new covenant with them again and again. To claim that God the Father turned His face away from sinning humanity until the violent, punishing death of His Son, is antithetical to Jesus’ preaching. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, by which Jesus taught the world who God is and who we are, the Father never turned away from his two sinning sons.46 His face and his suffering heart were always turned towards them, in love and mercy, yearning for them to turn their hearts home and to truly stay home where kingdom values reign over narcissistic interests. 3. Salvation by a Reorientation of Human Freedom to God e Chalcedonian dogma that was directed against monophysitism and monothelitism has a human, creaturely, subjective center of action. In the hypostatic union, the Council has actually laid down that Jesus is really, and in every deed is truly and fully, human. Soteriology cannot rest on an objective principle of God’s will and plan to save where such a principle inactivates or worse renders Jesus’ subjective will vacuous. Instead, a helpful soteriology is one that features prominently and gives credit for the authentic exercise of Jesus’ human freedom, which is always a human struggle with the incomprehensible God. Only in the resurrection was Jesus vindicated of all that he stood and suffered for. So, if salvation rests upon a reorientation of human freedom to God, all the more must we credit Jesus for the terrible and radical experiences he underwent. In order not to betray God’s love and compromise human freedom, it was “necessary” (Lk 24:26) for Jesus to suffer and die as the only way to bring God’s love to a recalcitrant humanity.47 In Jesus, an unconditional, allembracing love went to Calvary. e painful story of Jesus thus witnesses to an unconditional self-giving in utter freedom to the Father for the project of human redemption, thereby setting an exemplary, kingdompromoting life of faith for all the world. From mountain to mountain, absolute obedience48 to God’s kingdom vision constituted Jesus’ mission, 46 Pope Francis said graphically that the father did not stay inside the house, or change the lock or locked the door! 47 Karl Rahner, “e Position of Christology in the Church between Exegesis and Dogmatics,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XI: Confrontations, trans. David Bourke (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1974), 185-214, at 198. 48 e Gospel narratives render the identity of Jesus Christ as the one who enacted our redemption through obedience to God. ‘He was what he did and underwent: the crucified human savior’. See Gerard Loughlin, Telling God’s Story (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 207.

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marking a definitive break and replacement of the prototypical Adamic sinning humanity. Jesus the Christ is the archetype of the true human.49 Some renowned thinkers help strengthen this view. As early as the second century, in rebutting the Gnostic spiritualizing tendency, Irenaeus rigorously affirmed the positive value in Jesus’ full humanity. Anselm and Abelard diversely did the same. From omas Aquinas, a profound emphasis on the intrinsic value of human acts is again evident. In raising Jesus from the dead, God the Father affirmed the human acts of Jesus in his loving obedience to the Spirit and will of God. In turn, our own human actions in imitation of Christ, will likewise receive approval from God, towards our salvation. Unlike Anselm’s satisfaction by offering the one offended something over and above what was already owed, Aquinas shied to satisfaction by offering the one offended something that he or she loves more than they detest the offence. Applied to Jesus, what makes his death count as satisfaction is the love and obedience to God that it expresses.50 Of special note is that human redemption for Aquinas is not limited to the effect of Jesus’ death on the cross, but must be seen in the goodness of Jesus’ entire earthly life, so that all those Jesus-events recounted in the Gospels have a salvific value. In an absolutely unique and unprecedented perfect way, Jesus during his earthly life followed the will of the Father. Jesus’ God-approved “noble and beautiful human life” is his fundamental obedience, in interior self-dedication, by which he confronted human sins. In this way, all that he stood for merited exaltation and glorification at the resurrection. God’s ‘vindication’ is a salvation that heals. us Aquinas affirms that like all human acts, “the human acts of Jesus had an intrinsic proportion to his future.” Good and evil have their own sanction in human future. From mountain to mountain, Jesus chose to put the seal on constant self-renunciation as the absolute affirmation of the Other, the Father. is meant steadfastly preaching and living God’s kingdom-values till death. Towards the end, especially at the Last Supper, Jesus performed and explained a number of symbolic acts by which his disciples were to make ever present to future believers the reality of his life and death. Whenever his life and death were proclaimed during communal gatherings, believers would be summoned to proclaim Jesus’ obedience and in turn profess their own commitment to self-dedication. In communal fellowship and in the power of Christ, they were to overcome

49 50

Mertens, Not the Cross, 91, referencing Schleiermacher. Cf. omas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIIa, q. 46, a. 1, ad 3.

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the root of sin, to renounce egoism, for without self-renunciation, there could be no affirmation of the other.51 Obedience bespeaks a choice of actions, of a lifestyle. We always have a choice. Jesus chose to do what was right by God; we can do the same. Jesus saw the larger picture, the kingdom of God on earth as in heaven, without which he could not be so focused on conquering violence and the cross the way he did, or be able to hold back self-interest and triumph over temptations, or see what the death-bound humanity needed. Salvation is freedom that comes through the cross. Old Testament prophets looked forward to the cross and the saints of the New Testament looked back to it for guidance.52 From that perspective Christians learn the key lesson that the freedom of which the Scriptures speak is not the freedom to do whatever we want in life, but the liberty to choose what we ought. But obedience presupposes the total commitment of the person. at requires a human openness to God and all that God represents, and an exercise of human freedom by Jesus which Rahner “accents without abbreviation.”53 God the Infinite Mystery gives self-offering love to the world. Humans are created with a transcendental openness and the freedom to accept God’s love and to promote or neglect it in the world. e more one is open to God and the Gospel, the more human and free one becomes. Scriptures relentlessly offer the vision of that irreversible point where the history of God’s self-offering meets with the free acceptance of this in the world. Jesus stood precisely at that point “at which God accepts the world in such a way that he can no longer let it go.” In Jesus then, God is pleased to receive “that gi of creaturely freedom in which this freedom of the world definitely accepts God’s offering of Godself.” is is the definitive contribution of Jesus the true man, for then, “we are standing at that point at which one person,54 from the ultimate roots of his own

51 In The Reality of Redemption (Montreal: Herder, 1970), 59-60, Boniface Willems synthesizes what he sees as Aquinas’ “very realistic sacramental notion of redemption.” 52 As true divinity is revealed in self-giving love, so the humility of God and the nobility of true humanness belong together; Wright, Challenge, 193-194. 53 John Galvin, “Jesus Christ,” in Systematic Theology, vol. 1, ed. Francis Schüssler Fiorenza and John Galvin (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1991), 249-324, at 318. 54 Gerhard Lohfink suggests that to cure human misery, God has to change society at its roots. Without taking away its freedom and its humanity, God’s work of liberation would have to start out small, with one person, at a single place. See “the Abraham Principle,” in Jesus of Nazareth: What He Wanted, Who

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being, signifies the definitive address of God to the world, and at the same time the assent of the world to this God.”55 God’s history thus has a human history which attains its highest point with the definitive actions of one who is the “absolute bringer of salvation.” is is the one who “surrenders every inner-worldly future in death,” and who is thereby “accepted by God finally and definitively.” His complete surrender of life to God reached its fulfillment which became historically tangible precisely in the resurrection.56 To Schillebeeckx, the redefinition of God and humanity in Jesus’ proclamation and way of behavior attained ultimate significance at his crucifixion.57 is individual, Jesus of Nazareth, has exemplary significance and is the “effective prototype” for the world as a whole. He is what is meant by an “absolute saviour.”58 Jesus lived and died for a cause, the establishment of the kingdom or reign of God on earth as in heaven, and his followers are empowered to carry on his mission and spread his message. Disciples did not have to see his death as a “penal victimization” but as “heartbreaking empowerment.”59 Jesus on the cross witnesses to a quality of life which is the true life for all.60 Triumph, disciples then understood, came through failure. eir resurrection faith no longer saw Calvary as a catastrophe. Instead, the cross is now the healing symbol of Jesus’ selfemptying, self-giving, self-transcending work and has become a source of joy, peace and liberation for them. e prayerful suffering and death of Jesus has transformed them.61 But how did Jesus overcome the inevitable fear and suffering to achieve what he did? From Gabriel Marcel’s philosophical idea of the “domestication of circumstances,” Herman-Emiel Mertens describes what Jesus did as a “mastery of the Golgotha-situation.”62 In the life of Jesus of Nazareth, we see the actual application of the parables illustrating God’s love for He Was, trans. Linda M. Maloney (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015), 44-46. 55 Rahner, “Position of Christology,” 201. 56 Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith, 279 and 284. 57 Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus in Our Western Culture (London: SCM Press, 1987), 24. 58 Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith, 211; id., “Experiencing Easter,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. VII: Further Theology of the Spiritual Life, trans. David Bourke (New York: Crossroad, 1977), 159-168, at 167. 59 Elizabeth A. Johnson, She Who Is (New York: Crossroad, 1992), 159. 60 John F. O’Grady, Models of Jesus Revisited (New York: Paulist, 1994), 51. 61 John J. Navone, Triumph through Failure (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1984), 165. 62 Mertens, Not the Cross, chapter 8.

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humanity. His ideal was to love, despite everything, till death if necessary. As his meaningful life-ministry was moving inexorably to the cross, that which empowered Jesus to master his fear and suffering turned on his inner attitude with its twin elements of positive non-acceptance and meaningful behavior. Positive non-acceptance differs from its opposite negative form and its negativities in inner imbalance – rancor, anger, rebellion, disgust, violent reactions and so on – that leads to self-alienation. In the positive form, non-acceptance is freed of the dominating rebelliousness and grimness. e sufferer takes the trials and suffering as part of life, inseparable from oneself and therefore as something that has to be assumed and transformed in a creative process. ere is no resignation or alienation, no masochism or victim-syndrome, but self-affirmation, and a true exercise of one’s freedom. “Domestication of circumstances” means the achievement of mastery or domination over an adverse situation, thus empowering one to affirm the goodness of one’s mission against the inevitable suffering along the way. It involves an attitude of the will which allows one to rise above the circumstances without, however, evading them. Conditions are not changed by violence and external force, but from within. Upon the twin dimensions of the non-acceptance of the meaninglessness of the situation in itself, and a determination to approach the situation with a meaningful behavior, Jesus exercised mastery over the Golgotha-situation with a key difference. On the one hand, in itself, the situation was meaningless because the crucifixion of a good man was a fraud, a terrible lie and a gross injustice. Judging Jesus guilty and a heretic and putting him to death was simply absurd. Against Jesus, the Obedient One of God, therefore, the cross was a cruel absurdity, a violence against God. On the other hand, Jesus confronted the meaningless situation with possibilities for a meaningful behavior. Not rebelling and altogether non-violent, he loved to the very end. It led ultimately to peace, both interiorly and exteriorly. Jesus thereby bore witness to the words of Cicero: “My enemies have taken from me everything, but myself.” Everything was taken from him: his disciples, his fame, his life, everything except his inner freedom, his ideal, ‘himself ’. For that reason, the hour of kenosis is also the hour of glorification. Shuddered before the Mystery, He went to his death in darkness, but the situation of deepest misery is at the same time the culminating point of his existence. e story of Jesus teaches that in an authentic theology of the cross, God, triumph and glory come through failure, ruin and death. e healing which Jesus accomplished on the cross, culminated the historical dimension of his ‘Abba’

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relationship.63 Jesus who became the redemptive person, is now a model, the ultimate standard, and a living principle which continues to work efficaciously in the world through his followers. ey minister, neither in purely spiritual things, nor in purely practical things, but to human persons upon the ultimate goal of Christianity, which is to help people become the best human persons they possibly can – the children of God. Imitation of Christ means the steadfast acceptance of our own human existence with its goal – to authentically assume our human nature as the eternal Logos did.64 4. Conclusion At the beginners’ theology class in Leuven, it was lens-changing to hear Professor H. E. Mertens say, “Christianity, according to Schillebeeckx, is first and foremost a story and a practice, rather than a set of doctrines, canon laws, or liturgies.” Revealing who God is and what God wants, the never manipulative but always healing and recreating life story of Jesus, his ministry and passion that climaxed in his crucifixion and resurrection, taken as a whole, makes up the stuff of true Christianity. It showcases the relationship between humanity and the deepest convictions about life lived as if God reigns, a relationship grounded most strongly in a self-giving love,65 an inner disposition of defenseless non-violence, and a human will freely oriented towards God’s kingdom-vision. With these, Jesus the true human decisively interrupted the overpowering pattern of sin in society. Imitating Jesus, we build upon his foundation (1  Corinthians 3), stop becoming carriers of sin-contagion, and avoid being death-bound.66

63

John J. Navone, Triumph through Failure, 165-167, 182-183. On Jesus’ Abba experience, see Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus: An Experiment in Christology (New York: Vintage, 1981), 256-271. Vatican II teaches that the Holy Spirit offers to everyone “the possibility of being associated with Christ’s paschal mystery” (Gaudium et Spes, 22). 64 Rahner, The Content of Faith (New York: Crossroad, 1992), 348-349. 65 For the deconstructed postmodern self to find itself by giving itself away, see Wright, Challenge, 167-173. 66 William A. Barry, God’s Passionate Desire (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1993), 122.

8 Who Is Christ for Us Today? Some Soteriological Reflections along the Lines of Bonhoeffer’s Theologia Crucis Annemarie C. Mayer

1. Prelude: Formulating the Question “Who is Christ actually for us today?”1 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (19061945) asks this question in a letter to his friend Eberhard Bethge dated April 30, 1944 sent from prison in Berlin Tegel, where the Nazis held him captive. It is a question that has concerned Bonhoeffer for quite some time. Already in December 1928 at a lecture during his vicariate in Barcelona, in 1933 in his extremely popular Christology lectures in Berlin, which unfortunately can only be reconstructed from students’ notes,2 and now in his correspondence with Bethge. Asking about Christ is certainly nothing new. e question “Who is this?” (Mt 8:27; Lk 7:49) is the core question of the Christian faith and arises again and again in the New Testament when people encounter Jesus. e church of the first centuries struggled hard for the best conceptual description of the person and work of Jesus Christ, until the Council of Chalcedon in 451 established the formula of the two natures “true God and true man.” e original intention of this formula was to guarantee the role of Jesus Christ as universal mediator of salvation for all humankind and the entire creation. Yet, instead of continuing to ask who Christ is, the question of the how began to prevail: how do God and man relate to one another in Jesus Christ? How do divine and human natures come together in this particular person? Bonhoeffer deliberately 1

Cf. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Letter to Eberhard Bethge” (April 30,1944), Letters and Papers from Prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works 8, ed. John W. de Gruchy, trans. Isabel Best et al. (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010), 362. 2 His Christology lectures in the summer of 1933 were structured around the themes of ‘who’ and ‘where’, cf. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christ the Center (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1978) and id., Who Is Christ for Us?, ed. Renate Wind, trans. Craig L. Nessan (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002).

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skips this detour of christological history and returns to the original question of the New Testament: who is it I meet in Jesus Christ? By personalizing this question, Jesus Christ is no longer just someone who lived some 2000 years ago in Palestine and can only be encountered in history. e essential identity of Christ lies in his being pro nobis and pro me. For Bonhoeffer, this for me shows the kenosis, the self-emptying of God in incarnation. In his chapter on Bonhoeffer in Christ the Heart of Creation, Rowan Williams explains the link of the for me with kenosis, “If Christ for a moment sought to coerce my response, that would mean that he ceased to be ‘for me’ in this radical sense; he would be seeking to implement his will as a rival to mine, and this is precisely what he has foregone in becoming human.”3 For Bonhoeffer the issue is not that God accepts human flesh, as if two totally incompatible entities, divine and human nature, were magically combined with one another; nor is it the divine Logos getting rid of his divine attributes and becoming human in a sort of “metaphysical surgery.”4 By accepting human flesh God does not adapt one of the components of the incarnation, the human or the divine one. e incarnation does not want to destruct its own vehicle. Rather, the stumbling block is that God’s incarnated life is what it is for every human being: vulnerable, degrading, and controlled by others. e problem lies with this kind of being human, a being human that equates precisely with the battered, powerless, and godforsaken. God reveals Godself in the poor life of a suffering person. Already in his lecture Jesus Christ and the Essence of Christianity in Barcelona, Bonhoeffer’s who-question about Christ necessarily leads him to the follow-up question: “What does the cross say to us, today?”5 2. Bonhoeffer’s Question for Today ere are three reasons for which I have chosen Bonhoeffer’s specific way of formulating his question about Christ as a prelude for the following reflections:6 Firstly, Bonhoeffer’s pointed question about ‘today’ needs to 3 Rowan Williams, Christ the Heart of Creation (London: Bloomsbury and Continuum, 2018), 190. 4 Ibid., 189. 5 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Jesus Christ and the Essence of Christianity,” in Barcelona, Berlin, New York: 1928-1931, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works 10, ed. Clifford Green, trans. Douglas W. Stott (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008), 342359, at 358 (italics in the original). 6 All three have also got to do with the theology of my dear colleague Terrence Merrigan. Firstly, his theology is down to earth and highly relevant for

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be asked by any Christology that claims to be up to date. e task of Christology is not limited to tracing the beginnings of the theological reflection on Christ and the later doctrinal developments. Above all, current ‘focal points of Christology’7 and areas of tension must be addressed. ey comprise as a fundamental question the suffering of God in the suffering of Jesus and why this suffering is salvific.8 Secondly, the emphasis on ‘for us’ in Bonhoeffer’s question highlights the close connection between Christology and soteriology. In the testimony of the New Testament as well as in the Early Church, the person and acting of Jesus Christ are inseparable from each other and form an inner unity. In high scholasticism, omas Aquinas begins to distinguish between the person and work of Jesus Christ. He differentiates between Summa Theologiae IIIa, qq. 1-26 and qq. 31-59 for the sake of clarity. Yet in Neo-Scholasticism this leads to two separate treatises: Christology deals with the person of Jesus Christ and soteriology with his work. By a renewed orientation along the lines of the New Testament today one recognizes again: person and work come together in the one reality of Jesus Christ; they are two dimensions that are mutually illuminating and justifying each other. at is why today soteriology gets again directly

today; secondly, he also investigates the intersection of Christology and soteriology; and thirdly, he focusses on the implications of the cross for the understanding of human suffering, as show publications like Terrence Merrigan, ed., Godhead Here in Hiding: Incarnation and the History of Human Suffering, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 234 (Louvain, Paris, and Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2012); Luc De Saeger and Terrence Merrigan, eds., “Die geleden heeft onder Pontius Pilatus”: God en/in het lijden van de mens, Logos 12 (Antwerpen: Halewijn, 2017), and broadening inter-religiously, “Voor ons mensen en omwille van ons heil: Gods heilshandelen in de geschiedenis en de hedendaagse theologie van de godsdiensten,” in Volk van God en gemeenschap van gelovigen: Pleidooien voor een zorgzame kerkopbouw, ed. Jacques Haers, Terrence Merrigan, and Peter De Mey (Averbode: Altiora, 1999), 570-583. 7 Cf. Karl-Heinz Menke, Jesus ist Gott der Sohn: Denkformen und Brennpunkte der Christologie (Regensburg: Pustet, 2008). Recently several German christological publications seem to have raised the issue of focal points, cf. e.g. Gegenwartsbezogene Christologie: Denkformen und Brennpunkte angesichts neuer Herausforderungen, ed. Marco Hoeinz and Kai-Ole Eberhardt, Dogmatik in der Moderne 29 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020). 8 Cf. Christoph Böttigheimer, “Menschliches Leid und göttliches Mitleid,” in Mein Herr und mein Gott: Christus bekennen und verkünden. Festschrift für Walter Kardinal Kasper zum 80. Geburtstag, ed. George Augustin and Klaus Krämer (Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 2013), 313-333 as well as Helmut Hoping, Jesus aus Galiläa: Messias und Gottes Sohn (Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 2019), above all 269-299.

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linked to Christology. Both are best developed as an integral unity.9 is is clearly shown by the way Bonhoeffer formulates his question. irdly, as demonstrated in the brief sketch of Bonhoeffer’s thought, his formulation of the question allows a focus on the salvific meaning of Jesus’ death on the cross. e death of Jesus on the cross is always to be seen in connection with the resurrection, on the one hand, and the earthly life and work of Jesus, on the other. is is the way to explain the Christian belief that in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ God himself approached human beings in a salvific way. roughout the ages, but today more than ever, the offense taken because the cross is a symbol of torture makes it necessary to clarify in what way Jesus’ suffering and dying on the cross is salvific and how it can be spoken of today in a theologically responsible manner. is justifies the subsequent focus on Bonhoeffer’s reformulated question what does the cross say to us today, when answering his original question who is Christ for us today. e following reflections that closely link these two questions first focus on the criticism that, from the first moment so to speak, was directed against the cross as the alleged proof of God’s being too weak to prevent suffering, even for himself, and on the liturgical response against this allegation developed in the Early Church (3). Despite this response the challenge of God’s suffering has to be addressed, either by distinguishing between God’s impassibility and the suffering human nature of Christ, as traditional Roman Catholic soteriology suggests (4), or by emphasizing the participation of God in the human nature’s suffering of Christ, as Luther, Bonhoeffer, and Protestant soteriology in general contend (5). Both responses, though contradicting each other, are indebted to the Chalcedonian formula of “true God and true man” and emphasize that God redeems the world out of love for his creation. e crucial question is whether this love necessarily involves divine compassion, understood as helpless commiseration expressed in an ability to suffer which might call into question God’s ability to save. Gerald Vann’s interesting solution makes it possible to concentrate on the notion of love as the essence of God when discussing redemption and the cross (6). e fact that God’s love is vouchsafed by the cross prevents any naïve, starryeyed idealization of this love (7). is, in turn, recalibrates and captures more concisely the idea of kenosis as divine compassion with the battered and godforsaken that Bonhoeffer emphasizes.

9 Cf. Georg Kraus, Jesus Christus – der Heilsmittler (Frankfurt a.M.: Knecht, 2005), 4.

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3. Criticism of the Salvific Value of the Cross e cross is the symbol of what the Christian faith stands for. Already Saint Paul wanted to preach nothing else than the “word of the cross” (1  Cor 1:18), knowing full well the scandal and the folly of this word. From the very beginning it sparked discussion and argument. Already the disciples of Jesus asked themselves how God and suffering could be thought together, since Jesus’ death on the cross radically called into question God’s self-revelation in Jesus of Nazareth. According to Paul, the scandal of the cross lies in the fact that in the weakness of his crucified love God realizes the salvation of the world quite differently from what human logic would have expected from an almighty God. “For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor 1:22-25). Yet this clarification did not settle the issue. A mocking crucifix, discovered in 1856 on the Palatine Hill in Rome, dates from around 123 to 126 AD. It depicts the crucified with a donkey’s head, who turns to a matchstick figure that, as a gesture of adoration, holds up one hand to the crucified. e inscription reads “Alexamenos worships his God” (AΛΕΞΑΜΕΝΟΣ ΣΕΒΕΤΕ ΘΕΟΝ). It caricatures the worship of a god who hangs helplessly on a cross and suffers, instead of being omnipotent, perfect, and incapable of suffering. e Christian understanding of God is falling short of anything that the (Neo-) Platonic idea of the supreme Good or the Aristotelian conception of the Unmoved Mover ever stated about the divine10 or, philosophically speaking, about the first principle. It is not compatible with absolute perfection.11 As Justin Martyr summarizes, “they proclaim our madness to 10 Cf. Herbert Frohnhofen, APATHEIA TOU THEOU: Über die Affektlosigkeit Gottes in der griechischen Antike und bei den griechischsprachigen Kirchenvätern bis zu Gregorios Thaumaturgos (Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 1987). 11 Cf. Plato, Politeia 381C, Platonis Opera. Vol. 4: Tetralogia VIII, ed. John Burnet, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978); Aristotle, Metaphysics 12, 1072A, ed. William D. Ross (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924). Cf. Alois Grillmeier, “Jesus von Nazareth – ‘Im Schatten des Gottessohnes?’ Zum Gottesund Christusbild,” in Hans Urs von Balthasar et al., Diskussion über Hans Küngs “Christ sein” (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1979), 60-82, at 68: “Wenn die griechische Philosophie der damaligen Zeit gegen etwas empfindlich war, dann gegen dies: als oberstes Prinzip, als arché, etwas anderes zu setzen als das

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consist in this, that we give to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all.”12 is criticism hit the Early Church to the core. In particular in its liturgical language the Early Church sought to counter these critical allegations by extolling the cross of Christ as the ultimate redemptive victory, albeit acknowledging this victory’s paradoxical nature. e paradox is poignantly put by Augustine (354-430) as, “killed by death, he killed death” (morte occisus mortem occidit).13 e hymns of Venantius Fortunatus (ca. 540-ca. 609) follow in Augustine’s footsteps and praise Christ’s victorious fight for redemption. In the Roman Catholic liturgy some of them are still used today.14 Christ’s redemptive victory is a recurrent topic of other liturgical elements of the paschal triduum. e Easter Sequence “Victimae paschali laudes” by Wipo of Burgundy (ca. 990-ca. 1048) is dedicated to this theme: Wipo’s hymn depicts death and life dramatically clashing and praises the victory of redemption that Christ achieved through his death, “Death with life contended: combat strangely ended! Life’s own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign” (Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando; dux vitae mortuus regnat vivus). e image of redemption as victory also dominates the Exultet, sung during the Easter Vigil in front of the candle. As Gerald O’Collins explains, “By repeating ‘this is the night’, the Easter Proclamation intensifies a central conviction of faith: the redeeming events of Israel’s history and of Christ’s resurrection from the dead have lost nothing of their saving impact in the present.”15 us the Early Church’s contestation of the foolishness of the cross continues to influence Christian thinking until today. It does so not only in a Roman Catholic liturgical context but to varying degrees in different denominations. To give but exklusiv-absolute ‘Hen’. Diesem gilt die eigentliche Liebe der Philosophen. Nous und Psyche sollten im Grunde gar nicht sein.” 12 Justin Martyr, First Apology, 13, in Ante-Nicene Christian Library, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, trans. Marcus Dods et al., vol. 2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1867), 17. 13 Augustinus, In Evangelium Ioannis Tractatus 12,10, in Patrologia Latina, ed. Jacques-Paul Migne, vol. 35 (Paris: Migne, 1864), col. 1379-1976, at 1489. 14 Cf. e.g. his hymn Vexilla regis prodeunt that is still sung at Vespers during Holy Week: Vexilla regis prodeunt, e Banners of the King issue forth, fulget crucis mysterium, the mystery of the Cross does gleam, quo carne carnis conditor where the Creator of flesh, in the flesh, suspensus est patibulo. from the cross-bar is hung. 15 Gerald O’Collins, Christology: A Biblical, Historical and Systematic Study of Jesus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 303.

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one example, based on the cosmological interpretation of Christ’s victory over “thrones or dominions or rulers or powers” (cf. Col 1:15-20) Pentecostal Christians – and a certain number of Southern Baptists in the USA – are currently advocating a Christus-Victor view of soteriology, which takes God’s wrestling with demons as its conceptual premise and starting point.16 4. The Main Challenge: God’s Suffering e paradoxical nature of the Early Church’s answer to the criticism of the cross, however, does not do away with the main theological difficulty related to the cross. Christoph Böttigheimer concisely pins down the problem, e death of Jesus is a massive challenge to God. e cross only does not negate the creative power of God and his historical revelation if God can surrender himself to death without thereby losing his freedom vis-à-vis creation, without contradicting his divinity and without canceling his promise of revelation. In the death of Jesus, God must prove himself to be the one who has the power to surrender himself to death without ceasing to be the originator of life.17

If God is not to contradict his divinity, it is vital that Christ’s suffering and powerlessness, symbolized by the cross, are countered and weighed out by the notion of God’s impassibility, immutability, and transcendence. Only thus authentic Christian hope is safeguarded and distinguished from self-delusion and unfounded vain optimism. Historically speaking it was rather for theological than philosophical reasons that Christian theology strove to protect and emphasize the immutability and impassibility of God which originally had been advocated by ancient Greek philosophy. e Christian notion of impassibility itself goes back to the doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum, the interaction of properties in the 16 Cf. Gregory Boyd, “Christus Victor View,” in The Nature of Atonement: Four Views, ed. James Beilby and Paul R. Eddy (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2006), 23-65. 17 Böttigheimer, “Menschliches Leid und göttliches Mitleid,” 316: “Der Tod Jesu ist eine massive Anfrage an Gott. Das Kreuz negiert nur dann nicht die Schöpfermacht Gottes und seine geschichtliche Offenbarung, wenn sich Gott in den Tod begeben kann, ohne dadurch seine Freiheit gegenüber der Schöpfung zu verlieren, seinem Gottsein zu widersprechen und seine Offenbarungsverheißung aufzuheben. Im Tod Jesu muss sich Gott also auf eine alles überbietende Weise als der erweisen, der die Macht hat, sich dem Tod auszuliefern, ohne aufzuhören, Urheber des Lebens zu sein.”

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divinity and humanity of the person of Jesus Christ, that was a logical consequence of the above-mentioned formula of Chalcedon “true God and true man.” As the Tomus Leonis, a letter by Pope Leo to the Bishop of Constantinople, sent in 449, explains, So it is on account of this oneness of the person, which must be understood in both natures, that […] the Son of God is said to have been crucified and buried, since he suffered these things not in the divinity itself whereby the Only-begotten is co-eternal and consubstantial with the Father, but in the weakness of the human nature.18

Already Augustine had pointed out that God as such cannot suffer, i.e. is “impassibilis.”19 is idea was taken up and adapted by a group of Scythian monks who during the eopaschite Controversy in 513 coined the formula “one of the Trinity suffered” (unus ex trinitate passus est),20 namely with regard to his human nature. eir formula, though first contested, was eventually vindicated at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553.21 It became the classic way of thinking about God. We can here only briefly sketch some of the hallmarks of the further development. Anselm of Canterbury (ca. 1033-1109) conceived of God simultaneously as “greater than can be conceived” (maius quam cogitari possit)22 and as “something, a greater than which cannot be conceived” (aliquid quo nihil maius cogitari possit).23 Anselm’s formula became the classic logical concept of conceiving God during the Middle Ages, yet it begs the question whether there would not be something conceivable that would be greater than a God who suffers, namely a God who does not suffer and is immutable. Consequently, for Aquinas, for instance, God’s very nature is immutable.24 18

DH 302, in Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations on Matters of Faith and Morals – Enchiridion symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum, ed. Peter Hünermann, Robert L. Fastiggi, trans. Anne Englund Nash (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2012). 19 Augustine, Contra Fortunatum disputatio 6, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 25, ed. Joseph Zycha (Vienna: Tempsky, 1891), 86, 22f. 20 Alois Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition: From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590-604), vol. 2, trans. Pauline Allen and John F. Cawte (London: Mowbray, 1995), 318. 21 Cf. DH 432. 22 Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion ch. 15, in Patrologia Latina, ed. JacquesPaul Migne, vol. 158 (Paris: Migne, 1863), col. 223-248, at 235C. 23 Ibid., ch. 2, 228A. 24 Cf. omas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae [ST] Ia, q. 9, a. 2; q. 13, a. 7; q. 19, a. 7. e works of omas Aquinas are easily accessible in the edition of Robert Busa at www.corpusthomisticum.org.

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Catholic soteriology held on to the axiom of immutability and impassibility, not so much because it felt traditionally indebted to the Chalcedonian formula but, above all, because of the soteriological importance of that axiom. For, as a contemporary of Bonhoeffer, Karl Rahner (19041984), once unambiguously put it, “If I want to escape from my filth, mess and despair, it doesn’t help me one bit if, to put it bluntly, God is in the same mess.”25 Rahner strongly questions that humanity can be saved, if the very God in whom human beings place their hope is subject to the same suffering as they are. Nevertheless, when it comes to immutability, Rahner with regard to the incarnation concedes, “God can become something, he who is unchangeable in himself can himself become subject to change in something else.”26 Since this seems contradictory, he explains, “here ontology has to be adapted to the message of faith and not be schoolmaster to this message.”27 What applies to immutability is, according to Rahner, also true of impassibility. Even during the death on the cross God does not lose impassibility. “Jesus’ fate does not impinge on God’s own life, with its metahistorical character and its freedom from suffering and its beatitude without guilt, since God’s reality and Jesus’ creatureliness remain unmixed.”28 Rahner stays absolutely loyal to the four adverbs of the Chalcedonian Creed “inconfusedly (ἀσυγχύτως), unchangeably (ἀτρέπτως), indivisibly (ἀδιαιρέτως), inseparably (ἀχωρίστως).” e life and death of Jesus Christ do not resemble a form of ‘docetism’. Rahner strives to apply the communicatio idiomatum and claims, “If someone says that the incarnate Logos ‘merely’ died in his human reality, and implicitly understands this to mean that this death did not touch God, he has only said half of the truth and has le out the

25 Paul Imhof and Hubert Biallowons, eds., Karl Rahner in Dialogue: Conversations and Interviews, 1965-1982, trans. Harvey D. Egan (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1986), 245. 26 Karl Rahner, “On the eology of the Incarnation,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. IV: More Recent Writings, trans. Kevin Smyth (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966), 105-120, at 113. 27 Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction of the Idea of Christianity, trans. William V. Dych (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1978), 221. On a critique of Rahner’s statements in this regard cf. Heather Meacock, An Anthropological Approach to Theology: A Study of John Hick’s Theology of Religious Pluralism, Towards Ethical Criteria for a Global Theology of Religions (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2000), 136. 28 Karl Rahner, “Jesus Christ – e Meaning of Life,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XXI: Science and Christian Theology, trans. Hugh M. Riley (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1988), 208-219, at 215.

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truly Christian truth.”29 He continues, “e death of Jesus belongs to God’s self-expression.”30 Proceeding from there to develop his theologia crucis in relation to the love of God, Rahner states, “e cross is the signum efficax of the redeeming love that communicates God himself, because the cross establishes God’s love in the world in a definitive and historically irreversible way.”31 e redemptive significance of the cross consists in its being an efficacious sign that God has eternally willed and always already communicates. As signum efficax it brings along the grace which it denotes, God’s love. is love, however, is not bringing about any passion or change in God. It is mediated and made unsurpassably definitive in history by Christ’s death. e categorical event of Christ’s death on the cross renders the grace of God’s love historically “tangible” (greifbar), “irreversible” (irreversibel), and eschatologically “victorious” (siegreich),32 while God’s eternal salvific will remains the fundamental changeless ground of this grace. To sum up, the core concern of Catholic soteriology is concisely recapitulated by Joseph Selling who writes, “In the end, the image of a God who suffers along with creation is incapable of challenging the tragedy of human suffering itself… For if God suffers – experiencing pain without meaning or justification – then we are more alone and hopeless than our fear and anxiety could imagine.”33 5. Contesting Protestant Soteriological Answers Bonhoeffer does not take sides with Rahner but follows Martin Luther (1483-1546) to whom the theology of the cross is absolutely central.34 29

Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith, 305. Ibid. 31 Karl Rahner, “e Christian Understanding of Redemption,” in id., Theological Investigations, XXI, 239-254, at 250. 32 Ibid., 250-251. Cf. also Henry Shea, “Internal Difficulties in the eology of Karl Rahner,” Modern Theology (online version before inclusion in an issue) 1-23, at 8, https://doi.org/10.1111/moth.12652 [accessed October 12, 2021]. 33 Joseph Selling, “Moral Questioning and Human Suffering: In Search of a Credible Response to the Meaning of Suffering,” in God and Human Suffering, ed. Jan Lambrecht and Raymond F. Collins (Louvain: Peeters, 1989), 155-182, at 170; cf. also more extensively omas Weinandy, Does God Suffer? (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000). 34 Cf. Martin Luther, Operationes in Psalmos (1519-1521), WA 5, 176, 32-33: “CRUX sola nostra eologia.” e Weimarer Ausgabe is easily accessible online at http://www.lutherdansk.dk/WA/D.%20Martin%20Luthers%20Werke,%20 Weimarer%20Ausgabe%20-%20WA.htm. 30

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Luther, too, relies on the communicatio idiomatum and even wants to strengthen it. As we have seen, due to the axiom of God’s impassibility, suffering had been restricted during centuries to the human nature of Christ that was hypostatically united with the Logos. e innovation in Martin Luther’s theology of the cross consists in expanding the doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum in such a way that one nature in the person of Jesus Christ fully participates in what can be attributed to the other and vice versa. us, on the cross, God himself truly participates in the suffering of Christ, because “everything that Christ does or suffers is surely done and suffered by God, even though it happened to only one nature.”35 is innovation in Luther’s theology is prompted by his specific way of receiving Anselm of Canterbury’s theory of vicarious satisfaction.36 By giving up the distinction between satisfaction (satisfactio) and punishment (poena), that Anselm strictly upheld, Luther develops the doctrine of Christ’s vicarious punishment. When interpreting “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” (Gal 3:13), Luther speaks of the Crucified as “maledictus,” “cursed,”37 which means “condemned to vicarious punishment,” to satisfactio vicaria poenalis. According to Paul, the Crucified One is indeed cursed, but in the sense of his becoming a salvific substitute for us.38 Yet the crucified Christ himself was never cursed by God. Luther tries to cushion this final consequence of his idea of vicarious punitive satisfaction by the innovation discussed above, that one nature in the person of Jesus Christ participates in the suffering that can be attributed to the other. For this reason, Protestant soteriology reckons with God’s ‘compassion’, literally understood as God’s suffering alongside the human being. is is more than mere pity or solidarity. Admittedly, Jesus freely bestowed compassion for the sick, the suffering, the grieving, and even

35 Martin Luther, Weihnachtspostille, WA 10/1, 150, 22f.: “alliß, was Christus thut odder leydet, hatt gewißlich gott than unnd gelieden, wiewol doch nur eyner natur dasselb begegnett ist.” Cf. also Creator est creatura: Luthers Christologie als Lehre von der Idiomenkommunikation, ed. Oswald Bayer and Benjamin Gleede (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2007). 36 Cf. Timothy George, “e Atonement in Martin Luther’s eology,” in The Glory of Atonement: Biblical, Historical and Practical Perspectives, ed. Charles E. Hill and Frank A. James (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2004), 263-278. 37 Cf. Martin Luther, Kommentar zum Galaterbrief (1535), WA 40/1, 434f. 38 Cf. Michael eobald, “‘Verflucht ist jeder, der am Holz hängt’: Die Deutung des Todes Jesu nach Gal 3,6-14,” Bibel und Kirche 64 (2009): 158-165.

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the dead. He wept over the fate of Jerusalem, was himself despised and rejected by many, and even tortured and killed. Yet does this mean that God was affected by this and suffered? Bonhoeffer points to Christ as always being the humiliated ‘man for others’, the lodestar of Christian commitment and service, thus introducing his concept of “Stellvertretung” as vicarious representative action.39 To make his approach less theoretical, he coins the metaphor of the ‘God who bears’ and explains, “e Son of God bore our flesh. He therefore bore the cross. He bore all our sins and attained reconciliation by his bearing.”40 Bonhoeffer is convinced that “only the suffering God can help.”41 For God’s suffering is not caused by weakness or anything like the frailty of the human condition. It is suffering out of the most genuine love, it is God freely and selflessly letting Godself be weak and vulnerable out of love. “e one who is capable of love is also capable of suffering, for he also opens himself to the suffering which is involved in love, and remains superior to it by virtue of his love,”42 as the Reformed theologian Jürgen Moltmann explains. Yet this “remains superior” is where Catholic soteriology strongly hesitates: how can one talk at all about God’s suffering without being aware of the problem that when speaking of ‘suffering’ one applies human predicates to God, thus risking to use “this term not in analogical way but in an

39

Cf. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sanctorum Communio: A Theological Study of the Sociology of the Church, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works 1, ed. Clifford J. Green, trans. Reinhard Krauss and Nancy Lukens (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 120, note 9, where the translators of Sanctorum Communio explain what is meant by Bonhoeffer’s concept of “Stellvertretung”: it “[…] is one of Bonhoeffer’s fundamental theological concepts through his writings. Literally the word means to represent in place of another – to act, advocate, intercede on behalf of another; we translate this as ‘vicarious representative action.’ As a theological concept in the strict sense it is rooted in Christology and refers to the free initiative and responsibility that Christ takes for the sake of humanity in his incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection – it is not just a soteriological concept applied only to the cross (as ‘vicarious’ might suggest). By anthropological analogy, Stellvertretung involves acting responsibly on behalf of others and on behalf of communities to which one belongs.” 40 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works 4, ed. Geffrey B. Kelly and John D. Godsey, trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001), 90. 41 Bonhoeffer, “Letter to Eberhard Bethge” (July 16, 1944), Letters from Prison, 480. 42 Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology, trans. John Bowden and R. A. Wilson (London: SCM Press, 1974), 230.

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illegitimate, univocal manner”?43 And, even more importantly, how can one assert that ‘God suffers’ without compromising divine transcendence as well as God’s ability and power to save? 6. God Is Love Aer the Second World War, when theodicy reached a new existential level because people were wondering how such a disaster could have happened with a loving God looking on, the English Dominican Gerald Vann (1906-1963) developed an interesting solution to the apparent dilemma. He wrote, When I share in the suffering of someone I love, that actual sharing is the expression of something deeper, something permanent: the will-to-share, which is what we call love. And so in the mystery of redemption: the actual sharing is done through the humanity of Christ, but that actual sharing is the expression of the deeper and permanent mystery in the Godhead, the will-to-share, i.e., the will to be a companion.44

Vann is fully aware of the reservations on the Catholic side to a suggestion like his and addresses them by pointing out the implicit Arian tendency of such reservations, When we say that God became man in order to suffer with and for His creatures, we must not fall into a sort of practical (or imaginative) Arianism. We must not think that God, in order to be somehow involved, created a Christ to suffer while the Godhead itself remained immune, unperturbed in its immutable beatitude. God suffered. at does not mean that the divine nature underwent a diminution and became subject to evil. But it does mean that in the divine nature there is a quality, to speak humano modo, of which the human quality of pity and compassion is the expression and, so to say, the evocation. God is love, and therefore, to say that love, given the fact of misery, implies pity is to say that God, given the fact of misery, implies pity.45

e actual act of love is the expression of God’s immutable inner being that can be designated as God’s permanent, unchanging will-to-share, God’s will-to-save. Given that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8, 16), the key to God’s work of salvation is love understood as permanent will-to-share.

43 John ompson, Modern Trinitarian Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 63. 44 Gerald Vann, The Pain of Christ and the Sorrow of God: Lenten Meditations (London: Blackfriars, 1949), 66-67. 45 Ibid., 66.

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Is this merely a modern concept devised out of the pressing need in the twentieth century to find some solution to the exacerbated question of theodicy? According to the testimony of the New Testament, the cross of Christ is the free act of God’s love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10; 2 Cor 5:19ff; Rom 5:8-10). God is the subject of reconciliation, the reconciler. He reconciles (actively), he is not reconciled, or somehow moved to, let alone forced to reconcile. e contexts of the two classic biblical passages on God’s actions of reconciliation (Rom 5:10-11; 2 Cor 5:18-20) are clearly reminiscent of the love that moved God to seek reconciliation with sinners (Rom 5:5.8; 2 Cor 5:14). On this biblical basis also Lutherans emphasize the importance of God’s saving love. One prominent example is Johann Sebastian Bach, though not a theologian, announcing at a crucial point in his St Matthew’s Passion (BWV 244) “My Saviour wants to die for love” (“Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben”)46 in one of the most moving soprano arias ever composed. It is interesting to trace the paradigm of love as motivation for redemption (instead of justice, satisfaction or other explanations) through history. e “wonderful exchange” (admirabile commercium), for instance, which the Greek and Latin Fathers valued as a key concept of salvation, remains inappropriately interpreted without divine love as its driving force. As an alternative theory to Anselm’s famous and very influential doctrine of vicarious satisfaction, Peter Abelard (1079-1142) developed an interpretation that is based on the moments of love and kenosis. It does not reckon with God as an avenging judge, but with a God who goes to extremes in self-denying love. In his Commentary on the Letter to the Romans, Peter Abelard states, Now it seems to us that we have been justified by the blood of Christ and reconciled to God in this way: through this unique act of grace manifested to us – in that his Son has taken upon himself our nature and persevered therein in teaching us by word and example even unto death – he has more fully bound us to himself by love; with the result that our hearts should be enkindled by such a gi of divine grace, and true charity should not now shrink from enduring anything for him.47

46

e German text reads: “Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben,ǁ von einer Sünde weiß er nichts.ǁ Daß das ewige Verderbenǁ und die Strafe des Gerichtsǁ nicht auf meiner Seele bliebe.” – “Out of love my Saviour is willing to die,ǁ Of any sin he knows nothingǁ So that eternal ruinǁ And the punishment of judgementǁ May not remain upon my soul.” 47 Eugene R. Fairweather, ed., A Scholastic Miscellany: Anselm to Ockham, e Library of Christian Classics 10 (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1956), 283;

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Abelard emphasizes that the cross is the sign of a divine love that goes to the limits, by which God himself woos the affection of the human beings and thus inspires their repentance and their overcoming of sin by good acts. Abelard thereby breaks the logic of paying, swapping, and making amends in favor of a logic of kenotic love. “And with that he maps out how one can speak of salvation by the cross of Christ even under modern and postmodern conditions.”48 It has become common practice to follow in the footsteps of Bernard of Clairvaux (ca. 1090-1153) and criticize Abelard’s idea that Christ “by His life and teaching […] handed down to men a pattern of life, that by His suffering and death He set put a standard of love. Did He then teach righteousness and not bestow it; reveal love and not infuse it; and so return to His own place?”49 In other words, Abelard is still criticized, “because Christ is only seen as a template of self-denying, all-enduring love that can only succeed via the moral attitude of all who want to follow him.”50 Surely, the cross of Christ must play its own, genuine role in soteriology, a role which means more than emphasizing the exemplary character of a somehow heroic or uncomplaining death. However, Petrus Abaelardus, Commentaria in epistolam Pauli ad Romanos 3:26 (II, sollutio), in Petri Abaelardi opera theologica, ed. E.  M. Buytaert, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 11 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1969), 117: “Nobis autem videtur, quod in hoc iustificati sumus in sanguine Christi et Deo reconciliati, quod per hanc singularem gratiam nobis exhibitam, quod Filius suus nostrum susceperit naturam et in ipsa nos tam verbo quam exemplo instituendo usque ad mortem persistit, nos sibi amplius per amorem adstrinxit, ut tanto divinae gratiae accensi beneficio nihil iam tolerare propter ipsum vera reformidet caritas.” 48 omas Schärtl, “‘Eine unerhörte und ungerechte Geschichte?’: Soteriologie jenseits einer ökonomistischen Grammatik,” Zeitschrift für Katholische Theologie 132 (2010): 482-504, at 490: “Und damit legt er eine Spur, wie auch unter modernen und postmodernen Bedingungen von Erlösung durch das Kreuz Christi gesprochen werden kann.” 49 Bernard of Clairvaux, Tractatus ad Innocentium II Pontificem contra quaedam capitula errorum Abaelardi, quoted in Laurence W. Grensted, A Short History of the Doctrine of Atonement (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1962), 106. 50 Schärtl, “Eine unerhörte und ungerechte Geschichte?,” 490: “weil Christus nur noch als Exemplar der selbst-verschwenderischen, alles erduldenden Liebe gelte, das nur durch die moralische Einstellung aller, die ihm nachfolgen wollen, wirken könne”; for an analysis and defense of Abelard, cf. Philip L. Quinn, “Abaelard on Atonement: ‘Nothing Unintelligible, Arbitrary, Illogical or Immoral About It’,” in Oxford Readings in Philosophical Theology: Trinity, Incarnation, Atonement, vol. 1, ed. Michael Rea (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 348-364.

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Abelard reckoned with the transformative power of love and correctly saw that God’s love is the key that best unlocks our understanding of salvation history. Another prominent example for using this key is omas Aquinas (ST IIIa, qq. 46-48). For Aquinas, God’s mercy and justice cannot contradict one another.51 God’s mercy precedes all righteousness and justice as the ultimate possible destination.52 Without mercy, that is, love, there can be no justice and also no satisfaction for Aquinas. In this respect he, too, concretizes and corrects Anselm. Satisfaction is effective only through love.53 For Aquinas, the broader context is decisive: Christ, the Redeemer, heals and ‘deifies’ sinful humankind not only through his cross, but also through his incarnation. Human faith, hope and love are kindled through the incarnation.54 In Jesus’ cross and resurrection, the human being meets the goal of his or her own existence, communion with God, who is the ultimate object of love. rough Christ’s suffering for our sins, human beings realize how much God loves them. In the sacraments, salvation founded in Christ is given to human beings. Salvation consists in the justification and sanctification of the sinner, the aim of which is the eternal communion with God, opened up for humankind through the risen Crucified One. e idea of a benevolent and merciful God is decisive for the soteriology of Aquinas.55 Today, Gerald O’Collins, among others, emphasizes the importance of love for the understanding of salvation. He starts with the Johannine statement “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8, 16), which understands love as the constitutive essence of God. e classic axiom “acting follows being” 51 Cf. ST IIIa, q. 46, a. 1, ad 3: “hominem liberari per passionem Christi, conveniens fuit et misericordiae et iustitiae eius. Iustitiae quidem, quia per passionem suam Christus satisfecit pro peccato humani generis, et ita homo per iustitiam Christi liberatus est. Misericordiae vero, quia, cum homo per se satisfacere non posset pro peccato totius humanae naturae, ut supra habitum est, Deus ei satisfactorem dedit filium suum.” 52 Cf. ST Ia, q. 21, a. 4, co.: “Opus autem divinae iustitiae semper praesupponit opus misericordiae, et in eo fundatur.” 53 Cf. ST IIIa, q. 14, a. 1, ad 1: “non enim esset satisfactio efficax nisi ex caritate procederet.” 54 Cf. ST IIIa, q. 1, a. 2, co. 55 Cf. Peter Hünermann, Jesus Christus – Gottes Wort in der Zeit: Eine systematische Christologie, 2nd ed. (Münster: Aschendorff, 1997), 207: “Gerechtigkeit ist immer Güte in bezug auf irgendetwas. Die Barmherzigkeit aber ist in sich unbegrenzt, unbegründet. Hier äußert sich Güte rein an sich selbst. Solche Güte in der Form der Barmherzigkeit liegt damit jeder Gerechtigkeit vorauf und ist letzte mögliche Zielbestimmung (Vgl. S I q.21, a.4c).”

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(operari sequitur esse) indicates that love also determines God’s redemptive action.56 In addition, the Johannine corpus (Joh 1:3-4, 9-18) together with other New Testament references (e.g. Col 1:15-20; Heb 1:2-3) brings salvation into connection with creation. According to the christological hymn in Col 1:15-20, creation is there “for the sake of redemption.”57 e incarnated Logos, who mediates divine revelation and salvation, was already at work in creation. Paul was the first to identify this Logos as the one who created the world in the beginning (1 Cor 8:6). e mystery of love, which was creation, culminated in salvation, with both creation and salvation coming about through the action of the same Logos. 7. Conclusion: The Cross as Pledge of God’s Love Christian theology is faced with the task of explaining the understanding of the cross as a pledge of God’s love. is is not an easy task, because the reality of love is far more complicated than any pre-made labels might suggest. Yet the fact that this love is realized by the cross safeguards against a naïve or starry-eyed understanding of love: it is not confined to the comfort zones of the human existence. Since naive wishful thinking about God’s love is not helpful, it is both legitimate and necessary to criticize inadequate representations of this love, as C.  S.  Lewis demonstrates, By the goodness of God we mean nowadays almost exclusively His lovingness; and in this we may be right. And by love, in this context, most of us mean kindness – the desire to see others than the self happy […] What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing: ‘What does it matter so long as they are contented?’ We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven […] whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, ‘a good time was had by all’.58

e fact that God is love, but not necessarily the ‘dear grandfather’ whom we are prone to imagine begs the following conclusions: e cross is the Christian sign of God’s love for humanity and the reconciliation of the world. is is what makes it topical and lends it political power. From a Christian point of view, there must be no doubt that any

56 Cf. Gerald O’Collins, Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 307. 57 Hans Hübner, Biblische Theologie des Neuen Testaments, vol. 2 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1990-1995), 352. 58 C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Macmillan, 1962), 39.

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misanthropy – be it in the name of reawakening nationalisms, in the course of growing conflicts between religions, or as a consequence of whichever reason – is unacceptable and incompatible with the Christian faith. With this we come full circle returning once again to Bonhoeffer, who stated in a letter to Rüdiger Schleicher (April 8, 1936), If it is I who says where God is to be found, then I will always find a God there who in some manner corresponds to me, is pleasing to me, who is commensurate with my own nature. But if it is God who says where he is to be found, then it will probably be a place that is not at all commensurate with my own nature and that does not please me at all. is place, however, is the cross of Jesus.59

It has now been for quite some time that we, too, are in a place that does not please us at all. A medieval plague cross from the church of San Marcello al Corso in Rome is symbolic of this. It was carried through Rome in the plague year of 1522 with thousands participating in the procession. On March 27, 2020 in a world suffering severely from Covid19 the pope was the only one praying in front of this cross on a ghostly deserted Saint Peter’s Square. To me this cross is a strong image of who Christ is for us and what the cross says to us today.

59

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Letter to Rüdiger Schleicher” (April 8, 1936), Theological Education at Finkenwalde: 1935-1937, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works 14, ed. H. Gaylon Barker and Mark Brocker, trans. Douglas W. Stott (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013), 166-170, at 168.

9 A Cumulative Approach to the Resurrection Gerald O’Collins, S.J.

When considering the resurrection of Jesus Christ, omas Aquinas proposed a “cumulative” approach.1 e adjective “cumulative” can express the tasks that face those who set themselves to explore a case for faith in Jesus risen from the dead. ey must deal with issues of at least three major kinds: philosophical, biblical/historical, and theological/spiritual. As we will see, these areas overlap, notably over the nature of God and what is involved in acknowledging God’s action in raising Jesus from the dead. is chapter attempts a mapping operation and details major issues to be handled in constructing a case for the resurrection. 1. Philosophical Issues Given the epistemological turn of modern philosophy, any apologist who claims to know and accept the resurrection of Jesus must tackle the nature and limits of human knowledge.2 To maintain that it is reasonable to believe in the resurrection implies that one has already reasoned about reason, evidence, and knowledge. Serious questions abound. How far, for instance, can reason take us in knowing present and past reality, including the reality of a transcendent God? What counts as appropriate evidence (meaning evidence from the external world) for what we can know and claim to know – specifically, about God acting to raise the dead Jesus to new and glorious life and Jesus appearing to individuals and groups aer this resurrection?

1

omas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae Ia, q. 55, a. 6, ad 1; see also Summa contra gentiles III, ch. 38. 2 See Jonathan Daucy, Ernest Sosa, and Matthias Stemp, eds., A Companion to Epistemology (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009); Michael Huemer and Robert Audi, eds., Epistemology: Contemporary Readings (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2002); George S. Pappas, “Epistemology. History of,” in Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (London: Routledge, 1998), III, 371-384.

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Hence apologists for the resurrection may not ignore contemporary contributions and debates in the area of epistemology. What are the conditions for the possibility of knowing the resurrection? What, for example, do philosophers like William P. Alston propose about validating truth claims and justifying beliefs?3 Unquestionably, belief in the truth of Jesus’ resurrection involves much more than epistemological considerations and is not to be reduced to the conclusion of a philosophical argument. Nevertheless, if believing in the resurrection is to remain an intellectually honest and humanly responsible act, we may not flatly refuse to hear the epistemologists. At the same time, philosophical reason is both like and unlike historical reason and theological reason. e kind of evidence to which philosophers appeal, for instance, differs somewhat from the evidence typically cited by historians and theologians. While evidence can be expected to come from the external world, their diverse disciplines prompt philosophers, historians, and theologians into seeking and accepting different kinds of evidence. eir disciplines enjoy a certain autonomy, and it would be always a mistake to maintain in the matter of evidence that “one size fits all.” If we take evidence to be information bearing on the truth or falsity of propositions, by comparing debates in philosophy, history, and theology, we will notice the variety in the evidence cited. In his Memorial, written aer an intense religious experience during the night of November 23/24, 1654, Blaise Pascal famously contrasted “the God of philosophers and the scholars” with “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Pascal had in mind, among others, omas Aquinas who held that “to know in a general and confused way that God exists is implanted in us by God.”4 On the basis of an Aristotelian scheme of causality, Aquinas proceeded to clarify matters by developing philosophical arguments for the existence of God, the so-called Five Ways.5 Aquinas and Pascal present a basic choice for those seeking a philosophical propaedeutic to 3

William P. Alston, Beyond “Justification”: Dimensions of Epistemic Evaluation (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005); William P. Alston, Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993). 4 Summa Theologiae Ia, q. 2, a. 1, ad 6. 5 See John F. Wippel, “e Five Ways,” in Thomas Aquinas: Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives, ed. Brian Davies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 159-225; Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010).

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faith in the resurrection. Should they embrace (a) the reasoned arguments of philosophical theology or (b) the way of direct encounter with the risen Jesus and the God revealed in his resurrection? If they opt for (b), they will need to face the question: how can we justify what is conveyed by allegedly immediate, religious experience?6 In modern times the exponential growth and success of sciences and, above all, of the natural sciences lured many towards the epistemological conclusion that science is the only source of genuine knowledge about anything.7 Such full-blooded scientism may have waned, but its epistemological progeny in “objectivism” still enjoys numerous supporters. In the name of “objective” and “scientific” knowledge, they expect authentic knowledge to be and remain independent of human interests, perspectives, and commitments. Only pure, uninterpreted “facts” are reliable. Followers of “objectivism” need to read Michael Polanyi and others who have argued that all knowledge, including knowledge in the realm of the sciences, is always personal and affected by human interests, perspectives, and commitments.8 ere is no such thing as knowledge that is purely “objective.” We cannot expect to enjoy a “view from nowhere.”9 ere are always conditions that should prompt us into recognizing that knowledge is always both objective and subjective, involving interaction between the knower and the known. Diverse ideological outlooks and diverse religious faiths have their impact on what we “know” about the resurrection. Similarly, pure nuggets of non-interpreted facts do not exist. Personal experiences, choices, and evaluations inevitably affect what are deemed to be “the facts.” In the case of Jesus’ resurrection, one needs to ask, among other things: did the claims and activity of Jesus make him an appropriate person to be vindicated by God by being raised to a new, transformed life? Here we rely on reaching reliable conclusions on the basis of the gospel records, while recognizing that those records derive from such eyewitnesses as Simon Peter, Mary Magdalene and other 6

See e.g. Phillip H. Wiebe, Visions of Jesus: Direct Encounters from the New Testament to Today (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997); id., God and Other Spirits: Intimations of Transcendence in Christian Experience (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). 7 See Tom Sorell, Scientism: Philosophy and the Infatuation with Science (London and New York: Routledge, 1991). 8 Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy (rev. ed., Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1962). 9 omas Nagel, The View from Nowhere (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985).

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disciples who began interpreting Jesus from their very first meetings with him. To be sure, significant convergence characterizes what they reported and proclaimed about Jesus. But there never was a set of non-interpreted “facts” about Jesus. e nature of human experience and personal knowledge rules that out. Philosophical reasoning also affects what we can say about historical conclusions that concern the case for the resurrection: for example, the reliability of the tradition that on the third day Jesus’ tomb was found to be open and empty. Does this tradition do justice to the evidence in a way that alternate scenarios fail to do? Is it a verdict “beyond reasonable doubt” which a jury might accept? Testimony and doing justice to evidence are matters that philosophers and jurists ponder.10 Historians also constantly put the question: are these conclusions historically reliable? In any case, what is historical reliability? We will hear from historians in the next section. Philosophy is heavily involved in debates about the status and function of religious statements. ese statements may concern, for instance, a reality such as the existence of God and an event such as the resurrection of Jesus. Do such statements assert “facts” and are they informative, or do they merely evoke attitudes? Before leaving philosophical considerations, we can recall one cautionary tale, which exemplifies an epistemological failure in addressing the question of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Gerd Lüdemann aimed at a “ruthlessly honest quest for truth,” one that would take “an undistorted look” at the evidence and “look in a purely historical and empirical way at the historical testimonies to the resurrection.” Inevitably those he disagrees with find themselves charged with “dogmatism,” “prejudice,” and even with knowing “a priori what needs to be proved.”11 Lüdemann’s view of human knowledge provides an instance of that naïve realism criticized by Bernard Lonergan and others for presuming knowledge to be merely a matter of taking an “honest look.”12 e profession of ruthless, undistorted honesty repeats what many philosophers 10 See C. A. J. Coady, Testimony: A Philosophical Study (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994). 11 Gerd Lüdemann, The Resurrection of Jesus: History, Experience, Theology, trans. John Bowden (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1994), 6, 14-15, 19, 69, 178, 211. 12 See Bernard Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding, Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 3 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 344, 449-450; id., Method in Theology (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1972), 238.

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have long ago challenged: namely, the claim to make a purely objective and scientific approach to some controversial issue. e truth of Christ’s resurrection, a matter of enormous personal significance, is not a merely “historical” matter to be kept at arm’s length, looked at dispassionately, and pronounced upon accordingly. Lüdemann alleges that he is pursuing a totally honest inquiry and doing something that others fail to do: he looks without any bias at the evidence, or rather at the evidence that he allows to count. Any debates with him should begin with his flawed background theories about knowledge in general and historical knowledge in particular. He alleges the impossible, to be personally free of “distortions” and bias. Any honest quest of truth requires an awareness of personal biases, not the pretense of engaging in presuppositionless research.13 2. Historical/Biblical Issues Among the different ways in which historical studies touch arguments about the resurrection are the status of conclusions, the role of analogies, and the concern for historical truth in the first-century Mediterranean world. Let me take up in turn these three topics. 1. Status of Historical Conclusions As regards conclusions, are there only two categories available: (a) the historically certain (e.g. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo) or (b) the historically indeterminate? If we endorse this stark choice, we seem to be justified in holding, for instance, the discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb to be simply historically indeterminate. But is the scheme of only two categories at fault? Should we acknowledge conclusions based on strong evidence which may be strong but still falls short of conclusive evidence that would rule out all possibility of error? We should recognize innumerable historical conclusions that responsible scholars firmly hold, even if they do not claim to have reached utter certainty. us J.  N.  D. Kelly marshalled evidence to draw the conclusion that what we know as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (used by all Christians at the Eucharist) does in fact come from the First Council of Constantinople (381 ).14 ere had been considerable diversity of views on this matter. 13 See Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, trans. J. Weinsheimer and D. G. Marshall (New York: Crossroad, 1989). 14 J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds, 3rd ed. (London: Longman, 1974).

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at did not lead Kelly to conclude that no one really knows where the creed in question came from and how it fell into its final shape. Without claiming historical certainty for his conclusion, he argued for it as solidly probable. Historical studies teem with such examples of leading scholars reaching firm conclusions that they believe to do better justice to the evidence currently available. Although they cannot pretend to have reached the kind of utter certainty that simply discounts the possibility that further evidence might come to light and seriously qualify or even discount their conclusion, they do not throw up their hands and declare the issue they are interested in to be simply “indeterminate.” One needs to recognize the range of possibilities for conclusions to historical research: from the utterly certain, through the highly probable, the solidly probable, the probable, and various shades of possibility, right down to the genuinely indeterminate. In the city where I live, a courier service for parcels advertises itself as “delivering certainty.” e firm uses “certainty” in the sense of “may be relied on.” ey deliver punctually and can be trusted not to lose or misdirect any parcels. e firm does not claim to deliver certainty in the sense of always providing some undisputed fact or conclusion which should command our unqualified assent: that is to say, an utter certainty which allows us to discount the possibility of future evidence ever emerging that would challenge, seriously modify, or even disprove some alleged fact or conclusion which we have accepted. Historical investigation does not regularly “deliver certainty” in that sense, by providing conclusions which are not only undoubted but also can never be doubted. “Delivering probability,” even high probability, describes more accurately the task of competent historians. Delivering probability applies to areas of human activity that carry serious consequences for those involved: for instance, in trials for murder and other serious crimes. Members of the jury are expected to weigh the evidence and reach a “safe” verdict, that is to say, one which is beyond reasonable doubt but not necessarily one which is utterly certain. Over the years I have attributed this kind of historical status to the conclusion that the tomb of Jesus was discovered to be open and empty. It is not open to reasonable doubt, especially when set over against counter-explanations.15

15 See e.g. Gerald O’Collins, Believing in the Resurrection: The Meaning and Promise of the Risen Jesus (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2012), 80-99; id., “Buried by His Enemies? Acts 13:28-31,” Expository Times 130 (2019): 399-403.

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Here it is worth reminding ourselves that in matters deeply affecting our human lives we constantly rely on historical conclusions for which, at least in theory, we cannot discount the possibility of evidence one day challenging or even disproving these conclusions. Take, for example, the unqualified trust towards spouses and other close relatives that provides the ongoing and unchallenged framework for the existence of many human beings. ey live, so to speak, “at the mercy” of other people, but do not spend their days morbidly preoccupied with the possibility of betrayal.16 2. Role of Analogies In 1898, Ernst Troeltsch identified the basic analogical “postulate of the historical method”: it maintains that “agreement with normal, customary, or at least frequently attested happenings and conditions as we have experienced them is the criterion of the probability for all events that historical criticism can recognize as having actually or possibly happened.”17 In the twentieth century Troeltsch’s principle of analogy shaped much understanding of history and, for many writers, rendered questionable the historicity of the resurrection and events pointing to the resurrection: for instance, alleged appearances of the risen Christ (e.g. 1  Cor 15:5-8). ese appearances have been explained away as ancient examples of hallucinations and bereavement experiences, “frequently attested happenings” that historical criticism can acknowledge. Lüdemann and others have judged the Easter appearances to be the experiences of hallucinated persons who, aer Jesus’ death and burial, expected to meet him again and, through a kind of chain reaction, mistakenly imagined that they saw him.18 ey mistakenly attributed to an external source what they had produced themselves: the “presence” of the risen Christ. e post-resurrection appearances would then be totally internal, psychological events that took place in the minds and imaginations of the first disciples and were not produced by any external stimulus. In short, these so-called appearances were purely subjective visions, with no external reality corresponding to them.

16 See Gerald O’Collins, Easter Faith: Believing in the Risen Jesus (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2003), 33-38. 17 Ernst Troeltsch, “Historical and Dogmatic Method in eology,” in id., Religion in History, trans. James Luther Adams and Walter F. Bense (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1991), 11-32, at 13-14. 18 See e.g. Lüdemann, Resurrection of Jesus, 79-84 (on Paul as hallucinated).

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e evidence that we have from the four Gospels does not, however, support any picture of Jesus’ disciples excitedly expecting to meet him risen from the dead. Instead of persuading themselves into thinking that they saw him, they had to be persuaded that he was gloriously alive again (e.g. Mt 28:16-18; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-25). What the gospels record seems credible: the crisis of Jesus’ arrest and disgraceful death on a cross le the disciples crushed. Only by ignoring the evidence can we picture them as anxiously awaiting his return from the dead and out of their imagination hallucinating his appearances. e theory of an ecstatic group hallucination might be more plausible if the New Testament had reported only one appearance, and that to a particular group on a particular day. Instead, it witnesses to appearances taking place over a period of time and to different groups as well as different individuals (e.g. 1 Cor 15:5-8). As regards the groups to whom Jesus appeared, the New Testament presents us with at least six cases: the Twelve (1 Cor 15:5); “all the apostles” (1 Cor 15:7; who seem to be a more extensive group than the Twelve); Simon Peter and six others (John 21:1-14); “more than five hundred brothers [and sisters]” (1 Cor 15:6); Cleopas and his companion (Luke 24:13-35); and Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” (Mt 28:9-10). e variety of these traditions makes it quite unconvincing to reduce the six groups to one group, who on a specific occasion and by a kind of chain reaction imagined one aer another that they saw Jesus. A psychiatrist, Joseph W. Bergeron, has joined forces with a New Testament scholar, Gary Habermas, to produce a landmark article on the hallucination hypothesis. Bergeron supplied technical, clinical considerations about the “complex and varied psychiatric and neuro-physical milieu required for hallucinations to occur,” naively ignored by those who indulge hypotheses about the disciples hallucinating the presence of the risen Jesus. Such hypotheses are “at odds with current medical understanding.” In particular, they offer “no acceptable explanation for the simultaneous group encounters of the disciples with the resurrected Jesus,” but “prove to be unconvincing and implausible.”19 e hallucination hypothesis depends on what the disciples already believed and expected before Jesus died. is hypothesis cannot account for two remarkably new things that the disciples began to proclaim.

19 Joseph W. Bergeron and Gary Habermas, “e Resurrection of Jesus: A Clinical Review of Psychiatric Hypotheses for the Story of Easter,” Irish Theological Quarterly 80 (2015): 157-172.

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First of all, what options were open to the disciples aer Jesus was executed as a messianic pretender and blasphemer? Could they have modified their incipient messianic belief in Jesus and claimed him to be another martyred prophet, like John the Baptist? Hardly, it seems to me. To be crucified meant not only to suffer an utterly cruel and humiliating form of execution but also to die under a religious curse (Gal 3:13) and “outside the camp” of God’s people (Heb 13:12-13). In other words, crucifixion was seen as the death of a criminal and godless man who perished away from God’s presence and in the place and company of irreligious persons.20 In fact, the disciples began preaching the crucified Jesus as the divinely endorsed Messiah risen from the dead to bring salvation to the whole world. e notion of a messiah who failed, suffered, was crucified, and then rose from the grave was simply foreign to pre-Christian Judaism, and hence could not have shaped any alleged hallucinations on the part of the disciples.21 Since their previous religious beliefs could not have prompted them into making such startling claims about Jesus, what triggered this religious novelty? Where did it come from, if not from the resurrection of Jesus himself, now made known through his appearances and the discovery of his empty tomb? e second novelty concerned a striking shi in religious expectations. By the time of Jesus, some or even many Jews cherished a hope that a resurrection of all the dead would bring an end to human history. But no one imagined that one individual would be raised to a new, transformed existence in anticipation of the last day. But then the followers of Jesus began proclaiming that one individual (Jesus) had already been raised to a glorious life which anticipated the end of all history.22 What prompted this remarkable change in expectations that had no precedent in Jewish faith and hope, and so could not have fed into alleged hallucinations experienced by the disciples? Once again the plausible cause can only be the actual resurrection of Jesus, followed by his Easter appearances.

20

On the crucifixion, see Gerald O’Collins, “Crucifixion,” Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 1 (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 1207-1210. 21 e Servant of Isaiah 53 suffered to atone for the sins of others. But he was neither presented clearly as a messianic figure nor said to have been crucified and raised from the dead. 22 See N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 85-128.

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Lüdemann, Dale C. Allison,23 and others have used the analogy of bereaved persons who experience their beloved dead to argue that the Easter appearances may have been nothing more than ancient episodes in the psychobiography of bereaved persons. But these writers persistently ignore decisive differences between the experiences of bereaved persons and those of Jesus’ disciples shortly aer his death and burial. Undoubtedly, we can make some positive comparisons between (a) the experiences of widows and widowers studied by Dewi Rees and others and (b) the experiences of the disciples shortly aer the death and burial of Jesus.24 For instance, in both cases we learn of contact with the beloved dead, and it is contact that is life-giving. In both cases those who remain behind have experienced grief, even shattering grief, then followed by unexpected contact with the dead. e analogy between (a) and (b), however, turns out to be not that close and illuminating. In Believing in the Resurrection, I drew attention to numerous points of dissimilarity.25 First, the bereaved experienced through visions and in other ways their dead ones who had died, but never claimed that these deceased had risen from the dead. Second, that major Easter witness, St Paul, cannot be credited with a bereavement experience. He never seems to have known Jesus during the time of the public ministry, still less become a close and loving disciple. He met the risen Jesus as a hostile persecutor, not as a grief-stricken follower. ird, the manner of death in cases of (a) never included a case of death by public execution, still less a horrible and shameful death on the cross. e 293 widows and widowers studied by Rees lost their beloved ones through accidents or deaths by natural causes. He did not report any suicides or homicides, still less any executions. Fourth, apropos of the place of the spouses’ death, 270 died at home (161 cases) or in hospital (109 cases). e places, no less than the manner, of death examined by Rees do not parallel what the Gospels report about the dramatic and terrible death that took Jesus away in the prime of life. A fih reason for differentiating between the Easter experiences of the disciples and those 23 See Lüdemann, Resurrection of Jesus, 79-84, 97-100. For details of Allison’s position, see Matthew Levering, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? Historical and Theological Reflections (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 40-47. 24 See Dewi Rees, “e Hallucinations of Widowhood,” British Medical Journal (October 2, 1971): 37-41. Later Rees regretted using the term “hallucinations”; it implied that the experiences of the bereaved were merely imaginary and not real. On Rees and his successors in his research, see O’Collins, Believing in the Resurrection, 72, 175-191, 214-218. 25 O’Collins, Believing in the Resurrection, 179-189.

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of Rees’s widows and widowers emerges from the New Testament reports of appearances to groups, as well as to individuals. e pioneering study by Rees reported only individuals who saw, heard, spoke to, or even felt touched by their dead spouses. e individual nature of these experiences moved them away from the resurrection witness in the New Testament, for which appearances of the risen Christ to groups are at least as significant as the appearances to individuals. A sixth dissimilarity arises when we notice that 40% of Rees’s widows and widowers continued to experience their deceased spouses for many years. But the appearances of the risen Christ to individuals and groups took place over a limited amount of time and did not continue for many years. is should be enough to illustrate some of the major dissimilarities between (a) and (b). Readers who are interested can consult the full list of dissimilarities in my Believing in the Resurrection. Years ago in his now famous Theology of Hope: On the Ground and Implications of Christian Eschatology, Jürgen Moltmann described Troeltsch’s principle: It is generally acknowledged that historical understanding nowadays is always analogical understanding and must therefore remain within the realm of what is understandable in terms of analogy. e omnipotence thus attaching to analogy implies […] the basic similarity of all historical events. [is] presupposes that there is always a common core of similarity, on the basis of which the differences can be sensed and approved.

Moltmann realized that the “presupposition of a fundamental similarity underlying all events” raised serious difficulties against accepting Christ’s resurrection and the Easter appearances, events which are strikingly new and even unique. Moltmann briefly insisted that dissimilarity forms “the other side of the analogical process.” Hence, absolutely speaking, analogical understanding does not exclude the resurrection and subsequent appearances of the risen Christ.26 is insight must be developed. When analogies for the resurrection of Christ and his Easter appearances are offered, we deal with things that are both like and unlike. We face both similarities and dissimilarities. We need to ask: does this analogy enjoy enough similarities to make it a close and illuminating comparison? Or is it characterized by too many dissimilarities, so that it fails to be a useful analogy? Sadly, such a calculus of similarities and dissimilarities is something that rarely, if ever, turns up in studies of Christ’s resurrection.

26

Trans. James W. Leitch (London: SCM Press, 1967), 175-178.

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3. Concern for Historical Truth in the First-Century Mediterranean World Challenges to Jesus’ resurrection which turn up every now and then can take the form of alleging that first-century writers and their readers had no firm grip on the difference between unfounded myths and historical events. Writers are supposed to have been free of any scruples about dressing up such myths (read “the miracles, resurrection, and Easter appearances of Jesus”) as history and selling them to a gullible public. Readers are supposed to have been naïve and incapable of recognizing that they were being deliberately deceived. ere is an unintended irony in such a picture coming from modern authors. Notoriously claims in 2003 about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq deceived millions of people but proved to be a false “myth” created by western governments. But this is only one among many examples of unscrupulous fabrications that at least for a time have succeeded in hoodwinking a contemporary, gullible public. Nowadays dressing up myths and other fictions as true “facts” has assumed plague proportions. We live in a disinformation age when truth is persistently manipulated in politics and much popular culture but also, to some extent, in academia.27 Furthermore, such a picture of the first-century cultural standards normally disdains to recall the intellectual advances made in GraecoRoman culture right up to the time of Jesus: by philosophers (e.g. Plato and Aristotle), historians (e.g. ucydides), and mathematicians (e.g. the Pythagoreans). In their different fields, famous Mediterranean intellectuals and their practical counterparts in engineering, architecture (e.g. Vitruvius) and law (e.g. Demosthenes and Cicero) cultivated and encouraged the pursuit of truth. Beyond question, they could be driven to write by propagandistic reasons: for instance, Julius Caesar (100-44 ) in his Gallic Wars. But this work, so far from being a mere tissue of fictions and myths, provides a reasonably reliable guide to the Roman conquest of ancient Gaul. Let me cite one example of the less than satisfactory approach to the issue of historical truth in the first century: M. David Litwa, How the Gospels Became History: Jesus and Mediterranean Myths.28 For a presentation 27 See Michiko Kakutani, The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump (New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2018); Peter Pomerantsev, This Is Not Propaganda (London: Faber & Faber, 2019). 28 M. David Litwa, How the Gospels Became History: Jesus and Mediterranean Myths (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018).

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of this book on August 13, 2019 at the Australian Catholic University (Melbourne), Litwa offered the following summary: Did the early Christians believe their myths? Like most ancient and modern people, early Christians made efforts to present their myths in the most believable ways. [is book] explores how and why what became the four canonical gospels took on a historical cast […] the evangelists responded to the pressures from Greco-Roman literary culture by using well-known historiographical tropes like the mention of famous rulers and kings, geographical notices, the introduction of eyewitnesses, vivid presentation, alternative reports, and a historical preface highlighting careful research. e evangelists deliberately shaped myths into historical discourse to maximize their plausibility for ancient audiences.

e “well-known historiographical tropes” that make up the heart of this summary enjoy their cross-cultural counterparts in innumerable modern works of history. Such works also mention famous rulers, provide geographical detail, cite eyewitnesses, aim at vivid presentation, record alternative reports, and claim to be based on careful research. Does the presence of all of these “tropes” in William Manchester’s two volumes on Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and Robert Caro’s (still to be completed) life of Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973), for instance, mean that these remarkable works of contemporary biography are myths masquerading as history? Just because features of historical writing, either in the past or today, follow existing conventions does not by any means point to their mythical falsity. ey are simply styles or ways of writing and do not automatically convict works of untruth. Has Litwa confused methods with content? But let us take point by point Litwa’s summary. First of all, the very title of his book presumes an implausible startingpoint: a tissue of myths about Jesus constituted the original material that was then dressed up and presented historically in the four Gospels. A full debate with Litwa would involve confronting his position with major contemporary studies on Jesus (e.g. by James Dunn and Richard Bauckham) and major commentaries on the Gospels (e.g. by François Bovon, Ulrich Luz, and Joel Marcus). Such scholars converge in agreeing that the evangelists, for all their editing, interpreting, and embellishments, drew on historically reliable material recalling what Jesus said, did, and suffered. We should remember also that many of the ancient myths about heroes either dealt with people who most probably never existed, like the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. In some myths, these brothers were credited with being twins born of a vestal virgin raped by the god Mars. Other ancient myths dealt with figures who were genuinely historical but lived centuries earlier: for example, Plato. He was

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sometimes supposed to have had the god of wisdom, Phoebus Apollo, as his father. In the case of Jesus, however, we face someone whose existence is historically certain and who lived and died only a few decades before the Gospels were written.29 Second, Litwa answers his opening question (“Did the early Christians believe their myths?”) with a strange picture. Early Christians may have believed in myths about Jesus, but these were myths created by themselves! ey knew also that many people would not accept their mythical message unless it appeared to be based in history. Hence “the evangelists deliberately shaped myths about Jesus into historical discourse to maximize their plausibility for ancient audiences.” ey consciously decided to give their myths an “historical cast.” To name this decision in ethical terms, deliberately shaping mere myths into true history is a form of lying. at would seriously denigrate the moral standards of the evangelists and understand Christianity to have originated in a “world of lies.” e vast majority of New Testament scholars, not to mention others, would have great difficulty in taking seriously the hypothesis that Christianity began with such dishonesty on the part of the evangelists and their associates. Has a worldwide and vast effect, the history of Christianity, been caused by a huge deceit that concerns its key founding documents, the four Gospels? ird, Litwa’s “admission” that, “like most ancient and modern people, early Christians presented their myths in the most believable ways,” may seem a gracious recognition that ancient people were not so different from us modern people. But more is at stake here. What of Litwa himself? As a not so different modern person, does he too want to present his “myths in the most believable ways”? Or does he pretend to belong to some privileged minority (among both “ancient and modern people”) who refuse to indulge such a practice? Critics may easily think of Litwa’s own conclusions as myths which he has himself created and which he dresses up as the true history about the foundation of Christianity. Fourthly and finally, Litwa dismisses the references in the Gospel to “eyewitnesses” as example of a non-historical trope; the so-called eyewitnesses were merely literary and not true eyewitnesses. Naturally the beloved disciple, an eyewitness in the Fourth Gospel, is written off as a purely literary figure. In recent years, Richard Bauckham has strongly and, for many, persuasively disputed both points. Genuinely historical

29 See Richard A. Burridge, What Are the Gospels: A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004).

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eye-witness fed into all four Gospels, and the beloved disciple was a truly historical figure.30 3. Theological Issues Besides philosophical and biblical/historical issues, exploring faith in Jesus risen from the dead also involves various theological issues. Let me attend to two of them: the nature of the divine action at work in the resurrection of Jesus, and the differences that belief in the resurrection has made in human life. 1. The Divine Activity The Resurrection of God Incarnate by Richard Swinburne31 contains much that is relevant and convincing, but I must protest against his reducing Jesus’ resurrection to the category of miracle and describing miracles as “violations of natural laws.”32 First, the resurrection should not be called a “miracle” or even a “super-miracle.” Jesus’ miracles are, to be sure, signs of what he wishes to do for us in the final kingdom (in the perfect bodily “healing” of the resurrection). Nevertheless, they happened and happen within our historical world of space and time, even while they point to what is to come. e resurrection of Jesus goes well beyond any such miracles: it was and is the real beginning of the world to come, the event which initiates a sequence of final events that will fulfil and complete his personal rising from the dead (1 Cor 15:20-28). Second, violate has four meanings, all of them negative and even ugly: (1) disregard or fail to comply with; (2) treat with disrespect; (3) disturb or break in upon; (4) assault sexually. Presumably Swinburne wants to use violate in sense (1). But when working miracles occasionally and for good reasons, God is surely better described as suspending or overriding the normal working of the laws of nature. Since it was God who first created the precise shape and functions of the laws of nature, it seems odd to speak of God “disregarding” or “failing to comply with” them. Suspending or overriding seems more appropriate language to describe the divine causality at work in the resurrection. 30 Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2017). 31 Richard Swinburne, The Resurrection of God Incarnate (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). 32 Ibid., 186, 190.

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What might we say about this causality?33 ree principles may help to clarify matters a little. First, it is easier to grasp and talk about effects than about causes. Effects can oen be obvious; causes and their precise nature can remain shadowy and mysterious. Creation itself offers a basic example. We see and in other ways experience a vast sample of created reality every day. But we never directly observe the cause of this effect: God’s activity in creation and conservation. At best we glimpse God’s creative action only in and through its effects. In its mythical way, the Book of Genesis symbolizes this point by picturing Adam being plunged into “a deep sleep,” so that he could not observe the creation of Eve (Gen 2:21-22). Second, a traditional adage about “every agent bringing about something similar to itself” (omne agens agit sibi simile) reminds us that efficient causes are also exemplary causes. Effects reflect the “form” of their causes. Children resemble their parents, not only through their common humanity but also genetically and in other ways. In their color, shape, and scent, new roses will take aer the bushes from which they have been grown. Causes leave their impression on their effects. ey are present in their effects, which participate in them. Hence all effects, albeit in varying ways and degrees, participate in God and share the divine life. Israelite history illustrates a third principle or characteristic of divine activity. God’s different acts on behalf of the chosen people took place in view of a future completion. Together they formed a dramatic movement towards a final goal, a progressive assimilation to God that aimed at full participation in the divine life and presence. Admittedly, God oen had to write straight with crooked lines. Human freedom and human dissidents saw to that. Nevertheless, God’s acts are never disconnected, still less arbitrary. Paul can read off a final divine unity in God’s ceaseless activity for the salvation of Jews and Gentiles (Romans 9–11), even if the apostle must admit a deep mystery in the unfolding story (Rom 11:3335). Israel’s special history wrote large what many spiritually sensitive people continue to experience: God’s providential activity for each one moves progressively towards its final goal: the fullest possible assimilation to God and participation in the divine presence.34

33 See Paul Gwynne, Special Divine Action: Key Issues in the Contemporary Debate (1965-1995) (Rome: Gregorian University Press, 1996); Rupert J. Read and Kenneth A. Richman, eds., The New Hume Debate (London: Routledge, 2000). 34 See William Hasker, “Providence,” Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, VII, 797-802.

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If these reflections are acceptable, how do they fare when applied to the resurrection of the crucified Jesus? Here the first principle stated above is dramatically exemplified. Mary Magdalene, Peter, Paul and the other Easter witnesses saw the primary and immediate effect of the resurrection manifested to them, the living Jesus himself. ey gave their causal explanation: “he has been raised from the dead.” But they never claimed either to have witnessed the divine cause in action (the very resurrection itself) or to understand how it worked. In faith, they knew the cause, the resurrecting power of God, but, unlike its effect, that cause remained shrouded in deep mystery. Second, in the resurrection, the divine agent brought about something sibi simile. God’s resurrecting power le its impression on the effect, Jesus’ raised and glorified humanity. In his transformed human existence, Jesus became even more like unto God, as the Son in whom one can recognize even more fully the image of his Father (Rom 1:3-4). Christ’s risen humanity reflects and resembles to the ultimate extent possible its divine cause. In the highest degree possible, through his risen life he also participates in God (Rom 6:10). Finally, the third principle we detected in divine activity towards human beings is realized par excellence in the case of Jesus’ resurrection. e divine activity at work, from the incarnation on, formed a dynamic movement towards its future completion: Christ’s full participation in the divine presence when he “sits at God’s right hand” (Rom 8:34) aer he has “subjected all things” to God (1 Cor 15:20-28). 2. The Resurrection and Human Lives Apologetical theology raises questions about the differences which belief in Jesus’ resurrection has made in human lives. Levering, while finding my arguments for the resurrection “quite powerful,” believes a “major problem” remains: “if Jesus truly rose from the dead, the world would surely be now a much better place than it is. Why should anyone pay attention to arguments about Jesus’ resurrection nearly 2000 years aer the event was supposed to have taken place, given that in many ways the world has only gone from bad to worse?”35 In Jesus Risen: An Historical, Fundamental and Systematic Examination of Christ’s Resurrection,36 I did raise this question: “what testable and 35

Levering, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?, 27. Gerald O’Collins, Jesus Risen: An Historical, Fundamental and Systematic Examination of Christ’s Resurrection (New York: Paulist Press, 1987), 144-145. 36

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valuable differences has belief in the resurrection made to human lives?” e question was then filled out: “have the lives of those who accepted Christ’s resurrection proved (i) deeply satisfying and worthwhile to them, and (ii) productive, even heroically productive, to others?” By way of an answer I cited signs of the presence of the risen Lord “in recognizable examples of saintliness.” en I added other “testable and valuable effects” of the living Christ working through his Holy Spirit: “the personal witness of Christians and their various movements concerned with education, medical care, and work for refugees, drug addicts, prisoners and the powerless poor.” In many ways there have been signs of the world becoming a better place through faith in the risen Christ. Questioning the effects of faith in the resurrection to be recognized in the last two thousand years calls for a book-length response. In part such a response has been provided by a work published by Mario Farrugia and myself.37 But I say “in part,” since our work focused on past and present Catholic life and would need to be supplemented to achieve a truly global vision of Christian history and the signs it displays of the risen Christ’s presence and activity. Such signs come, above all, from the lives of such saintly men and women as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Pope John XXIII, Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Jean and érèse Vanier. As is obvious above, biblical and philosophical considerations converge with theological insights for those who wish to reflect on the uniquely special activity of God that effected the resurrection of Jesus and on the valuable differences belief in the resurrection has made in human lives. ese are closing examples for a chapter that has aimed to map some of the major, cumulative tasks facing scholars who explore Jesus’ resurrection. ey need to possess considerable gis in philosophy, historical/biblical studies, and theology. Finally, I feel privileged to have been invited to contribute to a volume in honor of Professor Terrence Merrigan, a scholar who has consistently shown himself to be a truly Easter person.

37 Gerald O’Collins and Mario Farrugia, Catholicism: The Story of Catholic Christianity (rev. ed.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

10 Christology and Ecology in Dialogue Dermot A. Lane

e increasing acceptance of Integral Ecology as a methodology for dealing with the climate crisis is of significance for theology. Integral Ecology is about adopting an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the climate crisis and the breakdown of biodiversity. According to Sean Kelly, a philosopher at the Californian Institute of Integral Studies, the time has come to go beyond “the spiritually deadening, mechanistic and materialistic view of reality that much contemporary culture takes for granted.”1 Integral Ecology can be found in the Earth Charter (2000), in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2015), and in the groundbreaking encyclical of Pope Francis entitled Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home (2015) which devotes a whole chapter to Integral Ecology. Within this acceptance of Integral Ecology, there is a recognition that the voice of religion has a part to play in the global conversation about the environmental crisis. is in turn has opened up the possibility of a new dialogue on the relationship between eology and Ecology. In particular, the adoption of an Integral Ecology suggests a mutually critical interaction between Christology and Ecology is possible. e emergence of what some call a Deep Ecology presents new challenges and opportunities for the development of a Deep Christology as articulated by the Danish theologian Niels Henrik Gregersen and others.2

1 Sean Kelly, “Five Principles of Integral Ecology,” in The Variety of Integral Ecologies: Nature, Culture, and Knowledge in the Planetary Era, ed. Sam Mikey, Sean Kelly, and Adam Robert (New York: SUNY Press, 2017), 189-227, at 193. 2 Niels Henrik Gregersen developed the concept of Deep Incarnation in the context of an evolutionary Christianity in an article entitled “e Cross of Christ in an Evolutionary World,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 40 (2001): 192207. Since then Gregersen has, in a variety of articles, applied the concept of Deep Incarnation to the whole of Christology. An extensive analysis of deep Incarnation and its application to Christology can be found in Niels Henrik Gregersen, ed., Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2015).

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1. Framing the Question e purpose of this essay in honor of Professor Terrence Merrigan is to explore what might be involved in developing a new dialogue between Christology and Ecology. In broad terms this paper will look at some of the questions coming from Ecology to Christology and from Christology to Ecology.3 More specifically it will select a small number of New Testament Christologies that are connected to creation and have something to say to the ecological crisis. irdly, this essay will examine the contribution that the Danish theologian, Niels H. Gregersen, makes to this debate through the concept of Deep Incarnation. In conclusion, we will locate this debate within the wider parameters of the relationship between creation and Incarnation as proposed by Karl Rahner. We can begin with a sample of ecological questions for Christology. Why is there such a separation between the natural world and Christology? Does Christology have anything to offer to an ecological understanding of nature? Where does Christology fit in the new cosmic story? And, what does Jesus have to say about the earth? Concerning this last question, care must be taken to avoid giving the impression that somehow twenty-first century questions about Ecology can be answered by the early church’s understanding of the Christ-event or the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels. It is, however, possible that Christology can offer a new vision and open up wider horizons in support of the ecological movement. Alongside these questions from Ecology to Christology, there are also questions from Christology to Ecology. Can an Integral Ecology help Christology to better understand the organic unity of all things in Christ? Is it possible that Deep Ecology can open up a new pathway for the incorporation of the natural world into Christology? How might Deep Ecology pave the way for a much-needed recovery of the cosmic Christ? It is not our intention to answer these questions directly; instead the questions set the context for what is to follow. Further, these questions pose a series of new internal challenges and opportunities for Christology in the twenty-first century. ese challenges include the following foundational issues for the conduct of Christology in the light of the ecological emergency: • e need to overcome the separation of creation and Christology. 3 is paper draws on and expands material originally published in chapter 4 of my book Theology and Ecology in Dialogue: The Wisdom of Laudato Si’ (Dublin: Messenger Publications, 2020; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2021).

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• e importance of invoking the teaching of Chalcedon (451) in a way that embraces the unity between Jesus as a child of the cosmos and the Word made flesh. • e necessity to outline a unified Scotist view of salvation as an alternative to the dualistic understanding of salvation as separate from creation. • A retrieval of Jesus as the Wisdom of God incarnate. It is interesting to note how Rahner had highlighted a variation of these questions before the advent of the ecological crisis. roughout his life, Rahner was keenly aware of the need to unify the relationship between creation and Incarnation. He sought to present creation and Incarnation as one divine action “with two moments within the one process of God’s self-communication to the world, although it is an intrinsically differentiated process.”4 Towards the end of his life, Rahner highlighted the need for Christology “to find an intelligible and orthodox connection between Jesus of Nazareth and the cosmic Christ, the omega point of world evolution.”5 How is it possible to establish an underlying unity between the Jesus of history and the cosmic Christ of faith which, at the same time, acknowledges the transformation that takes place within this unity. In the last century much time was given to the quest for the historical Jesus. e focus has now shied to the quest for the cosmic Christ as important for a critical interaction between Christology and Ecology. 2. The Presence of Wisdom, Word and Spirit in the Hebrew Bible One way to address these questions and challenges is through the adoption a low-ascending Christology, that is, a Christology that attends first to the experience the disciples had of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, in contrast to an approach that starts from the teaching of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 .6 Further, in beginning with Jesus of Nazareth, we must locate him within his own context of Judaism.

4 Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1978), 197. 5 Karl Rahner, “Christology Today,” in Theological Investigations. Vol. XXI: Science and Christian Theology, trans. Hugh M. Riley (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1988), 220-227, at 227. 6 On the meaning and value of a low-ascending Christology see Dermot Lane, The Reality of Jesus: An Essay in Christology (1975) (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2000) and Stepping Stones to Other Religions: A Christian Theology of Interreligious Dialogue (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2011), 277.

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e Jewishness of Jesus is all-important in understanding the theological significance of the Christ-event. An important part of the Jewishness of Jesus is the various elements that make up the faith of Jesus. ese include the foundational presence of an Exodus-faith in the life of Jesus. is Exodus-faith celebrates the liberation of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. is historical liberation was led by Moses in the thirteenth century  and gave rise to a legal agreement drawn up at Sinai described as a Covenant between Yahweh and the people of Israel for their formation. is foundational moment is sometimes referred to as Exodus-1 because it was followed by a new Exodus or a second Exodus, when the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem from their captivity in Babylon in the sixth century . At the time of Jesus, some Jews expected another Exodus-event and, for Christians, this came with the death and resurrection of Jesus, sometimes referred to as Exodus-3.7 A second key element within the faith of Jesus would have been the presence of a strong creation-faith. is creation-faith of Jesus would have been formed by different, but mutually enriching experiences of God, especially personal encounters with the Wisdom of God, the Spirit of God, and the Word of God, each of which is closely bound up with different aspects of creation. ese experiences are central to Israel’s faith-understanding and Jesus’ faith understanding of creation and Exodus, and therefore the faith understanding of his disciples. A brief, schematic summary of Wisdom, Spirit, and Word is essential background to the development of Christologies in the New Testament.8 e figure of Wisdom is prominent in the Hebrew bible. ere are six books describing her activities: Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, Sirach, and Wisdom. Wisdom, in the Book of Proverbs, is personified and portrayed as representing the feminine face of God: “before the beginning of the earth, I (Wisdom) was brought forth, when there were no springs” (Prov 8:23-24). And “when he established the heavens, I was there” (Prov 8:27). Equally important is the Book of Wisdom which describes Wisdom as “more beautiful than the sun” and the One who “excels every constellation of the stars” (Wis 7:29). 7 is scheme of Exodus 1–3 is taken from Richard Clifford. See podcast by Richard Clifford at bc.edu/encore “e Old Testament in the Christian Bible,” accessed on July 23, 2019. It is also discussed by Richard Clifford and omas D. Stegman in “e Christian Bible,” in Paulist Biblical Commentary, ed. Jose E. A. Chiu et al. (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2018), 1640-1650, at 1648-1649. 8 I am influenced here by a helpful article by Gerald O’Collins on “Word, Spirit, and Wisdom in the Universe: A Biblical and eological Reflection,” in Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology, 59-77.

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e Spirit (breath) of God is a key presence throughout the Hebrew bible. According to the Jewish scholar John R. Levison, the word ‘spirit’ (ruach) is found in 378 places in contrast to the word ‘covenant’ which appears in 289 places, or ‘mercy’ which is mentioned in 251 places, or ‘peace’ which occurs 237 times.9 e Spirit of God is described as the creative source of life (Gen 1:2 and 2:7; Ps 104:29-30), the one who inspires and guides prophets (Is 61:1-2; Ezek 3:12; 8:3; 11:1) and the one who renews the face of the earth (Ps 33:6 and 104:29-30). At times, the Spirit is closely connected to the figure of Wisdom, so much so that some books talk about “the spirit of Wisdom” (Wis 7:7; Deut 34:9). And, thirdly, there is a strong presence of Word, of the Word of God, throughout Judaism. e Word of God is creative (Gen 1:1ff. and Ps 33:6) and personified in the Book of Wisdom (Wis 18:14-16) and embodied in the utterances of the prophets who hear the Word (Jer 1:2; Ezek 1:3). Further, the Word is a guide and a light (Ps 119:147), the source of life and healing (Deut 8:3), the one “who is very near to you” and is “in your mouth […] and in your heart” (Deut 30:14). ese perspectives on Wisdom, Spirit, and Word are different; yet they represent mutually overlapping expressions of the presence of the One and same God. Each represents activities of God in creation, in history, in the lives of leaders and prophets. What is striking about these actions of God is the equivalency, parallelism, and intimate relatedness between all three, though perhaps not so surprising because they derive from a strict monotheism as the hallmark of Jewish faith, in contrast to its neighbors. It would be misleading to give the impression that there was a worked-out theology of Wisdom, Spirit, and Word in the Hebrew scriptures. It is perhaps more accurate to suggest that there is a scattered, largely consistent, presence of Wisdom, Spirit, and Word at work in the lives of the people of Israel. is is a presence seeking further clarification and completion. It is the formal claim of the New Testament that this completion takes place in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Without reference to this Jewish background of Wisdom, Spirit, and Word, as expressions of the Exodus-faith and creation-faith, it would be difficult to make sense of the New Testament and the plurality of Christologies it contains.

9 John R. Levison, The Jewish Origins of Christian Pneumatology, Holy Spirit Annual Lecture, Duquesne University, 2017, 5.

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3. A Plurality of Christologies in the New Testament We begin with Wisdom Christology because it is the earliest Christology of the New Testament. It was the Wisdom traditions that served in the first instance as the “generative matrix” of early Christology.10 Further, according to J. D. G. Dunn, it was Wisdom Christology that paved the way for the doctrine of the Incarnation.11 Additionally, according to Raymond Brown in his commentary on the Gospel of John, Jesus is “the culmination of a tradition that runs through the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament.”12 Much of the language and theology of the Hebrew bible on Wisdom resonates within the Gospel of John and is oen explicitly applied to Jesus. Raymond Brown finds at least twelve clear parallels between Jewish Wisdom and the teaching of John on Jesus.13 We will limit ourselves to four explicit parallels between the Logos prologue of John’s Gospel and the figure of Wisdom in the Hebrew bible. First of all, Wisdom existed with God from the beginning (Prov 8:2223) just as the Logos existed in the beginning (Jn 1:1). Secondly, Wisdom is said to be a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty (Prov 17:5) and the Logos in John reflects the glory of God (Jn 1:14). irdly, Wisdom is said to be a reflection of the everlasting light of God (Wis 7:26), whereas in John’s Gospel, the light of the Logos is the light of world (Jn 1:4-5). And, fourthly, Wisdom is described as having descended from heaven to dwell with the people (Prov 8:31; Sir. 24:8), whereas in John the Logos descended from heaven to earth (Jn 1:14). According to Elizabeth Johnson, behind every line about the Word/Logos, there lies a story of Wisdom; she adds: “e Prologue, we might say, transposes into the key of Logos the music that was originally written in the key of Sophia.”14

10 Martin Hengel as quoted by Niels Henrik Gregersen in “Christology,” in Systematic Theology and Climate Change: Ecumenical Perspectives, ed. Michael S. Northcott and Peter M. Scott (Oxford: Routledge, 2014), 33-50, at 43. Gregersen is quoting from an article by Hengel in German, “Jesus als messianischer Lehrer der Weisheit und die Anfänge der Christologie,” in Sagesse et Religion: Colloque de Strasbourg (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1979), 304-344. 11 James D. G. Dunn, Christology in the Making: A New Testament Enquiry into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1980), 212. 12 Raymond Brown, The Gospel according to John I–XVII (New York: Doubleday, 1966), 122. 13 Ibid., 123-124. 14 Elizabeth A. Johnson, Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril (New York: Orbis, 2018), 170 and 177.

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is language of wisdom is also present to a lesser degree in the Synoptics. For example, in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says that “Wisdom is vindicated by all her children” (Lk 7:35), whereas in Matthew, Jesus says “Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds” (Mt 11:19). ere is a shi taking place here from Jesus as a child of Wisdom to being Wisdom in person. In brief, it is possible to discern a gradual development in the Gospels from Jesus as a teacher of Wisdom to being a child of Wisdom, to being Wisdom in person, to Wisdom Incarnate. In addition to the Gospels, reference must also be made to the explicit Wisdom-Christologies in Paul and Deutero-Pauline Letters. We will confine ourselves here to just two examples. In Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, in answer to the question “Where is the one who is wise?,” Paul affirms that “God has made foolish the wisdom of the world” and then goes on to affirm that: “We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the Wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:23-24). At the end of that Chapter, Paul goes on to say that God “is the source of your life in Christ Jesus who became for us Wisdom from God” (1 Cor 1:30). In Chapter 2 of 1 Corinthians, Paul also points out that “we do speak Wisdom, though it is not a Wisdom of this age” (1 Cor 2:6). “But we speak God’s Wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory” (1 Cor 2:7). A second example of Wisdom Christology can be found in Colossians 1:15-20 which presents Christ as: e first-born of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and in earth were created […] All things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and in him all things hold together […] He […] is the beginning, the first born from the dead.

Whenever Christ is given a role in creation, or is present at the beginning of all things, the intention is that Christ is taking on a role that was previously given to the figure of Wisdom in the Sapiential literature. is theme of Christ as the Wisdom of God is continued in Eph 1:3-10, Phil 2:5-11, Heb 1:2-3, and the Prologue of John’s Gospel which we will analyze presently in his Logos Christology. In conclusion to this brief overview of Wisdom Christology, it must be pointed out that the word ‘Wisdom’ as used in the Hebrew bible is feminine and as such is applied to Jesus. Sophia, in the Sapiential literature, expresses features of what was seen as ‘feminine’ in the mystery of the one God, features that have been forgotten and neglected within the

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largely Patriarchal reception of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. If Christology is to be inclusive as originally intended, then the strong emphasis in Paul and John on the unity, equality, and dignity of all ‘in Christ’ and ‘in the Spirit’ must be recognized, and if the Patristic principle of what is not assumed is not redeemed is accepted (e.g. Athanasius and Gregory of Nyssa), and if the carefully chosen language of Chalcedon (451) which talks about homo and not vir is to be respected, then the Patriarchal bias of traditional Christology will have to be critiqued, christologically in itself, but especially in the light of the centrality of the Wisdom Christologies of early Christianity. ere are good theological reasons why Wisdom Christology should be given greater emphasis at this time: • It connects Christology with the theme of creation which is prominent in the Sapiential literature of the bible; • It serves as a bridge in the dialogue between Christology and Ecology; • It retrieves the impulse towards a radical inclusivity that was part of the earliest understanding of the Christ-event (for example, Gal 3:28; Rom 16:1-27); • It recognizes that aspects of the Christ-event oen thought of as feminine are part of the Gospel of Christ; • It contributes important dimensions to the twenty-first-century quest for the Cosmic Christ; • It relativizes the dominance of Patriarchy in ways that are important for the renewal of Ecology and Christology; • It overcomes the perceived tension between historical Christology and cosmic Christology. Closely linked to the centrality of Wisdom Christology in the New Testament is the presence of a Spirit-Christology. Given the connection seen between Wisdom and Spirit in the Hebrew bible, one would expect some similarity as well as difference between Spirit-Christology and WisdomChristology. As mentioned, spirit (ruach) is prominent in the Hebrew bible. Most significantly, the spirit in Judaism is an “earth-loving-spirit,”15 dwelling 15 Erin Lothes Biviano, “Elizabeth A. Johnson and Cantors of the Universe: e Indwelling, Renewing, and Moving Creator Spirit and a Pneumatology from Below,” in Turning to the Heavens and the Earth: Theological Reflections on a Cosmological Conversion. Essays in Honour of Elizabeth A. Johnson, ed. Julia Bumbaugh and Natalia Imperatori (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2016), 182.

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in dust, nostrils, and the matter of creation. Similarly, the activity of the Spirit in the New Testament is bound up with bodies. For example, Luke, who has most to say about Spirit, especially in the infancy narratives and in the Acts of the Apostles, outlines what the angel says to Mary: “e Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy” (Lk 1:35). e image of the Spirit overshadowing Mary reminds us of the Spirit hovering over the face of the primeval waters in Gen1:2. For Luke, Elizabeth and Zachariah and John the Baptist are “filled with Holy Spirit” (Lk 1:41 and 67) and the Holy Spirit, we are told, “rested” on and “guided” Simeon (Lk 2:27). e public ministry of Jesus begins with the descent of the Spirit at his baptism by John the Baptist. In Luke, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness” (Lk 4:1). Aer forty days in the desert, Jesus returned to Galilee “filled with the Holy Spirit” and enters the synagogue on the Sabbath and opens the scroll where it says: e Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor […] to proclaim release to the captives […] sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Lk 4:16-19)

e public ministry of Jesus is animated by the Spirit and reaches a high point with the journey up to Jerusalem and the death of Jesus on the cross. Matthew’s apocalyptic interpretation of this event is worth quoting in full: en Jesus cried with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. e earth shook, and rocks were split. Tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised (Mt 27:50, 52).

Jesus breathing forth his Spirit (Mt 15:37; Mt 27:50; Jn 19:30) at his death echoes the Spirit of God breathing over the void and darkness in Gen 1:2. Matthew’s interpretation of this event, in terms of the earth shaking, rocks splitting, and tombs opening, marks a transition from the Spirit active in the historical life of Jesus to the Spirit of Jesus now becoming active among his disciples and abroad in the cosmos. is transition from the ministry of the historical Jesus to the beginnings of the cosmic Christ is recognized when Paul uses “the Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of Christ” interchangeably (Rom 8:9-11). e third Christology in the New Testament that is of central importance for our purposes is the Word Christology/Logos Christology,

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summed up in the prologue of John’s Gospel 1:1-14. e Logos Christology of John can be interpreted as a cosmic hymn in which the eternal Word of God enters into personal engagement with the community of creation and the history of humanity symbolized by ‘flesh’. e Logos Christology of John has dominated the landscape from the second century onwards, especially on the rocky road from the Council of Nicaea (325) to Chalcedon (451). Some of the key verses in this 14-verse hymn are: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God And the Word was God (1) He was in the beginning with God (2). All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in Him was life. And the life was the light of all people. e light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it (5) […] And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory (14).

Many background influences are at play in the composition of this unique Christological hymn: the Jewish theology of the Word, the centrality of Wisdom within Judaism, Hellenistic philosophy and its many variants. e hymn starts out “In the beginning,” clearly echoing the opening verses of Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning” and again in the second verse we are told “he was in the beginning with God” which is an explicit reference to Wisdom who was present to God “at the first, before the beginning” (Prov 22:22-31 at 22-23). is echo of Genesis continues in the prologue through the images of life, light, and darkness (Gen 1:4-5). is cosmic activity of the Word comes to a climax with the eternal Word descending down into humanity in verse 14: “And the Word was made flesh and lived among us, we have seen His glory.” ese verses of John’s prologue have been analyzed down through the centuries, and will continue to be exegeted until the Eschaton, because of the multi-layered history attached to the words Logos (Word) and sarx (flesh). It should be noted that the Logos/Word did not become a human being (homo) nor did the Word become man (vir); instead, and far more radically, verse 14 claims that “the Logos became sarx.” Everything hinges around the meaning of Logos and the multiple meanings attached to sarx. We have already seen some of the meanings attached to the Word (Logos) in the Hebrew bible. e word flesh/sarx is wider and deeper than that of a human being (anthropos). From a biblical point of view, the flesh/sarx means at least the whole of the human being, and not just

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the soul or the spirit, but the whole corporeal reality of what is involved in being human: materiality, weakness, perishability, transience, vulnerability, and mortality. e expression “all flesh” (Gen 9:15-17; Jer 32:27; Is 40:15; Joel 2:28) in the bible remind us that humans belong to each other and the wider flesh-community of creation. ere is a growing consensus that flesh means not only the full reality of a human being, but also includes at least the whole of biological creation in its beauty and brutality as found with particular intensity in the life and death of every human being. is summary of the meaning of ‘flesh’ is important background to Gregersen’s Christology of Deep Incarnation. is wider understanding of the meaning of the word ‘flesh’ has been facilitated by two related developments in the last fiy years. 4. Gregersen’s Christology of Deep Incarnation In the early 1970s, the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess coined the expression ‘Deep Ecology’. is term suggests that we need to go beyond a purely scientific approach to Ecology. A Deep Ecology claims that nonhuman life-forms have “intrinsic value” and this value is “independent of the usefulness these may have for narrow human purposes.”16 In 2001, the Danish theologian Niels Henrik Gregersen adopted, with some reservations, Naess’s Deep Ecology. He moved the debate from a purely scientific-philosophical view of Deep Ecology to a theological consideration of Deep Incarnation. Gregersen’s theology of Deep Incarnation is a carefully worked out response to the presence of so much pain, suffering, and death within biological evolution, and human history. It is no longer feasible to say such suffering is caused by the ‘sin of Adam’ since we know that biological suffering and death preceded the emergence of humanity. To address the question of suffering, Gregersen develops a theology of the Cross. Drawing on the theology of Martin Luther, he sees the cross of Christ as the revelation of the true character of God, the God who co-suffers with the suffering within the evolutionary processes that, over millions of years, issued in the emergence of the human. e God revealed on the cross of Christ is a kenotic God, a self-giving God, whose 16 Arne Naess and David Rathenberg, Ecology, Community and Lifestyle: Outline of an Ecosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 29. See also “Introduction,” in A Variety of Integral Ecologies: Nature, Culture and Knowledge in a Planetary Era, ed. Sam Mickey, Sean Kelly, and Adam Robbert (New York: SUNY Press, 2017), 6-7.

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love is “also the co-carrier of the costs of evolution.”17 For Gregersen, “the death of Christ on the cross becomes an icon of God’s redemptive cosuffering with all sentient life.”18 Gregersen grounds this understanding of God as suffering within biological evolution and human history in his theology of Deep Incarnation. He describes Deep Incarnation in different articles in the following way: • that “God’s own Logos ([…] Wisdom and Word) was made flesh in Jesus Christ by assuming the particular life-story of Jesus the Jew from Nazareth,” • that God “also conjoined the material conditions of creaturely existence (all flesh),” • that God “shared and ennobled the fate of all biological life forms (‘grass’ and ‘lilies’) and experienced the pain of sensitive creatures (‘sparrows’ and ‘foxes’) from within,” • that Deep Incarnation is about “a divine embodiment which reaches into the roots of material and biological existence as well as the darker sides of creation,”19 • that “the cross of Christ is here both the apex and the depth of Incarnation.”20 Gregersen’s perspective will only make sense in the context of ‘big history’, namely the new cosmic story that traces the origins of the universe back some fourteen billion years to embrace an expanding cosmology, biological evolution, and human emergence. Within this story, there are lines of continuity from matter to life and from life to mind which are included in Gregersen’s understanding of sarx. is particular perception of the world in which we live is accepted in broad outline by many commentators. e new cosmic story requires a reconfiguration of what it means to be human. In whatever way one might describe the human, it must include reference to the underlying relationships that exist between cosmology, evolution, and human beings. is is part of the necessary backdrop for understanding the meaning of Deep Incarnation. 17

Gregersen, “e Cross of Christ in an Evolutionary World,” 204. Ibid., 205. 19 Niels Henrik Gregersen, “e Extended Body of Christ: ree Dimensions of Deep Incarnation,” in Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology, 225-251, at 225-226. 20 Gregersen, “e Cross of Christ in an Evolutionary World.” See also Niels Henrik Gregersen, “Christology,” in Systematic Theology and Climate Change: Ecumenical Prespectives, ed. Michael Northcott and Peter M. Scott (London: Routledge, 2014), 33-50. 18

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e flesh/sarx adopted by God in Jesus is part and parcel of the flesh/sarx that was born out of the expanding elements of the Big Bang story fourteen billion years ago and subsequent evolution. In this sense, Jesus of Nazareth is a child of the cosmos and so when the Word/Logos was made flesh/sarx, the Word adopted the materiality of cosmic and biological evolution as well as the full reality of the human condition in Jesus. is activity of the Word did not begin with the Christ-event, but within the act of creation wherein the Word spoke: “Let there be light […] a dome […] dry land […] vegetation […] lights in the dome […] swarms of living creatures […] great sea monsters and every living creature […] human kind” (Gen 1:3-28). e Word of God active “In the beginning” in creation is continuously active in the world, in the history of Israel, and now personally in the Christ-event. e entry of the Logos into the sarx of Jesus is not the first entry of the Logos into the world, but rather the culmination of the continuous activity of the Logos in the world from the dawn of time. For Gregersen the Christ-event is a microcosm of what is continually taking place in the macrocosm of creation.21 5. Initial Evaluation of Gregersen’s Deep Incarnation It is time to offer some initial evaluation of this account of Gregersen’s theology of Deep Incarnation. Does Deep Incarnation help to overcome the gap between creation and Christology? Will Deep Incarnation reconnect Jesus with the natural world? Does Deep Incarnation provide a way forward for the construction of a cosmic Christology? Does Deep Incarnation offer a Christological bridge to ecology? According to Elizabeth Johnson Gregersen’s theology of Deep Incarnation “has set off a fruitful train of thought.”22 At the same time, she signals “several pitfalls that need to be avoided as this symbol continues to be developed.”23 e first signal is that the Hellenistic view of the Word/Logos is centered around an orderly view of the world which ignores the disorder of random events that pervade the natural world. Further, disruptive events are found in the prophetic ministry of Jesus that questions the prevailing order. e suffering and death of Jesus on the cross is a deeply disruptive event. On the other hand, it should be 21 Niels H. Gregersen, “e Emotional Christ: Bonaventure and Deep Incarnation,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 55 (2016): 247-261, at 254. 22 Elizabeth A. Johnson, “Jesus and the Cosmos: Soundings in Deep Christology,” in Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology, 133-156, at 134. 23 Ibid., 151.

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acknowledged that Gregersen is aware that the Logos of John’s Gospel is not only the Logos of Hellenistic philosophy, but also the Logos of Jewish theology24 which are not the same. e second signal that Johnson issues is that the Word/Logos is masculine and is normally designated as ‘He’. is gives the impression that when the Word became flesh, it became male, and this presents a male view of the incomprehensible mystery of God. But, as we have seen, the word sarx goes beyond male and female. e Logos of Deep Incarnation, therefore, needs to be balanced by a Wisdom Christology and its representation of aspects that are oen labelled feminine in the mystery of God. e third signal of Johnson is that the dominance of the Logos Christology tends to drown out the equally important Spirit Christology. In this regard, Gregersen does say, in passing, that “Deep Incarnation […] involves a pneumatological perspective no less than a Christological view.”25 However, this condensed pneumatological reference needs to be expanded. Another participant in this debate about Deep Incarnation is the U.S. philosopher, Holmes Rolston III. He is concerned that the meaning of the word sarx in the prologue “has been so stretched out that it begins to lose any specificity.”26 Rolston III questions the extension of the Incarnation to animals, plants, stones, and all cosmic life systems. If the language of Incarnation is extended in this way, then one must recognize and emphasize the symbolic character of the extension. Further, one must surely talk about differentiated degrees or modes of Incarnation. e Incarnation of the Logos in Jesus must be differentiated from the presence or, more accurately, the co-presence of the Logos in the history of Israel and throughout the community of creation. e universal presence of the Logos in creation is not the same as the Incarnation of the Logos in Jesus. ere is a difference between various ‘incarnations’ of the Logos in creation, in the world of religions, in the history of Israel and the Incarnation of God in the very particular person of Jesus of Nazareth. In distinguishing various modes of ‘incarnation’, care must be taken that one does not allow the various modes of ‘incarnation’ slip into separate events of the Incarnation.

24

Gregersen, “e Extended Body of Christ,” 233. Ibid., 242. 26 Holmes Rolston III, “Divine Presence – Causal, Cybernetic, Caring, Cruciform: From Information to Incarnation,” in Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology, 255-287, at 264. 25

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A further point about the possible loss of specificity, not mentioned by Rolston III, is the possible neglect of what tradition calls ‘the scandal of particularity’. Once again, in fairness to Gregersen, he anticipates this concern. He points, briefly, to a three-fold expression of the scandal of particularity: the scandal of materiality, the scandal of suffering, and the scandal of uniqueness.27 What is at stake here is the very particular, historical specificity of the Incarnation: it took place at a very specific time in history, in a very particular place, and in very particular circumstances, namely the life and death of Jesus on the cross, captured starkly by Paul in 1 Corinthians when he states: “We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles” (1 Cor 1:23). is historical particularity of the Incarnation does not rule out the universal significance of the Christ-event which is captured, not just in the Logos Christology of Deep Incarnation, but also in the universal significance of Wisdom Christologies and Spirit Christologies. While the focus on Christ’s particularity is crucial, it must avoid the pitfall of exclusivity. is is one of the contributions of Deep Incarnation: it refuses to separate the Christ-event from the rest of creation. It is this relationship to the cosmos, the earth, society, religious traditions, and other people that balances the potential pitfall of exclusivity. Deep Incarnation as presented by Gregersen is Christologically suggestive and timely in the light of the ecological emergency. It requires, however, further exploration, critique, and refinement. It is not a Christology that can substitute for all other Christologies. On the credit side Gregersen’s theology of Deep Incarnation helps us to hear the prologue of John’s Gospel in a new register and provides new insight into the announcement that “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). Further, Deep Incarnation helps to spell out the implicit ecological theology of the Incarnation in the writings of Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner. In addition, Deep Incarnation provides a new point of entry into the ongoing debate around the enormous amount of pain and suffering and death within our evolutionary world. Moreover, Deep Incarnation challenges Christian faith to move towards the adoption of a full-fledged theology of Deep Resurrection, Deep Pneumatology, and Deep Christian Eschatology.28

27

Gregersen, “e Extended Body of Christ,” 225. is challenge is addressed by Dermot A. Lane in Theology and Ecology in Dialogue: The Wisdom of Laudato Si’ (Dublin: Messenger Publications, 2020; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2021), in chapters 3 and 5. 28

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Without wishing to undo the above positive points around Gregersen’s theology of Deep Incarnation, there are some areas that would benefit from further discussion. More needs to be said about the historical life and ministry of Jesus: the centrality of creation faith; his closeness to nature; the fact that most of his life was lived out in deserts, mountains, the sea of Galilee and gardens of Gethsemane and resurrection; his extensive familiarity with the animal world and the life of nature; his use of the natural world in parables to teach about the coming reign of God. ere are seeds here of a new nature-based Christology waiting to be developed. At times Gregersen displays a clarity and certainty in some theological statements that some theologians would prefer to shun by professing a ‘learned ignorance’ (docta ignorantia). For example: “from the perspective of divine life (which comprises temporal distinctions within eternity) there never was, is, or will be a disembodied Logos (Logos asarkos). e Logos was always embodied and will always be embodied (Logos ensarkos).”29 Further, if God is so deeply immersed in the pain, suffering, and death of all flesh as compellingly proposed by Gregersen, then care must be taken to avoid giving the impression unwittingly that such pain can be attributed to the will of God or is part of the plan of God. For instance, when Gregersen says “the world is a package deal,” he comes close to attributing the existence of suffering to God.30 No matter how deep the Incarnation of God is in the world, and of course this is a cornerstone of Christian faith, there comes a moment when the Incarnation yields to the dazzling darkness of God’s Transcendence. Every Christology is challenged to balance the intimacy of God in the flesh with the hidden otherness of God. Lastly, Gregersen points to the importance of the Spirit in a theology of cosmology, biological evolution, and human emergence. More could and needs to be said about the centrality of the Spirit in Christology. His presentation of a robust Christology needs to be balanced by an equally robust Pneumatology. In brief, this initial evaluation of Gregersen should be seen as belonging to the “sic et non” of Aquinas, or the famous “placet iuxta modum” of Vatican II. e real value of Deep Incarnation is that it builds a bridge between Jesus and the natural world, and provides a basis for new dialogue between Christology and Ecology. Moreover, it opens the way for recovering the cosmic Christ found in the Pauline literature of early 29 Gregersen, “Deep Incarnation: Opportunities and Challenges,” in Incarnation: On the Scope and Depth of Christology, 361-380, at 369-370. 30 Gregersen, “e Cross of Christ in an Evolutionary World,” 200 and 201.

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creation-centered Christological hymns, such as Col 1:15-20; 1 Cor 15:20-28; Eph 1:3-10; and Phil 2:5-11. In doing just that, Deep Incarnation enables Christology to go beyond gender binaries. In addition, Deep Incarnation confers a new dignity on the earth, recovers the intrinsic value of the earth’s life processes, and points to an underlying solidarity of God in Christ with the whole community of creation. Lastly, Deep Incarnation provides a supportive background for understanding Rahner’s eology of the unity of creation and Incarnation which we must now address briefly. 6. The Underlying Unity of Creation and Incarnation ere have been two views on the relationship between creation and Incarnation. e more traditional view sees Incarnation as an ‘add-on’ to creation, a second act aer creation. In this view, associated with Aquinas, God sent his Son to remedy the arrival of sin through our first parents. e Incarnation, accordingly, appears as ‘Plan B’ by virtue of the failure of ‘Plan A’ in creation. In contrast to this outlook, there is the Franciscan view, found in Duns Scotus (1266-1308) and others, which sees the Incarnation as built into creation ab initio and this of course is of importance in the dialogue between Deep Incarnation and Deep Ecology. is Scotist view has made a comeback in the light of our evolutionary understanding of the world. It was championed by Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner in the twentieth century, and promoted by Elizabeth Johnson, Denis Edwards,31 and others in recent times. At the risk of oversimplification, we can summarize Scotist-Rahner’s views on the unity of creation and Incarnation in the following way. ere is an important sense in which the beginning involves the end and the end informs the beginning. Incarnation is built into the interiority of creation from the dawn of time. e purpose of creation is to provide a suitable context for the advent of the Word/Wisdom/Spirit made flesh. Creation is about the outreach of God’s self-communication in love to the world. is divine outreach in creation carries with it the gi of self-transcendence 31 Denis Edwards died in 2019. He made an outstanding contribution to ecological theology throughout his life in many publications. His most recent book was Deep Incarnation: God’s Redemptive Suffering with Creatures (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2019). I have not included this particular contribution of Edwards in my review of Gregersen’s Deep Incarnation because Edwards’ book deserves consideration in itself to do justice to it. Generally, in this last book of Edwards and in other articles he takes a favorable view of Gregersen’s theology of Deep Incarnation, with nuanced qualifications.

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bestowed on the whole of creation as the effect of God’s outreach. Nature is graced from the beginning of time. ere is a dynamic orientation within creation towards self-transcendence. is dynamic gi of selftranscendence is expressed in the evolution of the world: in the unfolding of Cosmology, in the advent of biological evolution, and in the emergence of the human, and in the distinctive unity of the Logos of God and sarx that took place in the Christ-event as the goal of creation. ere is an underlying unity, therefore, between creation and Incarnation. Creation is the expression of God’s desire out of love to share God’s self with the world. at self-communication of God in creation finds its fullest realization in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as Wisdom personally embodied in the flesh of Christ. Creation is orientated towards Incarnation, and Incarnation is the fulfilment of creation. Creation and Incarnation, therefore, are “two moments and two phases within the one process of God’s self-giving and self-expression, although it is an intrinsically differentiated process.”32 God implants, as it were, a dynamic orientation within creation through the gi of Word, Spirit and Wisdom. is orientation issues in the Incarnation of God in Jesus and in the light of the Incarnation continues in the world towards its final consummation ‘in Christ’ at the end of time. ere are a number of advantages to this unified view of creation, Incarnation and the unity of all things ‘in Christ’. e gi of selftranscendence, built into the orientation of all matter in creation and in the dynamism of humanity provides a Christology that can engage with the science of evolution and the science of ecology. is Christology does not have to come across as an interventionist Christology but rather emerges as an unfolding of the dynamic interiority of material creation from the beginning in a way that resonates with the evolution of the cosmos as described by science. e Incarnation therefore is not a manifestation of a presence that was previously absent, but rather the unique expression of a divine presence already in the world. Within this unique instance of God in Jesus we find that God is at God’s most typical in that the universal self-communication of God throughout the world becomes particularized and personified in the Christ event. In other words, this particular personification of God’s self-communication in Jesus is perfectly consistent and in character with God’s overall selfcommunication in creation. Further, the unity that exists between creation, Incarnation, and consummation provides a perspective capable of

32

Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith, 197.

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entering into dialogue on the specific relationship between Deep Ecology and Deep Incarnation. Deep Ecology provides a matrix for appreciating the possibility of Deep Incarnation. To conclude these sketchy reflections on Deep Christology as found in the Incarnation of Wisdom, Spirit, and Word in Jesus as the Christ, we can sum up the overall direction of this essay in a few sentences. Christology can be understood as ‘concentrated creation’ and this connects Christ with the rest of creation. e crucified and risen Christ is a microcosm of the drama taking place in the macrocosm of creation, including the groaning of creation. Christology embodies the drama of life in its many and various expressions, but especially in the context of the ongoing presence of so much pain, suffering, and death in the world. Secondly, there is a need to give more attention to the prominence of Wisdom Christology in the New Testament. e development of Wisdom Christology is one of the urgent imperatives for Christian faith in the twenty-first century, not only because of its cosmic orientation, but also because Wisdom Christology has the potential to open the way for the development of a fully-fledged eco-feminist Christology, as a balance to the dominance, up to now, of male-centered Christologies. In addition, Jesus as the Wisdom of God incarnate has internal resources for opening up the necessary dialogue between eology and Ecology. irdly, the time may be ripe to expand Congar’s principle of “No Christology without Pneumatology, and no Pneumatology without Christology” into “no Christology without reference to Wisdom, Spirit, and Word,” and vice versa. In effect, it is essential that Wisdom Christology, Logos Christology and Spirit Christology mutually interact and balance each other in ways that open up the dialogue between Deep Ecology and Deep Incarnation.

11 Thomas Aquinas: An Indispensable Contribution to the Renaissance of the Theology of the Trinity1 Herwi Rikhof

e title is a claim, or rather a set of claims. It is widely accepted that the last decades show a remarkable renaissance of the theology of the Trinity. One of the features of this renaissance is a prominent attention to the role, or better to the various roles, of the Father, Son, and Spirit in the history of salvation, be it that the role of the Spirit is oen less highlighted than the role of the Son. Part of that renaissance is also a critical assessment of the theology of the Trinity in the past. Karl Rahner, who, one can say, has set the agenda for the Trinitarian renaissance, expressed a historical judgement, blaming especially omas Aquinas for the demise of the theology of the Trinity because of a concentration on the oneness of God.2 e result of this concentration is that all relevant issues related to God’s action in our reality are discussed in the treatise de Deo Uno leaving for de Deo Trino only those issues related to the inner life of God. ese are, moreover, oen treated in highly abstract terms adding to their irrelevance to the history of salvation. is judgement is oen repeated and has become almost a cliché. So, Aquinas’ contribution to the current renaissance of the theology is a rather negative one. Rahner, to be fair, expressed some caution in footnotes.3 at caution was lost in the later literature, but fortunately not completely. Research has shown that Rahner’s judgment was mainly based on a modern, theistic, philosophical, apologetical reading of Aquinas. A highly questionable interpretation. 1 In my contribution to this book honoring Terry Merrigan I draw upon earlier research, publications and lectures, and especially on the BrenninkmeijerWehrhahn guest lecture I gave in Jerusalem on May 30, 2018. 2 Karl Rahner, “Der Dreifaltige Gott als transzendenter Urgrund der Heilsgeschichte,” in Mysterium Salutis: Grundriss heilsgeschichtlicher Dogmatik, vol. 2, ed. Johannes Feiner and Magnus Löhrer (Einsiedeln, Zürich, and Cologne: Benziger, 1967), 317-401, at 323-327. 3 Ibid., 324, n. 12; cf. also 433-435, n. 46.

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While this correction might lead to another, less negative assessment of Aquinas’ contribution to the current renaissance, it is not sufficient to explain the central claim of the title, namely that Aquinas’ theology is an indispensable contribution to the current renaissance of Trinitarian theology. In order to substantiate that claim, I want to take two steps. First, I will concentrate on one of the characteristic features of his theology in general and of his Trinitarian theology in particular: his negative theology. In order to avoid misunderstanding, I shall indicate the implications of this negative theology (1). Consequently, I can show how Aquinas uses it in two discussions important to the theology of the Trinity (2). For my second step, I will concentrate on the role of the Spirit in Aquinas’ theology of the Trinity (3). I will look at the discussion with which Aquinas concludes his inquiry into the distinctions of the divine persons: the missions of Son and Spirit, q. 43 of the Prima Pars of the Summa Theologiae. is quaestio is important and pivotal in his inquiry into God and shows the influence of his negative theology. But this quaestio shows also that Aquinas is not neglecting the Spirit. On the contrary, his remarks are mainly about the mission of the Spirit and show the importance of the role of the Spirit in the theology of the Trinity 1. Aquinas’ Negative Theology4 When Aquinas decided to write a book for students in theology, he started with a discussion on what theology is. eology is about God and everything related to God.5 e next two steps are self-evident too: whether God is and who God is. But the way he answers those questions show some extraordinary features, most clearly in the immediate reformulation of the second question where Aquinas considers ‘how God is

4

e edition of Aquinas’ text I use can be found via the website of the omas Instituut te Utrecht (Tilburg University): www.thomasinstituut.org. e translations of Aquinas’ texts are mine. I have consulted the Blackfriars translation (London and New York: Eyer & Spottiswoode, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1964 etc.) and the translation by Alfred J. Freddoso: www3.nd.edu/~ afreddos/summa-translation/TOC.htmthe and I indicate when I quote them. 5 “Omnia autem tractantur in sacra doctrina sub ratione Dei vel quia sunt ipse Deus vel quia habent ordinem ad Deum ut at principium et finem. Unde sequitur quod Deus vere sit subjectum hujus scientiae.” ST I, q. 1, a. 7co; cf. “Quia igitur principalis intentio huius sacrae doctrinae est Dei cognitionem tradere, et non solum secundum quod in se est, sed etiam secundum quod est principium rerum et finis earum, et specialiter rationalis creaturae.” ST I, q. 2, prooemium.

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or rather how God is not’.6 By phrasing the inquiry this way he draws attention to the correction and so emphasizes how God is not. Aquinas repeats that phrase and correction again, when he starts his discussion of what God is. “Aer we know that a thing exists, the next question is how it exists, so that we can know what it is. But, because we cannot know about God what he is, but what he is not, we cannot consider about God how he is, but rather how he is not.” Specifying this ‘how not’ he speaks about excluding attributes that are not appropriate such as “composition, motion and so on.”7 It is somewhat tempting to think that when what is inappropriate is removed what is le is what is appropriate. But that would be an erroneous expectation and incorrect conclusion. We should take Aquinas on his word: he wants to show how God is not. e method of removal might result in some kind of awareness of what and how God is, but that awareness is firmly rooted in the how not. It is like indicating a hole by pointing to the borders. e elements to be removed are “composition, motion and so on.” He is clearly not referring to the corporeal or even the intellectual, but rather to esse as found in creatures. Aquinas moves here to a meta-physical level, on a level where one tries to gain insight into the underlying structure of reality in order to understand the reality we experience. Aquinas starts with discussing God’s simplicity. It would be clearly wrong to think that despite his emphasis on quomodo non, Aquinas gives some kind of positive description. When he mentions ‘simplicity’ he immediately adds: “by which composition is removed.” And when Aquinas in article 7 of quaestio 3 mentions ‘simplicity’, it is the conclusion of a series of denials: “it is clear that there is no way in which God is composite but that he is completely simple.”8 ose denials are on the metaphysical level: composition of form and matter, of esse and existere, of genus and differences, of substance and accidents. 6 “[…] primo considerandum est an Deus sit; secundo, quomodo sit, vel potius quomodo non sit […].” ST I, q. 2, prooemium. 7 “Cognito de aliquo an sit, inquirendum restat quomodo sit, ut sciatur de eo quid sit. Sed quia de Deo scire non possumus quid sit, sed quid non sit, non possumus considerare de Deo quomodo sit, sed potius quomodo non sit […] Potest autem ostendi de Deo quomodo non sit, removendo ab eo ea quae ei non conveniunt, utpote compositionem, motum, et alia huiusmodi. Primo ergo inquiratur de simplicitate ipsius, per quam removetur ab eo compositio.” ST I, q. 3, prooemium. 8 “Manifestum est quod Deus nullo modo compositus est sed omnino simplex.” ST I, q. 3, a. 7co.

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Aquinas moves on this level, since he wants to make clear – right from the beginning – that God, the cause and end of all there is, is not part and parcel of all that there is, that the Creator is not to be considered and treated in any way as a creature. Aquinas’ negative theology is therefore not a form of agnosticism, but rather a training-exercise in the awareness that God transcends all our categories and concepts. Aquinas’ negative theology is a careful and reverend method to let God be God. In order to show how this type of negative theology influences Aquinas’ thinking about God and how this is an indispensable contribution to the current renaissance of the theology of the Trinity, I want to concentrate on what Aquinas considers the root of all God’s actions: mercy. I will briefly refer to a topic that belongs to Christology, but that is clearly crucial to the theology of the Trinity: the motivum incarnationis. I discuss this since Aquinas mentions it in his explanation of the power of mercy. 2. Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam Aquinas, in his commentary on the fourth of the seven penitential psalms, psalm 50, explains why in the opening verse God’s mercy is called ‘great’: Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam. Aquinas lists a number of reasons or aspects each time with a reference to a passage from Scripture: incomprehensibility, sublimity, duration, power and effect.9 e first impression one gets from at least some of those five terms is that they belong to a ‘negative’ discourse. When Aquinas explains those reasons, that first impression is confirmed: Aquinas uses in three of the five cases terms like ‘all’, ‘everything’, 9 “Et dicitur magna sua incomprehensibilitate, qua implet omnia. Ps. 32: misericordia domini plena est terra. Et in omnibus habet locum: nam justi innocentiam servaverunt propter misericordiam Dei. Augustinus: domine gratiae tuae deputo mala quae non feci. Item peccatores sunt conversi ad justitiam propter Dei misericordiam. 1 Tim. 1: misericordiam consecutus sum. Item in peccato existentes misericordiam Dei experti sunt. ren. 3: misericordiae domini multae, quod non sumus consumpti. Item dicitur magna sublimitate, quia miserationes ejus super omnia opera ejus; nam misericordia non signat in Deo passionem animi, sed bonitatem ad repellendam miseriam. Item magna duratione. Isa. 54: in misericordia sempiterna misertus sum tui. Item magna virtute, quia Deum hominem fecit, de caelo Deum ad terram deposuit, et immortalem mori fecit. Eph. 2: Deus autem qui dives est in misericordia. Item magna per effectum, quia ex omni miseria potest homo per misericordiam elevari. Ps. 85: misericordia tua magna est super me, et remisisti impietatem peccati mei, Ps. 31. Et ideo confidenter peto: miserere mei Deus.” In Psalmos 50, no. 1.

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‘everywhere’; in one case the related term ‘everlasting’. e term used for the first reason is clearly a negative term: incomprehensibility, cannot be grasped, cannot be seized, cannot be comprehended. Aquinas mentions three categories covering all of humankind: the just, the converted, and the sinners. ere is a difference between the first two groups, the just and the converted, and the third group, the sinners. In the first two groups, God’s mercy is something of the past, in the third group something of the present. But as the quotation from Lamentations makes clear: it is also something of a surprise. “e mercy of the Lord is manifold, that we are not consumed, for his commiserations have not been put aside.” e surprise is the continuing, the constant, the endless mercy when one does not expect mercy but rather punishment or even death. But also, in the other cases, one can discern the type of terms that belong to negative theology: mercy is above (super) all his works. And the term ‘richness’, a quotation from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, suggests inexhaustible abundance. e term power, virtue, seems, at first sight, to be an exception in that ‘negative’ discourse, but a closer look shows this not to be the case. For that closer look I refer to a text about God’s mercy from the Prima Pars and another about the incarnation from the Tertia Pars of the Summa Theologiae. In quaestio 21 of the Prima Pars, Aquinas discusses mercy and justice together and starts with justice. Why he discusses them together and why he starts with justice becomes clear in his discussion of mercy, in article 3. One of the objectiones of this discussion, arguing that mercy does not fit God, sounds rather modern: mercy implies a relaxation of justice. But God cannot allow the omission of anything that is required by his justice.10 e sed contra, arguing that mercy does fit God, is a quotation from psalm 110: miserator et misericors Dominus. Aquinas starts his answer with an unusually strong statement: “especially mercy we should attribute to God but then with regard to his activity not with regard to his feelings.”11 And in his reaction to the argument about mercy being a relaxation of justice, Aquinas specifies that activity in an important and revealing way. Acts of mercy do not contradict or destroy justice but exceed it or fulfil it. Aquinas ends his reaction with

10

“Misericordia est relaxatio justitiae; sed Deus non potest praetermittere id, quod ad justitiam suam pertinet.” ST I, q. 21, a. 3, obj. 2. 11 “Respondeo dicendum quod misericordia est Deo maxime attribuenda, tamen secundum effectum, non secundum passionis affectum.” ST I, q. 21, a. 3co.

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a quotation from the letter of James (2:13): “mercy exalts itself above judgment.”12 e two short examples he gives are illuminating and deserve some further analysis. Suppose someone owes somebody else 100 dinars, but gives the other person 200. He then does not go against justice, but he acts liberally or mercifully. Aquinas does not give here a reference to a passage from Scripture, but 100 dinars evokes the parable told by Jesus when asked by Peter how oen he should forgive. A servant owes his king the enormous amount of 10000 talents, some 60 million dinars; the king cancels his debt because he is moved by the plea of this servant. But this servant refuses to have some mercy with another servant who owes him only 100 dinars.13 e servant uses his rights, but the king goes beyond that. One can also think about another parable: a man hires early in the morning workmen for his vineyard and agrees with them a certain wage: one dinar. Later he finds other men without work and hires them as well, some for just one hour. He gives them all the same one dinar. When those who have worked all day protest, the owner points to the fact that he has given them what they agreed upon and asks whether they are angry because he is good towards the others.14 e other example is forgiving an offense. Aquinas connects, using a saying by Paul, ‘to forgive’ with ‘to give’. e reference to Christ giving or forgiving, indicates that the type of giving Aquinas has in mind is not the kind of exchange that turns gis into obligations to return the same amount: do ut des. To (for)give is a reaction as all our actions are reactions to certain conditions, but at the same time it is (can be, should be) unconditional and then it belongs to the sphere of grace. As such it is surprising. e common reaction to an unexpected present – ‘you should not have done that’, ‘that is too much’ – illustrates nicely the extraordinary character of a true gi. I will come back to this in the discussion of quaestio 43. 12 “Ad secundum dicendum quod Deus misericorditer agit, non quidem contra iustitiam suam faciendo, sed aliquid supra iustitiam operando, sicut si alicui cui debentur centum denarii, aliquis ducentos det de suo, tamen non contra iustitiam facit, sed liberaliter vel misericorditer operatur. Et similiter si aliquis offensam in se commissam remittat. Qui enim aliquid remittit, quodammodo donat illud, unde apostolus remissionem donationem vocat, Ephes. V, donate invicem, sicut et Christus vobis donavit. Ex quo patet quod misericordia non tollit iustitiam, sed est quaedam iustitiae plenitudo. Unde dicitur Iac. II, quod misericordia superexaltat iudicium.” ST I, q. 21, a. 3, ad 2. 13 Mt 18:21-35. 14 Mt 20:1-16.

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In article 4, Aquinas raises the question of whether mercy and justice are to be found in all God’s work. He gives an affirmative answer but makes clear that mercy has priority: it is the root of all God’s actions.15 It belongs to justice that God gives the creatures what they need, but the source of the creation as such is not some kind of obligation but is goodness. e human person needs hands because he or she has a rational soul – otherwise the implementation of ideas and plans is impossible. e human person needs a rational soul in order to be a human person, since that is characteristic for the human person. But the human person exists because of God’s goodness. Creatures, the creation would not be there at all without God’s goodness. God’s creative acting is not caused or provoked by anything outside God – creation is creatio ex nihilo – but only by God’s inner goodness. at permeates and determines also God’s acting in history. If one looks at history and only sees God acting to obligation (justice), one does not see sufficiently enough. […] even the things that are owed to a given creature are such that God, out of the abundance of His goodness, dispenses them more generously than is demanded by what is fitting for the thing’s nature. For what would be sufficient to preserve the order of justice is less than what is in fact conferred by God’s goodness, which exceeds what is merely fitting for each creature.16

In other words, justice would be sufficient, but God does always more and exceeds expectations. at is exactly what Aquinas’ negative theology is about. When Aquinas gives an example of the power of mercy in his commentary on psalm 50, he mentions the incarnation, touching on the center of our Christian faith. “For it [God’s mercy] made God man, it brought God down from heaven to earth and made the immortal to die.”17 In order to appreciate the importance of this example, the discussion with which Aquinas opens the inquiry into the mystery of the

15 “in quolibet opere Dei apparet misericordia, quantum ad primam radicem ejus.” ST I, q. 21, a. 4co. 16 “Et propter hoc etiam ea, quae alicui creaturae debentur, Deus ex abundantia suae bonitatis largius dispensat, quam exigat proportio rei. Minus enim est, quod sufficeret ad conservandum ordinem justitiae, quam quod divina bonitas confert, quae omnem proportionem creaturae excedit.” ST I, q. 21, a. 4co (trans. Alfred J. Freddoso). 17 “Item magna virtute, quia Deum hominem fecit, de caelo Deum ad terram deposuit, et immortalem mori fecit.”

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incarnation can help us. at discussion concerns the convenience of the incarnation.18 An inquiry into the convenience of an event is rather a special inquiry. It does not try to establish the fact of that event but tries to understand that event better. One of the questions Aquinas discusses is whether God would have become incarnate if man had not sinned.19 Aquinas knows of two schools of thought: one arguing that the Son of God would have become incarnate even if man had not sinned, and the other arguing the opposite, the Son of God became man because man has sinned. Aquinas chooses very carefully and cautiously a position in this debate. He thinks the second position is better, and the arguments he gives are revealing in the way he formulates them. First, Aquinas introduces the distinction that also features in his discussion of mercy: what is due to creatures and what goes beyond that. What is due we can know, but what goes beyond we cannot know, unless it is revealed to us by God, i.e., from Scripture.20 Secondly, Aquinas points to the fact that in Scripture the reason for the incarnation is always the Fall. And so it seems more convenient to conclude that the incarnation is the remedy against sin.21 irdly, Aquinas adds as a kind of nota bene that, however, God’s power is not limited by this. erefore, even if there had been no sin, God could have become incarnate.22 So, Aquinas combines in his argumentation the fact that in Scripture incarnation is linked to sin with the possibility that it might not. e reason why he favors this combination seems to be that he does not want 18 ST III, q. 1. For a thorough analysis of this quaestio: Michel Corbin, L’inouï de Dieu: Six études christologiques (Paris: Desclée De Brouwer, 1980), “Étude III: La Parole devenue chair,” 109-158. 19 “utrum si non fuisset peccatum Deus incarnatus fuisset.” ST III, q. 1, a. 3, prooemium. 20 “Respondeo dicendum quod aliqui circa hoc diversimode opinantur. Quidam enim dicunt quod, etiam si homo non peccasset, Dei filius fuisset incarnatus. Alii vero contrarium asserunt. Quorum assertioni magis assentiendum videtur.” ST III, q. 1, a. 3co. 21 “Ea enim quæ ex sola Dei voluntate proveniunt, supra omne debitum creaturæ, nobis innotescere non possunt nisi quatenus in sacra Scriptura traduntur, per quam divina voluntas innotescit. Unde, cum in sacra Scriptura ubique incarnationis ratio ex peccato primi hominis assignetur, convenientius dicitur incarnationis opus ordinatum esse a Deo in remedium peccati, ita quod, peccato non existente, incarnatio non fuisset.” ST III, q. 1, a. 3co. 22 “Quamvis potentia Dei ad hoc non limitetur, potuisset enim, etiam peccato non existente, Deus incarnari.” ST III, q. 1, a. 3co.

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to limit in any way the beyond, or to put it differently, to understand the reference to the Fall as a cause that determines God’s action in the sense that God was forced to incarnate.23 With these discussions from the Summa Theologiae in mind we can now return to Aquinas’ commentary on psalm 50, and appreciate his explanation of power when he explains the greatness of God’s mercy: “for it made God man, it brought God down from heaven to earth and made the immortal to die.” e incarnation is not to be understood in terms of justice, but of mercy. It is the beyond par excellence. e incarnation, the mission of the Son, has to be understood right from the beginning in this ‘negative’ way. e same is true for the mission of the Spirit, as becomes clear when we turn to Aquinas’ discussion of the missions of Son and Spirit. 3. De missione divinarum personarum (ST I, q. 43) In the current renaissance of the theology of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity is oen used to explain the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. In the so-called Spirit-Christology the focus of attention is on the role of the Spirit in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. But it seems to me that this is not sufficient to counter the oen-voiced criticism of the forgetfulness of the Spirit. An important, even crucial requirement is to consider the theology of the Trinity as an explanation of who we Christians are. e term ‘Christian’ – as the term ‘Christ’ – refers to the role of the Spirit. As Paul puts it: “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”24 Like Jesus, who received the Spirit at his baptism and was revealed as the Christ, so we receive the Spirit at our baptism and become Christians. e discussion of the missions of the Son and the Spirit with which Aquinas concludes his reflection on the variety of persons in God contains insights that are indispensable to understanding who we Christians are. ‘Missio’ is a term found in Scripture. In the first two articles Aquinas quotes in the sed contra “I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent me” (John 8:16) and “When the fullness of time was come God sent his Son” (Gal 4:4). But in the course of quaestio 43, it becomes clear that Aquinas uses missio on two levels. First, as referring to the incarnation 23

is is precisely Abelard’s argument against the patristic theory that the incarnation is a kind of misleading the devil, as if the devil determines (or can determine) God’s agenda. Peter Abelard, Expositio in Epistolam ad Romanos, 3, 2. 24 1 Cor 12:3.

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of the Son and then missio or mitti are paired with datio and dari, terms used in Scripture in connection to the Spirit. is is the way missio is used in Scripture. Second, as referring to the more abstract category to which both the concrete missio of the Son and the datio of the Spirit belong. Aquinas introduces this conceptual level to clarify and specify the meaning of missio when used for the divine persons. As always Aquinas takes into account the common understanding and usual associations and he specifies which of these associations are at play when missio is used to talk about God’s activity in our history. Under the concept missio a distinction is made between who sends, what or who is being sent and who receives. is distinction serves to structure part of the quaestio.25 But it serves also to specify the relevant meanings. One can discern even a certain emphasis on the destination, in reference to those who receive the mission. For instance, right at the beginning Aquinas remarks with regard to the destination: “‘being sent’ indicates the beginning of a presence, in the sense either that the one sent was not previously there at all or not present in this new way.”26 It might come as a little surprise that Aquinas makes this distinction between ‘starting being present’ and ‘changing being present’. ‘Starting being present’ is the most common association or meaning: a person is sent to a place where that person has never been. Why does Aquinas add ‘changing being present’? A clue can be found in the reference Aquinas makes to the gospel according to John: the Son is sent by the Father to the world, although he was already in the world.27 e full answer becomes clear when Aquinas in article 3 refers to two ways of talking about the presence of God. One way is talking about creation: “there is a common mode in which God is in all things by his essence, power and presence, as the cause existing in the effects that take part in his goodness.”28 e other way is talking about the history of salvation of a people and that history is determined and structured by the missio of the Son and the

25

Cf. a. 4: “Utrum cuilibet personae conveniat mitti. [the Father sends, is not sent]; a. 5 Utrum invisibiliter mittatur tam Filius, quam Spiritus Sanctus”; a. 6: “Ad quos fiat missio invisibilis.” ST I, q. 43, prooemium. 26 “Ostenditur etiam habitudo ad terminum, ad quem mittitur, ut aliquo modo ibi esse incipiat: vel quia prius ibi omnino non erat, quo mittitur: vel quia incipit ibi aliquo modo esse, quo prius non erat.” ST I, q. 43, a. 1co. 27 John 1:10. 28 “Est enim unus communis modus, quo Deus est in omnibus rebus per essentiam, potentiam, et praesentiam, sicut causa in effectibus participantibus bonitatem ipsius.” ST I, q. 43, a. 3co.

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datio of the Spirit. at is the reason why Aquinas needs the less common association of ‘changing being present’. At this stage another element of the meaning of missio has to be taken into account. Part of missio, whether it is about starting or changing being present, is that it takes part in time and entails change.29 Missio entails a new presence. But one of the objectiones in article 2 states that this temporal element, this change, is something that cannot be applied to God. It is a reminder of the negative theology, of the fundamental distinction between Creator and creature.30 Aquinas, in his reaction to this objectio, does not deny the connection between missio on the one hand and time and change on the other, nor does he subtract from his negative theological starting-point, but locates the change in the creature.31 He does not give an explanation, but refers to an earlier discussion about temporal predications used for God.32 e impact of this answer becomes clear when Aquinas inquires what the missions of Son and Spirit amount to in article 3. As I already have indicated, Aquinas distinguishes between two types of presence or two ways of talking about God’s presence in our reality: the presence on the level of creation, a presence common to all that is, and a special presence in rational creatures, a presence on the level of history. e rational creatures, the human persons, have two characteristic faculties: they can know and they can love. Knowledge refers to the intellectual side, love to the practical. e human person can know God and can love God, or as Aquinas formulates it: “God is in the knower as known and in the lover as loved.” Aquinas repeats then the formulation ‘a new mode’.33 From not knowing and not loving God the human person becomes a knower and lover of God. 29 “Quaedam vero cum habitudine ad principium important terminum temporalem, sicut missio, et datio.” ST I, q. 43, a. 2co. 30 “[…] cuicumque convenit aliquid temporaliter, illud mutatur sed persona divina non mutatur; ergo missio divinae personae non est temporalis, sed aeterna.” ST I, q. 43, a. 2, obj. 2. 31 “quod divinam personam esse novo modo in aliquo, vel ab aliquo haberi temporaliter, non est propter mutationem divinae personae, sed propter mutationem creaturae: sicut et Deus temporaliter dicitur Dominus propter mutationem creaturae.” ST I, q. 43, a. 2, ad 2m. 32 See ST I, q. 13, a. 7. 33 “Super istum modum autem communem, est unus specialis, qui convenit creaturae rationali, in qua Deus dicitur esse sicut cognitum in cognoscente et amatum in amante. […]. Sic igitur nullus alius effectus potest esse ratio quod divina persona sit novo modo in rationali creatura, nisi gratia gratum faciens.” ST I, q. 43, a. 3co.

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ese changes occur in our ordinary life: a visitor to a concert becomes a doctor when called for, or a neighbor becomes over the years a friend, a colleague becomes a lover or an enemy. ese changes occur or rather can occur also in our religious life. Everyone is created as image of God, or as it is also formulated, we all are capax Dei. But whether this capacity is in fact realized in the concreteness of our lives is another matter and involves change. Aquinas is careful not to locate those changes in God but in us. Again, the main reason for this new manner involving a change on our side and not on God’s, seems to be the refusal to bring God into the normal human pattern of action as reaction. e Savior acts as Creator, re-creation is creation, grace is freely and unconditionally given (gratia gratis datur). God always takes the initiative in an almost unimaginable and unconditional way. Apart from this example of Aquinas’ negative theology, this central article of the quaestio on the missions shows also his prominent attention on the role of the Spirit. When Aquinas discusses the missions more specifically, one cannot but notice that his main attention goes to invisible mission, more precisely to the invisible mission of the Spirit. When Aquinas discusses the visible mission of the Spirit (a.7) he argues for the convenience of the visible mission as a pointer to the invisible. He pays attention to the three elements that can be discerned in mission: who sends (the Father, a. 4), who are being invisibly sent (Son and Spirit, a. 5), to whom are they invisibly sent (a. 6). e article preceding these three discussions is, as I indicated already, about what the invisible mission of the Spirit amounts to: does it give people charismatic grace, that is, gis that benefit others (donum gratiae gratis datur) or does it give people the gi of sanctifying grace, which makes people holy (donum gratiae gratum facientis)? But right from the beginning it is clear that there is a third possible answer: the gi of the Spirit’s self. In his respondeo Aquinas accepts all three answers: it is because the mission consists of the coming of the divine person that the human person both becomes holy and receives the gis that can benefit others. It might seem somewhat overstating the case to say that article 3 is about what the invisible mission of the Spirit amounts to, since Aquinas introduces the question without mentioning the Spirit explicitly.34 But

34 “Secundum quid divina persona invisibiliter mittatur. Prooemium. Cf. also: Videtur, quod missio invisibilis divinae personae non sit solum secundum donum gratiae gratum facientis.” ST I, q. 43, a. 3, obj. 1.

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there are several signs that he has the invisible mission of the Spirit in mind. Of the four objectiones three are concerned with the Spirit, one with the Son. I will return later to that objection and to Aquinas’ reaction to it. Further, it is remarkable that Aquinas introduces in the first sentence of his respondeo a parallel between ‘to send’ and ‘to give’: “the verb ‘sent’ rightly applies to a divine person in that he is newly present in someone; the verb ‘given’ in that he is possessed by someone.”35 Although the formulation in the prooemium suggests a continuation of the more conceptual discussion of mission in the first two articles, Aquinas here clearly indicates that he moves in this third article to the concrete missiones, to the way these missions are mentioned in Scripture. And ‘to give’ is a reference to the way the Spirit is mentioned in Scripture. Moreover, in the respondeo he adds a short analysis of ‘to give’ aer what can be considered to be the answer. is addition is an echo of the earlier discussion about the term ‘Gi’, one of the discussions about the proper names of the Spirit.36 I will mention a few significant features of that earlier discussion, for they can clarify what Aquinas mentions here in article 3. First, a proper gi is unreturnable. Aquinas refers here to Aristotle. A proper gi is not given with an intention of repayment in mind. It is a ‘gratuitous donation’. e basis for such a donation is love. And Love is the other proper name for the Spirit.37 Second, only rational creatures can possess the divine person, but they cannot have that person by their own power: the person has to be given to them ‘from above’, or from elsewhere. Otherwise, the term ‘gi’ does not make sense.38 ird, the term ‘gi’ means that when someone receives a gi, it belongs to that person. “Now ‘to possess’ means to have something at our disposal to use or enjoy as we wish.” e distinction use-enjoy (uti-frui)

35 “Respondeo dicendum quod divinae personae convenit mitti, secundum quod novo modo existit in aliquo; dari autem, secundum quod habetur ab aliquo.” ST I, q. 43, a. 3co. 36 ST I, q. 38 de Dono; cf. q. 37 de nomine Amoris; the names for the Son are ‘Word’ (q. 34) and ‘Imago’ (q. 35). 37 “Donum proprie est datio irreddibilis, secundum Philosophum, idest quod non datur intentione retributionis et sic importat gratuitam donationem.” ST I, q. 38, a. 2co. 38 “Unde sola creatura rationalis potest habere divinam personam. Sed ad hoc quod sic eam habeat non potest propria virtute pervenire; unde oportet quod hoc ei desuper detur; hoc enim dari nobis dicitur quod aliunde habemus.” ST I, q. 38, a. 1co.

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originates in Roman philosophy and Augustine has used this couple to speak about dealing with God: we should not use God, but enjoy God, as we should not enjoy created things but use them. Aquinas applies this distinction to the divine person (enjoy) and the workings of that divine person (use).39 When we turn back to article 3 with these elements in mind, we can unpack Aquinas’ addition about giving and having.40 Aquinas’ first step is to introduce the notions of enjoy (frui) and use (uti): when we have something we can either enjoy or use it freely. In what follows only frui occurs, not surprisingly in connection with divine person: we have the power to enjoy a divine person. e second step is to specify that frui, by stressing that creatures cannot enjoy a divine person by their own power: it is a (proper) gi. e third step is to identify that divine person as the Holy Spirit. Aquinas’ formulation shows an emphasis: it is the Holy Spirit himself (ipsemet) and he uses the term inhabitat: inhabits, dwells in. By using this term Aquinas evokes again a biblical theme he had used in the main part of his respondeo. When Aquinas indicates that the new way or the special way of presence for rational creatures is related to knowing and loving God, he refers, as mentioned already, to the two characteristic faculties of the rational creatures. at could have been sufficient. He adds, though, something about the intensity of that knowing and loving. Because by these acts of knowing and loving the rational creature touches Godself (attingit ad ipsum Deum), “God is not only said to be in that rational creature, but even to inhabit it as his temple.”41 Aquinas does not indicate passages in Scripture. One could point to the Farewell address about the indwelling of Father and Son, and of the Spirit,42 but the term ‘temple’ evokes especially the sayings of Paul about the inhabitation of

39 “Non tamen sic quod in potestate earum sit frui divina persona et uti effectu ejus,” ST I, q. 38, a. 1co. 40 “Similiter illud solum habere dicimur, quo libere possumus uti, vel frui. Habere autem potestatem fruendi divina persona est solum secundum gratiam gratum facientem. Sed tamen in ipso dono gratiae gratum facientis Spiritus Sanctus habetur et inhabitat hominem. Unde ipsemet Spiritus Sanctus datur et mittitur.” ST I, q. 43, a. 3co. 41 “Et quia cognoscendo, et amando creatura rationalis sua operatione attingit ad ipsum Deum, secundum istum specialem modum Deus non solum dicitur esse in creatura rationali, sed etiam habitare in ea, sicut in templo suo.” ST I, q. 43, a. 3co. 42 “[…] and we will come to him and make home with him.” John 14:23; “another Counsellor […] for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17.

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the Spirit in the believer.43 Aquinas’ response to objectio 3, the only objection where the Son is mentioned, goes in the same direction: “though the Son may be known to us through various effects, he does not dwell in us nor do we possess him through just any effect.”44 Another discussion, a little later in the quaestio, confirms this strong emphasis on the role of the Spirit. In article 5 Aquinas turns to the invisible mission of the Son. All three objectiones support the answer that an invisible mission does not fit the Son but the Spirit. Aquinas’ respondeo does not contain really new insights. He repeats earlier arguments. On the basis of John 14, 23, “we will come to him and make home with him,” Aquinas argues that the whole Trinity abides in the soul, be it that ‘being sent’ does not apply to the Father, but fits both Son and Spirit.45 e reactions to the three objectiones, though new insights can be found, read like three connected steps. First, Aquinas makes an important distinction. All gis as gis are attributed to the Spirit and he refers to the two names of the Spirit: Love and Gi. Some gis are appropriated to the Son, namely those concerned with the intellect. Appropriation is a way of talking in which something that is common is used specifically for one instance. So in the Creed creation is appropriated to the Father, although both Son and Spirit are involved in creating. In other words, Aquinas is appealing to the rule in the theology of the Trinity that ad extra the Trinity acts as one, but also to the conviction that within that unity the different roles of the three persons can and have to be specified. In this first step he does so rather formally, by pointing out that ‘being sent’ does not fit the Father. In the next two steps he is less formal when distinguishing the role of the Son from the role of the Spirit. Second, Aquinas evokes the effect of grace, of the missions. He does not use the formula he used in article 3, that the human person by knowing and loving God touches Godself and the connected theme of indwelling, but mentions another important theme: the soul becomes ‘Godlike’.46 By the missions of the divine persons the human person is 43 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you.” 1 Cor 3:16. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.” 1 Cor 6:19; cf. Rom 8:9, 11; 2 Tim 1:14. 44 “quod, licet per aliquos effectus Filius cognosci possit a nobis, non tamen per aliquos effectus nos inhabitat, vel etiam habetur a nobis.” ST I, q. 43, a. 3, ad 3m. 45 Cf. also a. 4: “utrum Patri conveniat mitti.” 46 “[…] quod anima per gratiam conformatur Deo,” ST I, q. 43, a.  5co. Cf. also A. N. Williams, The Ground of Union, Deification in Aquinas and Palamas

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assimilated to those divine persons. In the case of the Spirit this is charity. In the case of the Son this is understanding (word), but Aquinas adds immediately, not just any understanding, but an understanding breathing love. “Consequently not just any enhancing of the mind indicates the Son’s being sent, but only that sort of enlightening that bursts forth into love.”47 In other words, the mission of the Son is ‘colored’ or determined by the mission of the Spirit. ird, Aquinas stresses that the mission of the Son and the mission of the Spirit have grace as their common root, but he repeats that the effects are different: the enlightening of the intellect and the inflaming of the affections. e one effect cannot take place without the other, since the one divine person cannot be separated from the other.48 In other words, Aquinas returns to what he had said in the first reaction about the diversity in the unity. In my reading of these reactions as three steps, the second is central. Aquinas quotes a remark from Augustine in de Trinitate that when he is speaking about the Word he has in mind ‘a knowledge with love’ (cum amore notitia).49 is quote is not an ornamental one but a true foundation. Aquinas shows this also in the remarkable formulation prorumpat in affectum amoris, ‘bursts forth into the affection of love’. e discussions in article 3 and article 5 show how prominent and decisive Aquinas’ attention to the role of the Spirit is on two levels: on the level of the missions of Son and Spirit, and on the level of the mission of the Spirit. It might seem strange to point to that second level. Why should the role of the Spirit not be prominent when talking about the mission of the Spirit? Aquinas remarks that we need knowledge of the divine persons to understand our salvation correctly, “which is perfected through the Son becoming incarnate and by the gi of the Spirit.” Sometimes instead of the singular ‘gi’ the plural ‘gis’ is used and even defended.50 e plural does not only destroy the symmetry clearly (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press 1999); Gilles Emery, La théologie trinitaire de saint Thomas d’Aquin (Paris: Cerf, 2004), 439-464. 47 “Non igitur secundum quamlibet perfectionem intellectus mittitur Filius, sed secundum talem instructionem intellectus qua prorumpat in affectum amoris […].” ST I, q. 43, a. 5, ad 2m. 48 “Et sic manifestum est quod una non potest esse sine alia, quia neutra est sine gratia gratum faciente nec una persona seperatur ab alia.” ST I, q. 42, a. 5, ad 3m. 49 Augustine’s de Trinitate IV, 20. 50 See e.g. Blackfriars edition vol. VI, note h, at 108-109: “[…] ultimately it is of small importance which reading we choose since we have the gis of the Holy

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intended by Aquinas but betrays also a fearfulness to take the indwelling of the Spirit seriously. In other words, the uncreated grace is replaced by the created grace. Although this replacement might be part of the later theological tradition, Aquinas does not share that later fearfulness. On the contrary, and precisely that lack of fearfulness is indispensable for any theology of the Trinity. 4. Conclusion On the basis of the reading of texts that are central to Aquinas’ understanding of God’s acting in our reality and dealing with us, I have tried to substantiate the claim that Aquinas’ theology is an indispensable contribution to the current renaissance of the theology of the Trinity because of his ‘negative’ tone and the clear insistence on the role of the Spirit. Because of his ‘negative’ tone, mercy can correctly be understood as the root of all that God does, even the incarnation of the Son and the indwelling of the Spirit. Because of his explicit emphasis on the Spirit’s self (ipsemet Spiritus Sanctus) who is given and sent to us, Aquinas’ theology of the Trinity serves also to explain who Christians are. Without Aquinas’ explicit emphasis texts like “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God and so we are,”51 “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying ‘Abba, Father’,”52 and “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God […] When we cry ‘Abba Father’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God […]”53 become a mere figure of speech without serious consequences for a truly Christian spirituality. Without a theology of grace, that is firmly based on the Gi of the Spirit, sacraments like baptism and confirmation are perhaps nice initiation rituals, but not essential for our identity. When we do not understand our baptism-confirmation properly and profoundly, this lack of understanding does not only hamper our personal spirituality, but also prevents a true understanding of the Church.

Ghost only if the Holy Ghost is given to us and dwells in us; cf. 1a 43.3,5. 1 Sent. 14, 2, 2.” 51 1 John 3:1. 52 Gal 4:6. 53 Rom 8:14-16.

12 “The Doctrine of Divine Unrest” Pneumatological Perspectives from Karl Rahner Declan Marmion, S.M.

Karl Rahner’s reflections on the Holy Spirit occur sporadically across his wide-ranging publications. ere are pieces on the Holy Spirit in his retreat conferences and sermons and in his writings on the Trinity, the Church and on grace. In an early essay, “eos in the New Testament,” some of Rahner’s theological presuppositions are already apparent, convictions underlying all his writings, including those on the Spirit: firstly, the world “as a whole is ordered to the personal Trinitarian God,” that is, to a supernatural end and predestined to salvation; secondly, the human person, by virtue of their transcendental or spiritual nature, is a potential “hearer of the word” or recipient of revelation; and thirdly, while the living God revealed in Jesus Christ is at work even outside Christianity, “God’s central and definitive saving act […] is the single inner unity of Incarnation, Cross and Resurrection, in which he definitively and radically communicated himself to the world.”1 What Rahner takes from the conception of God in the Old Testament is that, pace the approach of cosmological metaphysics, the “experience of God” comes first – “God as a free Person active in the world” as “the Lord of history” and creation. And this “unquestioning assurance of God’s existence” persists into the New Testament, where the early Christians saw “an indissoluble bond” between “their experience in faith of the reality of Christ and their knowledge in faith of God.” is knowledge brought them “into a real relationship with the living God as saviour.” It was not so much a “carefully constructed philosophical conception of God” as “the living, tangible experience of Christ.” Knowledge of God, therefore, comes from God’s activity in history, the culmination of which is God’s

1 Karl Rahner, “eos in the New Testament,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. I: God, Christ, Mary and Grace, trans. Cornelius Ernst (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1961), 79-148, at 80-81, 84, and 88.

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self-disclosure in Christ, “in which God’s inmost life is communicated to humankind.”2 Rahner further argues that, although ὁ ϴεός in the New Testament generally signifies only the Father and is never used of the Spirit, “it implicitly states something about the Son and the Spirit.” We need to look elsewhere, however, for the working out of his conception of relations within God, namely, to his trinitarian theology. In the “eos” article, Rahner only makes cursory mention of the Spirit – the Spirit is the one who “realises in us” God’s self-communication in Christ, taking us “up into the most intimate community of life” with God.3 But, in his writings on the Trinity, Rahner speaks about “two complementary aspects” or “two modalities” of the one self-communication of God in history and transcendence: “In the salvific economic Trinity the unoriginated and permanently sovereign God is called Father; in his selfcommunication to history, Logos; in his self-communication to the individual’s transcendentality, Holy Spirit.”4 God is by nature self-communicating and relates to us in a threefold manner. Logos and Holy Spirit are not simply mediating realities but “mediate God as such in his innermost reality.”5 e Son sends the Spirit; the Spirit “sanctifies” by bringing about the acceptance in faith, hope, and love of this self-communication.6 ese two modalities of God’s self-communication constitute salvation history: “the incarnate Logos is revealed as the self-utterance of the Father in truth […] the Pneuma is revealed in his intrinsic reality as love.”7 Rahner’s contribution to the renewal of trinitarian theology focused on his linking of the ‘immanent’ and the ‘economic’ Trinity: God truly is as God reveals God’s self to be and vice-versa. “Without our experience of Father, Son, and Spirit in salvation history, we would ultimately be totally unable to conceive at all of their subsisting distinctly as the one

2

Rahner, “eos in the New Testament,” 93, 95, 99-100, and 123. Ibid., 124. 4 Karl Rahner, “Oneness and reefoldness in God in Discussion with Islam,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XVIII: God and Revelation, trans. Edward Quinn (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1983), 105-121, at 115. 5 Ibid., 116. 6 Cf. Karl Rahner, The Trinity, trans. Joseph Donceel (New York: Crossroad, 1967, 21998), 86. 7 Karl Rahner, The Content of Faith: The Best of Karl Rahner’s Theological Writings, ed. Karl Lehmann and Albert Raffelt, trans. Harvey D. Egan, S.J. (New York: Crossroad, 1979, 1994), 378. 3

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God.”8 At the heart of the mystery of the triune God is the self-communication of God: “e relations of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit to us – relations which are expressed in Scripture – are fundamentally the immanent Trinity itself.”9 is led to a more experiential and soteriological emphasis in his trinitarian theology and theology of grace. Not that Rahner focused solely on the subjective experiences of the Spirit. He also reflected on the charismatic factor in the Church and suspected that most Christians – both progressive and traditionalist – were afraid of the Spirit or at least only wanted him “in small doses.”10 e backdrop to this pessimistic assessment was his perception of a ‘restorationist’ dynamic operative at official levels within the Church in the last decades of his life. Rahner had been heavily involved in Vatican II – in the preparatory phase and during the Council itself – and promoted its orientations wherever possible. He regularly encouraged Church officials to “have the courage to allow fresh and hitherto unknown forms of the charismatic factor in the Church to appear.”11 1. Experiences of the Spirit – Experiences of Grace When preaching on Acts 19:1-2, where Paul enquires of the disciples at Ephesus whether they had received the Holy Spirit, Rahner takes their response: “We have never even heard of the Holy Spirit” to maintain that Christians, even today, rarely claim to have had any experience of the Spirit.12 But Scripture, he points out, does not speak merely about a doctrine of the Spirit, but itself appeals to an experience of the Spirit.13 Although there is testimony to such experience of the Spirit in both Scripture and in the lives of the mystics and the saints, possession of the

8

Rahner, The Content of Faith, 380. Karl Rahner, Spiritual Exercises, trans. Kenneth Baker (New York: Herder, 1965), 251. 10 Karl Rahner, Opportunities for Faith, trans. Edward Quinn (New York: Seabury Press, 1974), 41. 11 Karl Rahner, “Observations on the Factor of the Charismatic in the Church,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XII: Confrontations II, trans. David Bourke (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1974), 81-97, at 88. 12 Cf. Rahner, Opportunities for Faith, 40. 13 Apart from the testimony of Scripture (he has in mind here Paul’s letter to the Galatians and other Pauline and Johannine writings), Rahner also refers to the testimony of the saints and the mystics who are “people of the Spirit.” Rahner, “Experience of the Holy Spirit,” in id., Theological Investigations, XVIII, 189-195. 9

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Spirit is assumed to lie outside one’s consciousness and liable to be overlooked among the myriad other experiences of living.14 Central to Rahner’s contribution to the renewal of Catholic theology in the twentieth century has been his contention that God/grace/the Holy Spirit can be experienced. He frequently used the terms experience of God, of the Holy Spirit, of grace, of transcendence, synonymously and without clear demarcation.15 For him, whatever we discover about human experience in general will help illuminate our experience of God. e dynamic of our experience of God, he believed, is comparable (but not identical) to what happens in experiences such as joy, faithfulness, trust, and love. His point is that the experience of God or of the Spirit is not so much given in addition to other experiences, but rather lies hidden within them. e experience of God, of grace, or of the Holy Spirit is always mediated, not experienced directly, but in conjunction with something else: Wherever there is selfless love, wherever duties are carried out without hope of reward, wherever the incomprehensibility of death is calmly accepted, wherever people are good with no hope of reward, in all these instances the Spirit is experienced, even though a person may not dare give this interpretation to the experience.16

e experience of the Holy Spirit is not to be thought of as one experience among many other experiences but constitutes “the ultimate depths and the radical essence of every spiritual and personal experience (of

14

Experience of the Spirit is not simply one encounter with a particular object that happens to come upon us from outside but begins at the very heart of our existence, at what might be called its subjective pole. It has a ‘transcendental’ character because it takes place at the innermost depth of the human person, and constitutes “the singular, original, primordial experience by the subject of itself, always and everywhere present behind all representational experiences.” Rahner, “Experience of the Holy Spirit,” 191. Yet, like any other experience, the transcendental experience of the Spirit is mediated; it must be given concrete (categorial) form. 15 For a helpful discussion of how the term ‘experience’ is used in contemporary theology, see George P. Schner, “e Appeal to Experience,” Theological Studies 53 (1992): 40-59. 16 Karl Rahner, “How Is the Holy Spirit Experienced Today?,” in Karl Rahner in Dialogue: Conversations and Interviews, 1965-1982, ed. Paul Imhof and Hubert Biallowons (New York: Crossroad, 1986), 142; see also Karl Rahner, “Reflections on the Experience of Grace,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. III: The Theology of the Spiritual Life, trans. Karl-H. and Boniface Kruger (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1967), 86-90, at 88-89.

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love, faithfulness, hope, and so on).”17 In his homilies and meditations on the Spirit, Rahner draws attention to this experience in order to enable others to discover it within themselves. is experience of God as the absolute mystery, he continues, is not confined to the individual ‘mystic’, or to those who interpret their lives in explicitly religious categories but is open to everyone. Rahner’s contribution to the renewal of the Catholic theology of grace influenced, in turn, his understanding of the role and working of the Holy Spirit in and outside the Church. In positing that grace can be consciously experienced, he opposed the scholastic claim that grace, because it is supernatural, is something beyond the region of consciousness.18 Instead, grace is the gi of Godself to human beings, a communication of the personal Spirit of God to humankind. God loves human beings first, and all the other effects of God’s love flow from this a priori ‘gracedness’ of humankind. He was convinced that both Scripture and genuine theological tradition within the Church point to this different understanding of grace. “Grace, the Holy Spirit, the working of the Spirit of God in the proper sense of divinizing grace […] all this is something new which in our view […] operates within human consciousness.”19 In affirming the Holy Spirit as “the gi in which God imparts Godself to humankind,”20 Rahner moves beyond traditional extrinsicist views that contrasted nature and grace as two layers of reality that hardly intersect. Instead, there is a dynamism within the human person – the desire for ‘more’, the transcendental dimension, which is much more than a dynamism of nature; it is itself a gi. We are oriented to a supernatural end, ‘drawn’ by God to share in God’s own life (divinization). And all the while, God’s transcendent presence to humankind takes place only in conjunction with the ‘categorial’, that is, in the concrete, in history, in creation and culture.

17 Karl Rahner, “e Experience of God Today,” in Theological Investigations. Vol. XI: Confrontations, trans. David Bourke (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1973), 149-165, at 154. 18 For a good overview of how the notion of ‘religious experience’ has been incorporated into Catholic theology via Rahner and others and the implications for Catholic-Pentecostal dialogue, see Ralph Del Colle, “e Implications of ‘Religious Experience’ for Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue: A Catholic Perspective,” Journal of Theological Studies 45 (2010): 525-542. 19 Karl Rahner, “Religious Enthusiasm and the Experience of Grace,” id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XVI: Experience of the Spirit: Source of Theology, trans. David Morland (New York: e Seabury Press, 1979), 35-51, at 38-39. 20 Rahner, “Experience of the Holy Spirit,” 189.

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A favorite scriptural quotation of Rahner, on which he based his convictions about the universality of God’s salvific will and the ubiquity of grace, and from which he drew pneumatological implications, is the reference in Paul’s letter to Timothy: “God wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). For Rahner, God’s universal salvific will cannot remain an abstraction. “eology has been too long and too oen bedeviled by the unavowed supposition that grace would no longer be grace if it were too generously distributed by the love of God!”21 e implications of his position are far-ranging: it means the whole of human life, even in its most secular aspects, is potentially ‘graced’. It breaks down barriers separating Church and the world, and presents a vision of grace and the operation of the Spirit beyond the Church. It occasioned a new Christian consciousness aer the Second Vatican Council: e holy occurs not in distinction from the everyday, but in and through it, what Rahner calls a ‘mysticism of everyday life’. On this view, every Christian is called to a mysticism of everyday faith, hope, and love that differs only in degree, and not in kind, from the extraordinary experiences of recognized mystics. Mysticism is understood here not simply as the final stage of Christian perfection.22 When Rahner says that the Christian of the future will be a ‘mystic’, he believes a Christian’s faith-conviction will be intimately related to a genuine and wholly personal experience of God: e Christian of the future will be a mystic or he or she will not exist at all. If by mysticism we mean, not singular parapsychological phenomena,

21

Karl Rahner, “Nature and Grace,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. IV: More Recent Writings (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1974), 165-188, at 180. is principle was also endorsed by Vatican II: “All this holds true not for Christians only but also for all people of good will in whose hearts grace is active invisibly. For since Christ died for all, and since all are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery.” See Gaudium et Spes, no. 22, in Vatican Council II. Vol. I: The Conciliar and Postconciliar Documents, ed. Austin Flannery (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014), 924. 22 Not that Rahner believed there were no stages of growth in the spiritual life. Quite apart from Ignatius, he was well acquainted with the classical mystical works of St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. He regarded such mystics as ‘almost irreplaceable teachers’ in rendering intelligible their experience of God. See Karl Rahner, “Teresa of Avila: Doctor of the Church,” in id., Opportunities for Faith: Elements of a Modern Spirituality, trans. Edward Quinn (London: SPCK, 1970), 123-126; and Rahner’s article “e Church of the Saints,” in id., Theological Investigations, III, 91-104.

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but a genuine experience of God emerging from the heart of our existence, this statement is very true and its truth and importance will become still clearer in the spirituality of the future […] Possession of the Spirit is not something of which we are made factually aware merely by pedagogic indoctrination as a reality beyond our existential awareness, but is experienced inwardly.23

e context of Rahner’s writings on the experience of the Spirit was the charismatic renewal movement flourishing (particularly in America, but also in Europe) towards the end of the seventies and early eighties. He was not, however, an uncritical observer of this movement, and reflected: how naively such people absolutely identify their inspirations, their sense of peace, freedom and being led by the Holy Spirit with the immediate and direct intervention of God […]. Such a theology can easily go awry when, for example, its ideas are immediately experienced as the pure gi of God, when in fact they come from somewhere much closer to home.24

On the other hand, the more ‘ordinary’ examples he provides of experiences of the Spirit include: forgiving another even when one gains no reward for it, renouncing something without receiving recognition from others or even a feeling of inward satisfaction, or making a decision purely in the light of the innermost dictates of one’s conscience without being able to make this decision understandable to others. When we act in such ways, then God is present with His liberating grace, then we experience the mysticism of everyday life, “the sober intoxication of the Spirit of which the Church Fathers and the early liturgy spoke.”25 But what is the difference between the ‘ordinary’ examples of the experience of the Spirit above, and those found in charismatic circles (e.g., baptism in the Spirit, speaking in tongues), which he is unwilling to interpret absolutely as a special, direct intervention of God? For Rahner, to assume that the experience of the Spirit is limited to isolated special occasions is to adopt a mythological understanding of the relationship of God to the world. Even those who do not feel particularly attracted to charismatic groups and practices can still have an experience of the Spirit amid the routine of ordinary life: “In everyday life this transcendental experience of God in the Holy Spirit remains anonymous, implicit, unthematic, like

23 Karl Rahner, “e Spirituality of the Church of the Future,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XX: Concern for the Church, trans. Edward Quinn (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1981), 143-153, at 149. 24 Rahner, “Approaches to eological inking,” in Karl Rahner in Dialogue, 33. 25 Rahner, “Experience of the Holy Spirit,” 203.

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the widely diffusely spread light of a sun which we do not directly see, while we turn only to the individual objects visible in this light of our sense-experience.”26 Alongside Rahner’s concern to link the experience of the Spirit with the ordinary routine of life is his disdain for elitist conceptions of spirituality. us, he resisted any ‘separatist’ vision of Christianity and groups within the Church who liked to set themselves apart from so-called ordinary Christians. Rahner stressed instead how the Spirit could be experienced in a whole variety of situations, above all in the unselfish love of neighbor, and in “the observance of the harsh duty of ordinary life and the resigned acceptance of death.”27 At the same time, he wanted to acknowledge the experience of the Spirit in phenomena such as prayergroups, group meditation, and other spiritual ‘exercises’. ese, he believed, constitute ‘rehearsals’ for admitting and accepting fundamental experiences of the Spirit when and wherever they occur in life. Such ‘exercises’, however, are not the sole place where such experiences of the Spirit occur. Irrespective of where such an experience of the Spirit takes place, a person is ultimately led to a decision or choice which embraces the whole of one’s existence. e experience of the Spirit is connected to what Rahner calls ‘existential commitment’, examples of which include the choice of career, a specific form of behavior towards another, the decision to marry, a particular religious act, and so on.28 In a different context, 26 Rahner, “Experience of the Holy Spirit,” 199. Rahner grounds this claim in his analysis of human knowledge and freedom, an analysis which reveals the human person as a being of transcendence oriented to mystery. e experience of one’s orientation to mystery forms the condition for the very possibility of everyday knowing and willing and he concludes: “If we were to use the term ‘mysticism’ to describe this experience of transcendence in which we always, even in the midst of everyday life, extend beyond ourselves and the specific thing with which we are concerned, we might say that mysticism occurs in the midst of everyday life, but is hidden and undeclared, and that is the condition of the very possibility of even the most ordinary, sober and secular everyday experience.” Rahner, The Spirit in the Church (London: Burns & Oates, 1975), 14. 27 Rahner, “Experience of the Holy Spirit,” 208. “Experience of the Spirit in the sense meant here as such occurs always and everywhere in the life of someone who has awakened to personal self-possession and to the act of freedom in which one disposes of oneself as a whole. But in most cases in human life this does not come about expressly in meditation, in experiences of absorption, etc., but in the material of normal life: that is, when responsibility, fidelity, love, etc., are realized absolutely” (207). 28 Rahner’s discussion of ‘existential commitment’ in terms of a ‘choice’ which necessitates a ‘discernment of spirits’ is deeply influenced by the Spiritual

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a meditation on Pentecost, he claimed that the irrevocable and triumphant presence of the Spirit compels the human person “to an ultimate decision,” the radical character of which recurs “again and again in Scripture.”29 Further, on his understanding of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola – which reflect a unity of spiritual experience and existential decision – Rahner believed that God can communicate his will to a person. In other words, it is possible, through a real guidance by the Holy Spirit, to choose one particular option from a variety of possible, good alternatives. At issue is a discernment of spirits, or of finding the will of God in daily life, which involves more than a mere rational consideration of general moral principles. 2. Charismatic Phenomena Closely associated with the experience of the Spirit are certain phenomena such as speaking in tongues, uttering prophecies, and the experience of radical conversion. Such phenomena, evident in various charismatic movements form part of what has been termed religious enthusiasm, and offer, in Rahner’s view, a real and concrete expression of Christianity.30 His concern is to ascertain under what conditions a charismatic phenomenon may be considered an experience of the Spirit. We have previously noted his reservations towards those ‘100 percent pentecostalists’ who too hastily ascribe such phenomena to a direct and special intervention

Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. For a fuller discussion, see Karl Rahner, “e Logic of Concrete Individual Knowledge in Ignatius Loyola,” in The Dynamic Element in the Church, Quaestiones Disputatae 12 (Freiburg i.Br.: Herder; London: Burns & Oates, 1964), 84-156. 29 Karl Rahner, “e Spirit at Is Over All Life,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. VII: Further Theology of the Spiritual Life, trans. David Bourke (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1971; orig. 1966), 193-201, at 198. 30 We follow here Rahner’s reflections on the subject in “Religious Enthusiasm and the Experience of Grace,” 35-51, and his article “Enthusiasmus,” in Praxis des Glaubens: Geistliches Lesebuch, ed. Karl Lehmann and Albert Raffelt (Zürich: Benziger, 1982), 124-128. e term, enthusiasm, has historically been regarded with suspicion. e term – derived from the late classical Greek enthousiasmos (from entheazein, “to be God-possessed”) – means to be inspired or even possessed by a god or a divine, superhuman power. In a footnote (p. 35), Rahner notes how, in Protestant circles since Luther, the concept has been associated with emotional excess. For a lengthy historical study of enthusiasm, see Ronald Knox, Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 1950). Knox likewise viewed enthusiasm as a kind of religious eccentricity, linking it with fanaticism and an uncontrolled emotionalism.

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of God. And even if Rahner’s preference is not for the extraordinary, but rather for a more ‘sober’ spirituality, it cannot be denied that he had an appreciation for the Charismatic movement as a whole.31 Rahner tried to steer a middle course between two opposing positions. e first discounts expressions of religious enthusiasm from the start, regarding such phenomena (e.g., charismatic enthusiasm) as having nothing to do with Christianity as such, since they are found in various forms in most religions. In the second position, such expressions are recognized as the unadulterated operation of the Holy Spirit. For Rahner, despite the variety of expressions of religious enthusiasm, all these experiences, to the extent that they are genuine, have some generic sense in common, and “this consists in a transcendent experience which touches the centre of the religious subject and in which the subject has an experience of God.”32 However, despite the transcendental experience involved in religious enthusiasm, the ‘categorial’ or concrete element plays a greater role in the objectification of the experience. In fact, phenomena of religious enthusiasm contain ‘categorial’ content of various kinds (which needs to be critically evaluated). But this does not mean that such phenomena cannot enable a person to clearly experience their own transcendence and inner reference to God. His point is that while expressions of religious enthusiasm can be experiences of grace, this is not always the case. Rahner situated religious enthusiasm midway between what he calls mysticism in the strict sense, and the day-to-day awareness of ordinary Christians “who do not encounter with any clarity either the heart of their own subjectivity or God himself in his true self-communication.”33 e spirituality of many Christians is, unfortunately, characterized by the lack of such an authentic experience of God, and they remain stuck at the conceptual level, resting in ‘the expressions of religion’. His understanding of the experience of religious enthusiasm is of course intimately 31 Rahner envisaged two basic types of spirituality in the future. e first type is a “wintry piety” (eine winterliche Frömmigkeit) which, while firmly Christian and sacramental, can identify with the situation of the worried atheist (without itself becoming atheistic). e second type corresponds to the charismatic and enthusiastic movements, whose adherents, at times, claim an almost naive immediacy to God. While Rahner appears rather skeptical about such Pentecostal movements, he does not deny that such movements could represent a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Church. 32 Rahner, “Religious Enthusiasm and the Experience of Grace,” 42. 33 Ibid., 44. “But the day-to-day awareness of the pious Christian rests on these conceptual and propositional expressions; it is dissolved and remains fixed in them; it confuses, in the words of Scripture, the letter with the spirit, the word about God with the Word of God and with God himself.”

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connected with his understanding of grace, the essence of which is not captured in propositional formulae, but in the self-communication of God to the transcendent spirit of the person.34 Rahner’s conviction, therefore, is that genuine experiences of grace do exist, and that they can, in principle, occur in experiences of religious enthusiasm, though they are not limited to these. Further, such experiences must be critically analyzed as to their origin and nature, and their possible consequences and distortions.35 It must be remembered that the ‘categorial’ content of such experiences of enthusiasm are of human origin, and cannot be interpreted simply as divine inspiration. In testing the authenticity of the categorial content of such an experience, he maintained the usual rules for the assessment of theological statements should be applied: conformity to the message of the Gospel, to Scripture, to the faith and mind of the Church, etc.36 His main fear about experiences of religious enthusiasm (e.g. prophecies, private revelations, and visions) was that they could be presented as a short-cut towards holiness at little cost.37 34

For a more recent account of the role and significance of charisms in the life and mission of the Church, focusing on the specific charisms of prophecy, healing, and the discernment of spirits, see “‘Do Not Quench the Spirit’: Charisms in the Life and Mission of the Church. Report of the Sixth Phase of the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue (2011-2015).” Available at: http:// www.stucom.nl/document/0417uk.pdf [accessed March 14, 2021]. 35 Rahner has elsewhere examined the question of criteria for genuine experiences of religious enthusiasm, particularly in relation to visions and prophecies. See Karl Rahner, Visions and Prophecies, Quaestiones Disputatae 10 (Freiburg i.Br.: Herder; London: Burns & Oates, 1963), 76-106. ere he highlights the importance of a correct attitude towards visions and prophecies: “And if a vision (mystical or prophetic) be recognized in itself as genuine, our reaction to it may still be wrong. One may be deaf, or refractory, to the message. Who can deny that most people do not welcome a call to penance or to a devotion that would be salutary for a given time? But the other extreme is also possible, especially among people of a piety too intuitive and unenlightened. Where private revelations (even genuine ones) are abused to gratify a spiritual sensationalism, those revelations are not correctly understood. If we crave prophecies which are so clear and definite that they take from us the burden of responsible decision and loving abandonment to God’s inscrutable Providence, then what we want is sooth-saying and we are no longer capable of interpreting true prophecy aright should such emerge from a real ‘apparition’” (84). 36 “Even saintly people […] can still be subject to error and to the influence of their age; they are not able on their own to clearly distinguish between the leadings of the Holy Spirit and their personal contributions, something only the spirit in the office of the church can do.” Karl Rahner, The Mystical Way in Everyday Life, trans. Annemarie Kidder (New York: Orbis, 2010), 95. 37 “Where the entire spiritual life is reduced to revolving round one revelation (however genuine in itself), whose content, in comparison with the whole

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3. “Do not Stifle the Spirit”: The Charismatic Element in the Church For Rahner, the Church is called to bear witness in history as a ‘Spiritendowed society’ and ecclesiastical office and ministry are charismatic in character. e Church is holy, and the grace of God promised to the Church is more powerful than sin. While aware of the sinful dimension of the Church, Rahner did not believe that office and charism stand against each other in a kind of dialectical relationship. Nor was he advocating the hierarchy as the only vehicle of the Spirit – a ‘false totalitarian view’ that equates office and charisma.38 Instead, he interpreted Paul’s statement (1 ess 5:19) not to block the Spirit as recognition of the permanent validity of the charismatic principle in the Church and an “imperative for our own particular time, disconcerting, accusing, shocking us out of our complacency” and emboldening us to take risks, especially in ecumenical questions.39 In an address at the Austrian ‘Catholic Day’ in Salzburg on June 1, 1962 entitled “Do not Stifle the Spirit” he alluded to the temptation for the individual and for the Church as a whole, including ecclesial authority, to be overly defensive, closed in on itself, and lagging “pitifully behind the times.”40 In short, “the activity of the Spirit […] can never find adequate expression simply in the forms of what we call the Church’s official life, her principles, sacramental system and teaching. ese can never be the sole or exclusive forms in which the Spirit has, so to say, made himself available to the Church.”41 So, while Rahner acknowledges the charism of office, he also calls for recognition of ‘non-institutional charismata’, that is, the recognition “that there are persons in the Church endowed with charismatic gis of the Spirit outside the sacred ministry” through whom Christ is also directing his Church.42 In moving beyond a narrow conception of charism, Rahner refers to Paul’s teaching on the spiritual gis in the Church (1 Cor 12-14; Rom 12:1-8; 16:1; and Eph 4:1-16) – gis bound up not only with ecclesial office but even “the most commonplace service can be wide world of Christian truth by which we should live, is bound to be meagre – we can conclude that even genuine revelations have certainly been misunderstood and misapplied.” Rahner, Visions and Prophecies, 84. 38 Cf. Rahner, The Dynamic Element in the Church, 49. 39 Karl Rahner, “Do not Stifle the Spirit,” in id., Theological Investigations, VII, 72-87, at 81. 40 Ibid., 78. 41 Ibid., 75. 42 Rahner, The Dynamic Element in the Church, 51; see also Karl Rahner, “Paul, Apostle for Today,” in id., Mission and Grace, vol. III, trans. Cecily Hastings (London and Melbourne: Sheed & Ward, 1966), 1-21.

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a charisma of the Spirit.”43 e charismatic element is not restricted to the rare and the extraordinary. Nevertheless, the Spirit can be stifled. We can be afraid of him because he is too incalculable for us: For we always want to know what we are involved in, we want to have the entries in our life’s account clearly before us and to be able to add them up to a figure that we can clearly grasp. We are frightened of experiments whose outcome cannot be clearly foreseen […] We want the Spirit therefore in small doses […].44

Yet, not stifling the Spirit implies having the courage to take risks. It entails moving beyond a childish understanding of obedience towards the established authorities of the Church. In this context, Rahner speaks of “the burden of charisms,” of how individuals who take up their ecclesial responsibilities and exercise their gis “have to endure the sufferings of the charismatic.”45 It entails, further, “the courage to endure the inevitable antagonisms in the Church,”46 recognizing that “one’s own gi is always limited and humbled by another’s gi.”47 Promoting a diversity of gis and opinions in the Church in a spirit of patient tolerance and love is possible because the Church is not a totalitarian organization but an ‘open system’, one whose reference point is not any form of authoritarian papalism but the reign of God.48 It is to move beyond a solely juridical view of Church, beyond the tendency “to understand the Church as a closed and totalitarian system” to recognizing “a certain inalienable pluralism.”49 Gamaliel’s intervention in Acts 5:34ff. does not mean putting the spirit “to the test on the largest possible scale,” but rather “that one must be as tolerant as possible towards a spirit whose origins one cannot yet clearly make out.”50

43

Rahner, The Dynamic Element in the Church, 55. Karl Rahner, The Great Church Year: The Best of Karl Rahner’s Homilies, Sermons, and Meditations, ed. Albert Raffelt and Harvey D. Egan, S.J. (New York: Crossroad, 1993), 217. 45 Rahner, “Do not Stifle the Spirit,” 82. 46 Ibid. 47 Ibid., 77. 48 Cf. Rahner, “Observations on the Factor of the Charismatic in the Church,” 88-94. 49 Ibid., 90 and 92. 50 Rahner, The Dynamic Element in the Church, 80 and 81. Is this way of thinking not very similar to Pope Francis’ emphasis on pastoral discernment or gradualness in pastoral care in Amoris Laetitia, Ch. 8 with its acknowledgement of the complexity of family life, where there are no easy recipes and where new general rules are not the answer? 44

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4. “The Spirit Blows Where It Will” Rahner did not restrict the activity and effects of the Spirit solely to the intra-ecclesial sphere but, starting with God’s universal salvific will (1 Tim 2:4), worked out the implications for a renewed theology of grace using interpersonal categories. His approach would, in turn, influence the emerging theology of religions in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly with his controversial notion of the ‘anonymous Christian’. No longer was grace scarce or seen as exclusively mediated through one religion; on the contrary, no sphere of human life was excluded from the saving presence of God. Such optimism about salvation led him to ask whether Christians could hope that most of humanity will, in fact, attain salvation. Rahner’s work led to a more positive conception of the relationship between Christianity and other religions, paving the way for a Christian vision of a kingdom of grace beyond the Church. It would become an axiom of post-Vatican II Catholic theology that salvation is available to all people of good will (Gaudium et Spes, no. 22). Rahner claimed that when members of other religious traditions accept their transcendental openness to God and practice a radical and selfless love of neighbor, they are living out a form of anonymous Christianity. “ere are supernatural, grace-filled elements in non-Christian religions,” and so “it would be wrong to regard the pagan as someone who has not yet been touched in any way by God’s grace and truth.”51 Not that anonymous Christianity has the final word. Rahner’s theology of nature and grace oscillates between acknowledging an implicit, unthematic and transcendental experience of God and the need for this experience to become more explicit, thematic and historical. ere is explicit as well as anonymous faith. Members of other religious traditions may well live out an implicit or anonymous Christianity, but Rahner insists such implicit faith carries an intrinsic dynamism towards full and explicit realization. Anonymous Christianity is his attempt to portray the tension between the particularity of Christianity on the one hand, and God’s universal salvific will on the other. It is also connected with his ‘searching Christology’: humankind is searching history for a bearer of salvation and a genuine searcher may find what she is seeking in Christ. Rahner’s anthropology, including his analysis of the transcendental orientation of the human person as a questioner, as oriented to mystery,

51 Karl Rahner, “Christianity and the Non-Christian Religions,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. V: Later Writings, trans. Karl-H. Kruger (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966), 115-134, at 121 and 131.

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issues in Christology. God’s universal salvific will has a Christological referent: God’s self-communication to humanity reaches its climax in the event of Jesus Christ, the definitive, irreversible, and eschatological revelation of God. In him, the transcendental openness to God is fully realized. Ultimately, for Rahner, anonymous Christianity remains a partial, unfulfilled reality that requires an explicit Christocentric and ecclesial focus for its completion. Rahner’s theory has been criticized as presumptuous, as a form of Christian imperialism which sees the religious other only as an implicit reflection and lesser version of Christianity rather than as genuinely other. Other religions are viewed as stepping-stones finding their fulfilment in explicit Christianity, while their savior figures only anticipate or point to Christ. Moreover, in positing an underlying sameness to how various religions experience God, Rahner tends to downplay the real differences between the religions. As Francis X. Clooney has noted, Rahner’s consistent attention to the nuances of the Christian tradition is not matched by a similar care for the nuances in other religious traditions.52 Further, von Balthasar and others claim that Rahner is insufficiently Christocentric, thus undermining the newness of the event of Jesus Christ and neglecting the biblical narrative that grounds the specific form of Christian discipleship. On the other hand, pluralists like Paul Knitter argue that Rahner is too Christocentric in stressing the singularity of Jesus to the detriment of other possible incarnations and savior figures.53 In brief, Rahner’s position is ‘inclusivist’ in that all salvation comes through Christ. All people are ‘included’ in Christ’s saving work. Christ’s operative presence is concealed and implicit in non-Christian religions, explicit and conscious in Christianity. His starting with God’s universal salvific will means he acknowledges a saving function to pre-Christian and non-Christian religions, while highlighting the significance of moving from an anonymous or transcendental experience of grace to a more explicit interpretation and appropriation in the context of Christian faith. Yet what is less clear is the connection between his Christology and pneumatology. In conceding that “Christ is present and efficacious in the

52 Cf. Francis X. Clooney, “Rahner beyond Rahner: A Comparative eologian’s Reflections on Theological Investigations 18,” in Rahner beyond Rahner: A Great Theologian Encounters the Pacific Rim, ed. Paul G. Crowley (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), 3-21, at 8. 53 Cf. Paul F. Knitter, Jesus and the Other Names: Christian Mission and Global Responsibility (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996), 79.

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non-Christian believer through his Spirit,”54 he is implying that the Spirit cannot be confined to Christianity. His is an attempt to combine the axioms of God’s universal salvific will and the necessary mediation of Christ, while remaining conscious of Eastern criticisms of the ‘Christomonism’ of the West. Contemporary theologians, including Jacques Dupuis and Gavin D’Costa, taking their cue from Rahner, Congar and others, develop a theology of religions with a greater insistence on the role of the Spirit in the economy of salvation. For Dupuis, Christology and pneumatology go hand in hand as complementary elements within the one economy of salvation. He affirms the unbounded influence of the Spirit, who “blows where it will” (Jn 3:8), while relating the Spirit’s presence and action to Christ. “e Spirit of God is, at one and the same time the Spirit of Christ, communicated by him by virtue of his resurrection from the dead. e cosmic influence of the Spirit cannot be severed from the universal action of the risen Christ.”55 Yet just as the work of the Spirit in history did not begin with, nor is it limited to being given by, the risen Christ, neither is the Logos of God limited by its historical becoming in Christ. e Word made flesh in Jesus is not the only form of God’s appearance in the world. e hypostatic identities of, and order of relationships between, the Son and Spirit within the immanent Trinity must be respected, and are mirrored in their distinct but related ‘missions’ in the economy. It is through the Spirit and the Son that the Father is disclosed.56 Like Dupuis, D’Costa affirms God’s Trinitarian presence in other religions. In his opinion, we risk limiting or domesticating the Spirit if we refuse to recognize her presence and activity in other faiths or give nonChristians a narrative space within our theology. ere may not only be ‘seeds of the Word’ in these religions, but shoots and branches as well. ere is an eschatological surplus to God’s self-revelation in Christ. As he puts it, “the Holy Spirit allows the particularity of Christ to be related to the universal activity of God in human history.”57 e Spirit deepens 54

Karl Rahner, “Jesus Christ in the Non-Christian Religions,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XVII: Jesus, Man, and the Church, trans. Margaret Kohl (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1981), 39-50, at 43. 55 Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1997), 197. 56 Cf. Gavin D’Costa, “Christ, the Trinity, and Religious Plurality,” in Christian Uniqueness Reconsidered: The Myth of a Pluralistic Theology, ed. Gavin D’Costa (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1990), 16-29, at 18. 57 Ibid., 18; see also Gavin D’Costa, “Toward a Trinitarian eology of Religions,” in A Universal Faith? Peoples, Cultures, Religions, and the Christ,

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and universalizes our understanding of God’s work in Christ. His point is not simply that God speaks outside Christianity, but that through recognizing God’s Spirit at work in other faiths, Christians penetrate more deeply into the mystery of Christ. Such committed openness will not eschew the complex issue of interpretation and assessment of a particular religion. e plurality of religions calls for a plurality of responses, yet these should always be a posteriori judgements resulting from specific encounters with other faiths. One cannot determine in advance what one will learn from engagement and dialogue. Finally, D’Costa not only connects the Spirit with Christ, but also with the Church. His historical study of the traditional axiom extra ecclesiam nulla salus has shown how this was not intended to be applied indiscriminately to non-Christians but reflects an intra-Christian claim that salvation comes through Christ and his Church.58 5. Conclusion: Spirit Christology beyond Rahner In the previous section we saw how theologians developed seminal insights of Rahner in the context of religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue. Similar developments have occurred in pneumatology, beyond Rahner, and we will conclude by highlighting some of these. In his critique of the Scholastic trinitarian tradition, which claimed that any of the divine persons could become incarnate, Rahner points to the “very special differentiation of persons” in the Trinity and how each of the divine persons communicates himself to humanity in his own particular manner. e Son is the historical self-communication of the Father (incarnation) while the Spirit brings about the acceptance of this self-communication (sanctification). Rahner’s trinitarian theology begins in the economy, and the Word or Logos “is really as he appears in revelation […] the one who reveals to us […] the triune God.”59 e immanent and the economic Logos are the same. Yet Rahner does not pursue a similar line of enquiry about the Spirit. While acknowledging that “the difference between the incarnation and

ed. Catherine Cornille and Valeer Neckebrouck (Louvain: Peeters, 1992), 139154, at 150. 58 Cf. Gavin D’Costa, The Meeting of Religions and the Trinity (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000), 101-132. 59 Rahner, The Trinity, 28 and 30. As he puts it, “What Jesus is and does as man reveals the Logos himself […] here the Logos with God and the Logos with us, the immanent and the economic Logos, are strictly the same” (33).

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the descent of the Spirit, insofar as both of them are soteriological realities, is not clear,” he does not address the specific manner in which the Holy Spirit is a person or the full implications of the claim that the Spirit also has a proper mission.60 It was Ralph Del Colle who, building on the work of David Coffey, developed a Spirit Christology as a way of completing and enriching traditional Logos Christology. “It seeks to understand both ‘who Christ is’ and ‘what Christ has done’ from the perspective of the third article of the creed: ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life’.”61 is means clearly distinguishing, but not separating, the christological and the pneumatological missions. Spirit Christology shows how the mission of the Holy Spirit informs and enables the mission of the Son and how “every aspect of the mystery and work of Jesus Christ is a work of the Holy Spirit.”62 John’s Gospel captures this Spirit-endowed life and ministry of Jesus as the one “who gives the Spirit without measure” (Jn 3:34). In short, Spirit Christology argues for a proper mission of the Holy Spirit and conceives the union between Jesus and God in the first instance as the work of the Holy Spirit. e humanity of Jesus is anointed, transformed, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the whole life of Jesus from conception to death and resurrection is perceived as taking place in the power of the Spirit. Jesus’ life is portrayed as a ‘return’ in the Spirit to the Father.63 is ‘return’ model of trinitarian relations is a complement and corrective to the ‘procession’ model in that, while the latter is concerned with the outward movement from God – Jesus is sent by the Father, the former focuses on his return to the Father and his being united with Him. Here the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and the Son. Humanity too is included in this return to the Father: the Spirit unites us to Christ and thus to the Father. Spirit Christology, therefore, recognizes the role of the Holy Spirit in the incarnation rather than only aer it. Christology and pneumatology are simultaneous rather than successive phases of God’s relationship

60

Rahner, The Trinity, 85. Ralph Del Colle, Christ and the Spirit: Spirit-Christology in Trinitarian Perspective (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 3. 62 Ralph Del Colle, “Spirit Christology: Dogmatic Issues,” in A Man of the Church: Honoring the Theology, Life, and Witness of Ralph Del Colle, ed. Michel René Barnes (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2012), 3-19, at 7. 63 Cf. David Coffey, Deus Trinitas: The Doctrine of the Triune God (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 35-45. 61

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with the world.64 As Yves Congar pithily put it: “No Christology without pneumatology and no pneumatology without Christology,” while the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, “in their joint mission, the Son and Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable.”65 Pneumatology is not simply immanent Christology. For his part, Del Colle maintains that ‘impersonal metaphors’ to describe the Spirit (e.g. wind, fire, water, etc.) and ‘the personal agency of the Spirit’ are key components of any robust pneumatology.66 e Spirit is more than a metaphor for God’s action; the Spiritus praesens is “the giving gi of God,” or, what Del Colle describes as, “the donative and presentative dimensions of divine being.”67 e sending of the Spirit, therefore, entails a real self-communication or selfgiving of God, and here again we find echoes of Rahner’s theology of grace. e distinct mission of the Holy Spirit is to ‘indwell’ the just person and the Church. Del Colle speaks of an “enhypostasis or being inpersoned by the Holy Spirit […] [which] is processively enacted as we attentively live in the Spirit.”68 is reflects the self-effacing personhood of the Spirit who “will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears [from the Father]” (Jn 16:13). Both Christ and the Spirit refer in different ways to the Father. Spirit Christology complements but does not displace Logos Christology: “Pneumatology is the means whereby we apprehend the person and work of Christ, and Christology is the means whereby we apprehend the person and work of the Spirit.”69

64

Cf. John Zizioulas, “e Pneumatological Dimension of the Church,” in The One and the Many: Studies on God, Man, the Church, and the World Today, ed. Gregory Edwards (Alhambra, CA: Sebastian Press, 2010), 75-90, at 76. 65 Yves Congar, The Word and the Spirit (London: Chapman, 1995), 1; see also Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York: Doubleday, 1995), 198. 66 Cf. Ralph Del Colle, “e Holy Spirit: Presence, Power, Person,” Theological Studies 62 (2001): 322-340, at 323. 67 Ibid., following omas Smail, The Giving Gift: The Holy Spirit in Person (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1988). 68 Ibid., 338. 69 Andrew Grosso, “Spirit-Christology and the Shape of the eological Enterprise,” in A Man of the Church: Honoring the Theology, Life, and Witness of Ralph Del Colle, 206-222, at 218.

13 Theological Theology and the Quest for Salvation Soteriological Reflections on a Theology of Non-Christian Religions Kristof Struys

I would like to begin my contribution to this Festschrift by returning to the 90s of the past century, during which I attended the then Faculteit Godgeleerdheid of our Louvain Alma Mater. I remember being intrigued by the lectures on the Theology of Non-Christian Religions. Both the subject matter and the didactic concept fascinated me, and this was largely due to the person and theologian, Terrence Merrigan. As the then senior lecturer of the aforementioned subject, as well as of the discipline Dogmatic Theology: Christology and Trinity, he captivated generations of students with his masterful and inspiring lectures, during which he oen focused on the question of salvation. As a PhD fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO) during my doctoral research into the theology of Walter Kasper, Terrence Merrigan proved to be a much-valued promoter. e following contribution is the expression of my deep gratitude and sincere friendship to my former professor and current colleague, Terrence Merrigan. ematically, many of his publications balance on the lines between Christology, trinitarian theology, and soteriology. In my contribution, I will offer a theological reflection on the issue of salvation. 1. Pluralist Theologies of Religions – Epistemology and Criteriology 1. Kantian ‘Phenomenon’ A Christian theology of non-Christian religions offers a response to one of the signs of our times, mainly with regard to the postmodern pluralization and its request to re-legitimize the traditional postulate of unity along new lines. e theology of non-Christian religions considers this issue from its very own Christian theological perspective. is postmodern pluralist tendency, which to a certain extent distances itself from the

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classic principle of unity, urges Walter Kasper to theologically reflect on the question of a balanced ratio between unity and plurality, as can be found in trinitarian theology. Another characteristic of post-modernity is the nihilistic tendency which leads to the abandonment and the deconstruction of the great historical narratives with their ultimate (salvific) finality, as can be found in Christology, more specifically in Christian eschatology. A short analysis of a few current implications of what is considered post-modernity brings us to the question of the precondition for an operative soteriology or doctrine of salvation. e postmodern focus is not so much on the tolerance of plurality, but rather a considered choice in favor of pluralism – a ‘new quality of pluralism’, which is irreconcilable with universal and absolute norms and values, as well as with a salvific universality.1 e challenge faced by Christianity is twofold: on the one hand, the aspect of her universality, and particularly the universal salvific mission of the Church, following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ; on the other hand, the aspect of her unicity: Jesus Christ as the one and only Mediator of salvation between God and the human being.2 e pluralist theologies of religion, as developed by thinkers such as John Hick, Paul Knitter, and Raimon Panikkar, take a critical view of the Christian divine revelation and its accompanying idea of salvation.3 Hick bases his philosophical-epistemological thinking, among other things, 1

Cf. Walter Kasper, “Jesus Christus – Gottes endgültiges Wort,” Internationale Katholische Zeitschrift Communio 30 (2001): 19-20: pluralism in itself is not new. Modernity as such can count as an experience of pluralism, especially when modernity is considered a process in which the different realms of reality discover their own autonomy and in which religion becomes its own separate realm within a larger plurality. Kasper refers to this modern process of ‘Differenzierung’ as pluralization. e previous postulate of unity or the unifying function must then be re-examined and re-assessed: Walter Kasper, “Die Kirche angesichts der Herausforderung der Postmoderne,” Stimmen der Zeit 215 (1997): 250-253; id., “Kirche und neuzeitliche Freiheitsprozesse,” in Walter Kasper, Theologie und Kirche II (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1999), 213-228, at 225. A new factor, however, is the ‘quality of pluralism’ as experienced in the global village, which is the world today: cf. id., “‘Qui pourra nous séparer de l’amour du Christ? Ni mort ni vie…’ (Rm 8,35.38),” in Walter Kasper, L’espérance est possible (Paris: Parole et Silence, 2002), 116; id., The Church and Contemporary Pluralism (New York: National Pastoral Life Center, 2002), 5ff. 2 Cf. Kasper, The Church and Contemporary Pluralism, 14-16. 3 Cf. Walter Kasper, “L’universalité du Christ et le dialogue interreligieux: Conférence de Mgr. Walter Kasper au Congrès missiologique international,” La documentation catholique 8 (2001): 367-372. Cf. Kasper, Jesus Christus – Gottes endgültiges Wort, 20. Cf. id., The Church and Contemporary Pluralism, 12ff.

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on the Kantian separation or distinction between noumenon and phenomenon.4 According to Kant, only the phenomenal aspect of things (the thing as it appears to us) is knowable, unlike the noumenal aspect (the thing in itself) which cannot be known. e noumenon can never be known in itself, but only insofar as the phenomenon appears to us. Moreover, Hick does not consider the phenomenon to be truly the noumenon.5 Furthermore Hick adheres to the philosophy of the so-called ‘weak thought’ (G. Vattimo),6 which, according to Kasper, entails relativizing and dismissing the question of truth, as well as any form of metaphysics. e search for truth risks being relegated into mere hermeneutics.7 2. Hegelian ‘Geschichte’ As a theologian with a thorough understanding of German idealism and post-idealism, Kasper interprets the emergence of pluralist theologies of religion against the backdrop of this German idealism, especially that of Hegel (who himself reacted against the ‘aufklärerische Relativierung’).8 Hegel views the historical process (the Kantian phenomenon) as the process of God himself (the Kantian noumenon). e historical manifestations of God ultimately coincide with the Divine gradually becoming himself. History is identical to the process of the logos. God risks being reduced to history, contained by an understanding of history and by history itself. Nowadays idealistic thinking is sometimes regarded as 4 Cf. Kasper, “Die Kirche angesichts der Herausforderung der Postmoderne,” 254. Id., The Church and Contemporary Pluralism, 12ff. Cf. John Hick, “Eine Philosophie des religiösen Pluralismus,” Münchener Theologische Zeitschrift 45 (1994): 314-316. Cf. Perry Schmidt-Leukel, “Religiöse Vielfalt als theologisches Problem: Optionen und Chancen der pluralistischen Religionstheologie John Hicks,” in Christus allein? Der Streit um die pluralistische Religionstheologie, ed. Raymund Schwager, Quaestiones Disputatae 160 (Freiburg i.Br., Basel, and Vienna: Herder, 1996), 29-31. 5 Cf. Keith Ward, “Divine Ineffability,” in God, Truth and Reality: Essays in Honour of John Hick, ed. Arvind Sharma (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993), 210-220, at 216ff. Cf. Schmidt-Leukel, “Religiöse Vielfalt als theologisches Problem,” 30-31. 6 Such thinking distances itself from any form of metaphysics and reduces the question of truth to mere hermeneutics: cf. Kasper, The Church and Contemporary Pluralism, 12. Cf. id., “Die Kirche angesichts der Herausforderung der Postmoderne,” 260-261. 7 Cf. Walter Kasper, “‘Interventionen’ des Lehramtes im Bereich der Philosophie: Kommentar zur Enzyklika Papst Johannes Paulus II. ‘Fides et Ratio’,” in Osservatore Romano, December 11, 1998, 5. 8 Cf. Kasper, “L’universalité du Christ et le dialogue interreligieux,” 370.

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responsible for totalitarian ideologies. Hegel’s thinking is criticized as being “Eurocentric, imperialist and totalitarian,” without valorizing the intrinsic plurality of reality.9 e pluralist theology of religions and its plea for the right of existence of plurality should therefore be seen against the backdrop of the aforementioned idealism with its inherent totalitarianism refusing to acknowledge the historical plurality of reality. e adherents of pluralist theologies of religions see this as a form of inclusivism that fails to take into account the plurality and alterity of other religions, reducing them in a rather discreetly imperialist manner to anonymous variants of their own identity, namely to anonymous Christian religions.10 Although someone like Kasper will, for example, not theologically identify himself unquestioningly with Rahnerian inclusivism and its anonymous Christianity,11 which according to him does at times show blatant idealistic tendencies,12 he still proceeds to criticize the aforementioned pluralistic take on inclusivism as being “a weighty and dangerous step that far outreaches the inclusivist perspective and as such bypasses it completely.”13 3. Ethical-practical Criteriology According to pluralist theologies of religions, interreligious dialogue can only be considered truly authentic and valuable when the claims to truth 9

Cf. Kasper, “L’universalité du Christ et le dialogue interreligieux,” 370 (own translation). 10 Cf. ibid., 373. Cf. Kasper, “Qui pourra nous séparer de l’amour du Christ?,” 116: the pluralist theologies of religion “voient […] dans les théories inclusivistes un absolutisme et un totalitarisme chrétiens à l’œuvre auxquels elles opposent leur vision du pluralisme religieux.” 11 Cf. Walter Kasper, “Are Non-Christian Religions Salvific,” in Evangelization, Dialogue and Development, ed. Mariasusai Dhavamony, Documenta Missionalia 5 (Rome: Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, 1972), 157-158, at 161. 12 Cf. Walter Kasper, Jesus der Christus (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1974), 60. Cf. id., “Christologie von unten? Kritik und Neuansatz gegenwärtiger Christologie,” in Grundfragen der Christologie heute, ed. Leo Scheffczyk, Quaestiones Disputatae 72 (Freiburg i.Br., Basel, and Vienna: Herder, 1975), 141-170, at 156; id., “Wer ist Jesus Christus für uns heute? Zur gegenwärtigen Diskussion um die Gottessohnscha Jesu: Karl Rahner zum 70. Geburtstag,” Theologische Quartalschrift 154 (1974): 203-222, at 208. Cf. id., “Offenbarung Gottes in der Geschichte: Gotteswort im Menschenwort,” in Handbuch der Verkündigung, ed. Bruno Dreher, Norbert Greinacher, and Ferdinand Klostermann (Freiburg i.Br., Basel, and Vienna: Herder, 1970), 78: Kasper considers what he calls a ‘Metaphysizierung’ of the Christian position, whereby the specificity of other religions is domesticated, a very real danger. 13 Kasper, “Qui pourra nous séparer de l’amour du Christ?,” 116.

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of the various religions are able to coexist undifferentiatedly. According to these theologies, the unique divine mystery manifests itself in all religions, be it in a distinct manner, precluding any religion’s claim to universality. However, this does not imply that they consider all religions to be equal: the criteriology for evaluating a religion is not so much of a cognitive nature, but rather belongs to the realm of practical ethics.14 According to Kasper suchlike criteriology falls short theologically: at best, it can evaluate the humanistic gradation and primacy (Höchstgeltung) of a religion, but by no means it can assess its theological unicity (Alleingeltung).15 2. Theological Question of Truth 1. Condition of Possibility for Salvation According to Kasper, a criterion of practical ethics can only be meaningful on the condition that it is supported and fueled by a presupposed qualitative theoretical, cognitive criterion.16 A meaningful practice or ethics of the ‘humanum’ presupposes a qualitative vision of it. e ultimate question of truth belongs to theology, including theology of religions and interreligious dialogue. Failure to answer this question will come at a price. According to Kasper, the question of truth, which relates to the question of salvation, can never be disregarded, even within the scope of interreligious dialogue: “erefore an encounter between religions must essentially always include the specific theological question of the true religion.”17

14

Cf. Kasper, The Church and Contemporary Pluralism, 14. Cf. id., “L’universalité du Christ et le dialogue interreligieux,” 374: John Hick uses the process of self-centeredness to reality-centeredness as his criterion. According to Hick, ‘Reality’ or ‘the Real’ indicates the transcendent reality of the Divine. Cf. Hick, “Eine Philosophie des religiösen Pluralismus,” 305 and 307. 15 Cf. Kasper, Jesus Christus – Gottes endgültiges Wort, 22. 16 Cf. Kasper, The Church and Contemporary Pluralism, 13ff. Cf. id., Jesus Christus – Gottes endgültiges Wort, 22: According to Kasper ‘being’ (indicative) philosophically takes precedence over ‘doing’ (imperative): cf. id., “Zustimmung zum Denken: Von der Unerläβlichkeit der Metaphysik für die Sache der eologie,” in Kasper, Theologie und Kirche II, 15. 17 Walter Kasper, “Das Christentum im Gespräch mit den Religionen,” in Dialog aus der Mitte christlicher Theologie, ed. Andreas Bsteh, Beiträge zur Religionstheologie 5 (Mödling: Verlag St. Gabriel, 1987), 105-130, at 108: “Deshalb muβ die Begegnung der Religionen von der Sache her notwendig auch die spezifisch theologische Frage nach der wahren Religion einschlieβen.”

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e theological question of truth is by its very nature a question of salvation: as a transcendental question, it is primarily aimed at the condition of possibility for salvation, as well as at its unicity and criterion. Only then can it proceed, in second instance, to the question of praxis and ethics. Terrence Merrigan writes along the same lines: “e pluralistic orientation towards a praxis aimed at the all-encompassing salvation and deliverance, will fail to impress. A theology that does not account for divergent visions typical to the world religions, reduces the ‘sôtèria’ to an empty concept, a formal category with no positive or liberating power whatsoever.”18 According to Merrigan, a dynamic re-examination of the doctrine of incarnation will offer a satisfactory answer to the “legitimate demand of post-modernity to honor the modern historic consciousness, the increasing cultural and religious pluralism and the universal longing for salvation.”19 Merrigan is not necessarily referring to the classic incarnation terminology, but rather to what John Henry Newman refers to as the idea or image of Christ, which is substantively determined by the history of Jesus of Nazareth who, in accordance with the New Testament writings, is as the Christ of divine salvation for all of mankind. He also describes the ‘radicalization’ of the doctrine of incarnation, especially “with regard to a (mainly suffering) mankind and its history in God’s salvific plan.”20 2. Humanist Atheism Called into Question In humanist atheism, the salvation of humankind is only conceivable on the condition and to the extent that every notion of a transcendent deity is silenced and denied in its reality. A full and salvific human existence is inversely proportionate to the existence of the Divine. In humanist atheism, the relation between God and man is an exclusive relation: the one necessarily excludes the other. Cultural and ideological critique teach us that the transcendental question regarding the conditions of possibility for human salvation are more complex than rabid humanist atheism has led us to believe. Dominant atheist ideologies from the

18

For what is to follow, cf. Terrence Merrigan, “De geschiedenis van Jezus in haar actuele betekenis: De uitdaging van het pluralisme,” Tijdschrift voor Theologie 34 (1994): 407-429, at 408 and 427-429. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. Reference to Edward Schillebeeckx, “Identiteit, eigenheid en universaliteit van Gods heil in Jezus,” Tijdschrift voor Theologie 30 (1990): 259-275, at 260-261 (my translation).

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twentieth century have demonstrated that they can hardly be considered the guarantors of authentic humanity and human salvation. On the other hand, the axiom of humanist atheism cannot be disproved by its mere reversal, as this would imply that the formal acceptance of a transcendent deity would provide an answer to the preconditions of salvation. History has shown that human salvation and humanity are not necessarily guaranteed under the banner of a divine transcendence. A mere formal and undifferentiated reversal is, in itself, inadequate – it does not take into account the substantive consideration and qualification of what is meant by salvation and deliverance. erefore, the crucial question is an integral one, both formal and substantive, taking into account that the formal acceptance of a divine transcendence is the condition of possibility for the deliverance of the human being. Indeed, without the acceptance of a divine transcendence, which cannot be reduced to innerworldly immanence, the human person will be tempted to take the place of the deity and to give in to hubris ultimately leading to disaster and inhumanity. History has shown that whoever pushes God off his throne, will most likely succumb to the temptation to ascend the throne themself and, true to human nature (and its inherent sinfulness), will bestow divine power and authority on themself. is raises the issue of a substantive criterion for discernment. e formal argument in which the acceptance of transcendence is a prerequisite to the question of human salvation, will also lead to the recognition that this transcendence facilitates authentic deliverance and true salvation by virtue of its substantive qualification. 3. The Integral Question of Salvation in Protology and Christology In theology, the question of salvation is an integral one: it is situated in the realm of both the doctrine of creation or protology and Christology. In the doctrine of creation, it is the acknowledgement of the transcendence of God (Creator) as prerequisite to the potential of the freedom of the human being (creature) and, therefore, the formal reversal of the humanist atheist axiom. In Christology, it is the acknowledgement of the unique incarnation of God’s Word in and through the event of Jesus Christ as an eschatological salvific event: it is what Merrigan calls the ‘idea of Christ’ as substantive qualification of this God-idea and as prerequisite for an integral promotio humana. In the New Testament, the God-event reveals itself as a trinitarian monotheism, manifesting itself within history in the Christ-event as an incarnation-event, with an intrinsic realization of human salvation and humanity. e remaining

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part of this article will be a reflection on the Christ-event as a prerequisite to the safeguarding of divine transcendence on the one hand and, by extension, to the safeguarding of human salvation on the other hand.21 1. The Creation Axiom – the Secret of True Humanity e Book of Genesis tells us of a God who, as Creator, creates man in His own “image and likeness” (Gen 1:27).22 e act of creation reveals a God who is Creator on the one hand and a human person who is creation on the other hand, brought forth by the Creator but not identical to the Creator. e word ‘creation’ as such suggests both unity and differentiation between Creator and creation. It suggests reciprocity and connectedness, but not a substantial identity, as can be found in the doctrine of emanation. In the human person created aer His ‘image and likeness’, God finds a creation with whom He, as Creator, can enter into a relationship. And, in turn, in God as his primal image or his original, the human being finds a Creator with whom a relationship is possible. When the human being recognizes his/her unicity, i.e. his/her creational identity, he/she has implicitly acknowledged the Creator as a transcendent reality with whom he/she is connected, but to whom he/she is not identical. And in turn, the acknowledgement of the transcendent Creator is the formal prerequisite for the human person to acknowledge his/her own deepest being: creature and not Creator, human being and not God. Kasper views the formal relationship between Creator and creature as a reciprocal proportionality: unity with God as Creator does not devalue the human person (as a creature) with regard to his/her unicity but rather values the creature in its deepest being, namely as creature-human person and not Creator-God. Herein lies the theological formal argument that the acceptance of a transcendent God as Creator does not devalue but rather values the human person as human person. e creation axiom states: “e radical dependence and true reality of those dependent on God increase in equal measure and not inversely.”23 e human 21 Walter Kasper, “Natur – Gnade – Kultur: Bedeutung der modernen Säkularisierung,” in Kasper, Theologie und Kirche II, 202. Cf. id., “Kirche und neuzeitliche Freiheit: Evangelium und Menschenrechte als Basis eines geeinten Europa” (September 1998); http://www.kirchen.de/drs/bischof/199809.htm. 22 ‘Man’ is intentionally used in its inclusive meaning. 23 Walter Kasper, “Autonomie und eonomie: Zur Ortbestimmung des Christentums in der modernen Welt,” in id., Theologie und Kirche I (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1987), 153: “Radikale Abhängigkeit und echte Wirklichkeit des von Gott herkünig Seienden wachsen im gleichen und nicht

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being as creation will therefore become more ‘real’ or more himself/herself as he/she increasingly relates to his/her divine Creator in dependence. e opposite is represented in the story of the fall of the human being. When the human person fails to recognize his/her unicity as a creature, his/her ‘likeness’ to God, and considers himself/herself ‘equal’ to God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, death appears and freedom and salvation cease to exist (Genesis 3). is relates to two distinct entities of one and the same relational context: in other words, Creator and creature are inconfused (they exist in their distinct unicity) and indivisible (they exist in one indivisible relational context). True freedom or transcendence of God and the recognition thereof, is the conditio sine qua non for the proportional recognition and validation of the human being’s freedom and transcendence. e formal logic of the biblical creation narrative presupposes that only God as true God can render the human being a true human being and elevate him/her in his/her unicity. ‘e greater the unity with God, the greater and more fulfilling the freedom of man’.24 e true freedom or the true salvation of the human person (autonomy) therefore is formally guaranteed to the proportional extent in which the human person relates to God as God (theonomy). Without this last premise, the attainability of authentic humanity and authentic human salvation remains far off. e formal logic of the biblical creation axiom engenders the reversal of the logic of modern humanist atheism.25 God as God is the prerequisite condition for true freedom: a freedom set free, i.e. salvation of mankind. 2. Christology – Jesus’ Salvific Humanity e revelation of the fullness of God in Jesus Christ constitutes the basic and challenging conviction of Christianity – God linked mankind’s freedom and salvation to a specific historical person. Christianity’s heart is at the same time its skandalon. e aforementioned terms ‘inconfusedly’ and ‘indivisibly’ are two of the four adverbs used by the christological creed of the Council of Chalcedon (451) to denote the particular relation im umgekehrten Maβe.” Id., “eologische Bestimmung der Menschenrechte im neuzeitlichen Bewuβtsein von Freiheit und Geschichte,” in Kasper, Theologie und Kirche I, 180. 24 Walter Kasper Der Gott Jesu Christi (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 2 1993), 66: “Je gröβere Einheit mit Gott bedeutet je gröβere und je erfülltere Freiheit des Menschen.” 25 Walter Kasper, Der Gott Jesu Christi (Mainz: Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag, 1982), 66.

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between the divinity and humanity in the person Jesus Christ.26 e formal logic of the biblical creation narrative is therefore significant for later christological and trinitarian thinking, from which it derives its salvific criterion. Parallel to the formal proportional relation between unity (indivisibly) and distinctiveness (inconfusedly) of the Creator and the creature in the creation axiom, is the relation between the divinity and humanity in the person Jesus Christ. Not only does Jesus reveal who God is, He also reveals the human person at his/her very best. e pastoral constitution Gaudium et Spes (GS 22) states: e truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. […] Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. […] He Who is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15), is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam, He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since the human nature He assumed was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too.27

As the Word of God, according to Gaudium et Spes, He assumed human nature ‘without annulling it’, but by raising it up to ‘a divine dignity’ and truth. e key to a truthful understanding of Jesus’ true humanity, is His intimate union with God whom He refers to as His beloved ‘Abba’. Herein implicitly lies His unique indirect claim to being the Son of the Father. His deep love for His Father is an indication of His own selfconsciousness as the Son of that Father (implicit Christology). His unity (indivisibly) and His autonomous distinctness as true man (inconfusedly) are also proportionally related. What has been revealed in the man Jesus, is an incomparable degree of philanthropy and humanity. e New Testament testimonies demonstrate beyond a doubt that the secret to this humanity is God the Father Himself through His Spirit. e secret therefore is not primarily

26 Heinrich Denzinger and Adolfus Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum: Definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum (Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 321963), 108. e Latin version reads as follows: “Unum eundemque Christum Filium Dominum unigenitum, in duabus naturis inconfuse […] inseparabiliter.” 27 Gaudium et Spes. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World: https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html.

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anthropological, but rather theological as it proceeds both in and from God. Precisely because of Jesus’ incomparable intimacy towards God the Father, his approach to life will be incomparably human.28

4. Soteriology – Theonomy and Autonomy rough Jesus Christ, the human person once again becomes aware of his/her original calling to live in the image of his/her invisible Creator. In Christ, he/she can take part in the divine life in a ‘sublime’ way, which is the prerequisite for his own freedom and salvation: through Christ, the human being was “set free for freedom” (Gal 5:1). True humanity, as in ‘freedom set free’, appears in Christ, who is Man above all men and the Son of God. is clearly reveals a connection between the theological anthropology, as found in the Old Testament (the story of creation in Genesis) and the christological anthropology of the New Testament. e former formally indicates a proportional relation between the creatureman and the Creator-God. e latter indicates a parallel relation between the divinity and the humanity in Jesus Christ, including the eschatological criterion of salvation and freedom. 1. The Salvific Prerequisite of Jesus’ Humanity and Divinity e earliest Christologies already were primarily soteriologically motivated – the concrete experience of salvation (sotêria) in and through Him was the foundation for a christological creed.29 e ontological Christology of Chalcedon also has a primarily soteriological motivation to proclaim both the true humanity as well as the true divinity of Jesus in the reciprocal relation. “e doctrine of the enhypostasis of Christ’s humanity does not indicate a loss, but rather an ultimate fullness of the humanity of Jesus. e highest form of union with God does not amputate or reduce humanity, on the contrary, it brings it to its true and complete

28 Kristof Struys, “De trinitair-christologische paradox: Een ‘hemel’ van ‘verschil’. Over menselijk heil en de drie-ene God in Christus,” in Wijselijk onwetend: De paradox in het christelijk geloof, ed. Bert Daelemans and Christophe Brabant (Averbode: Altiora, 2014), 57. 29 Luther’s question: “is He God’s Son because He saves us or does He save us because He is God’s Son” indicates he wishes to exclusively defend a functional Christology counterposed to an ontological Christology. We consider the question to be legitimate in both directions and therefore to be considered as inclusive.

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fulfilment.”30 e doctrine of hypostatic union herewith confirms the fullness of both natures in their mutual relation as a theological – existing in God – prerequisite for human salvation. e first premise of the New Testament is that Jesus was a true human person.31 During their encounters with Him, the disciples experienced an extra-ordinary salvific experience – an experience ultimately reaching its culmination in the crucifixion and resurrection. It led them to the conviction that He was the Messiah, the Son of the living God in whom the eschatological salvation of mankind and the world would be decided. is conviction from the bottom up prompted the Early Church, soteriologically motivated, to proclaim Jesus’ divine and human identity – in which both aspects in their inconfused and distinct reciprocity are salvific prerequisites. 2. Deification – Salvation Through God’s Humanization in Jesus In the God-Man Jesus Christ, God enters into an ‘admirable exchange’32 with humankind: the Word of God becomes human in Jesus, opening up a viable path for humankind – a path of true humanity – to share in the Divine. Sharing in the Divine is the path of deification as the road to salvation. e genuine and true humanity of Jesus – inextricably bound to and existing only by grace of the union with the Divine – is therefore a salvific prerequisite for the human being.33 e fundamental secret of Jesus’ full and true humanity (a salvific prerequisite) is His intimate union with His God and Father. Based on the previous premises and reflections, one can theologically state that humankind’s ultimate salvific guarantee lies in He who is God and to whom John refers as Love (1 Jn 4:8). God’s love reveals itself and is realized in truth and in fullness in the human person of Jesus. In Him

30 Walter Kasper, “‘Einer aus der Trinität…’: Zur Neubegründung einer spirituellen Christologie in trinitätstheologischer Perspektive,” in id., Theologie und Kirche I, 225-226: “die Lehre von der Enhypostasie der Menschheit Christi bedeutet keinen Mangel, sondern eine letzte Vollkommenheit der Menschheit Jesu. Die höchstmögliche Einheit mit Gott amputiert und reduziert nicht das Menschsein, sondern bringt es zu seiner wahren und ganzen Erfüllung.” 31 Cf. Terrence Merrigan and Kristof Struys, eds., Verleden openen naar heden en toekomst: Meedenken met de christologie van Piet Schoonenberg (Averbode: Altiora, 2001), 126. 32 O admirabile commercium – Laudes antiphon octave of Christmas. 33 Quod non assumptum est, non redemptum est: Gregory of Nazianzus (ca. 329-390).

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and through Him, the time has come for men and women (kairos – Mk 1:15) to share in God’s love which is salvation and redemption, along the path of humanity. Naturally this route of deification cannot be separated from the horizon of the freedom of history, which includes the ethos and praxis of the human person. 3. Theological-soteriological Foundation of the Practical-ethical Criterion e route of deification also has a practical ethical impact and consequence. Because God in his perfection is love, the human person is called to share in this perfection in the praxis of his or her own life (Mt 5:48). But no matter how much this praxis is focused on an ‘all-encompassing deliverance and redemption’, or on a dynamic of ‘self-centeredness’ to ‘reality-centeredness’, it can hardly be perceived as the ultimate criterion of salvation and deliverance.34 Surely, abandoning a salvific criterion solely qualified in the God-idea, and consequently finding the salvific criterion in the human praxis, carries the risk that the human person with his/her praxis will take the throne for himself/herself and that he/ she will deify his/her praxis. e human person runs the risk of playing God, based on his/her belief that God’s throne is vacant. Such ideologization has oentimes led to the most inhumane systems and praxes. e human person deprives himself/herself of the chance to be who he/she truly is, creature-human being and not Creator-God and Savior-God. 5. Conclusion Both creation anthropology and christological anthropology show that the human person finds himself/herself only in the inextricable recognition of and in his/her relationship to his/her Creator-God; whereby the idea of Christ offers the human person a criterion and viable salvific path. True humanness is an essential soteriological precondition in Christ as well as in every other human being. e condition of possibility for this true humanity is theological, in other words situated in God as God. From a Christian point of view, soteriology cannot bypass the theological question of truth and salvation. Soteriology presupposes a ‘theological theology’ – a theology that does not circumvent the question of God as God. In the same way, a Christian theology of non-Christian 34 Cf. Merrigan, “De geschiedenis van Jezus in haar actuele betekenis,” 408 and 427-429.

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religions always presupposes the question of a ‘theological theology’. “erefore, an encounter between religions must essentially always include the specific theological question of the true religion.”35

35

Kasper, “Das Christentum im Gespräch mit den Religionen,” 108.

14 The Absolute Newness of Love: An Innovative ‘Agapology’ in the Trinitarian Metaphysics of Miklós Vetö Beáta Tóth

[T]here is nothing contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, nothing inconsistent with the fullness of Christian love, in having our affections directed in an especial way towards certain objects, towards those whom the circumstances of our past life, or some peculiarities of character, have endeared to us. ere have been men before now, who have supposed Christian love was so diffusive as not to admit of concentration upon individuals […] Saint John Henry Newman, Sermon Immortal Love, author of this great frame, Sprung from that beauty which can never fade, How hath man parcel’d out y glorious name, And thrown it on that dust which ou hast made, While mortal love doth all the title gain! George Herbert, Love (I)

Recent decades have witnessed an upsurge of studies exploring the perennially present mystery of love from a specifically Christian perspective, and one may even wonder whether there has been any room le for a genuinely new account of this both traditionally and currently muchdiscussed theme. Hungarian-French philosopher, Miklós Vetö’s two latest volumes are telling proof that the inexhaustible richness of the concept and the phenomenon of love can be approached in ever novel ways yielding a truly original contribution to philosophical as well as theological reflection.1 Without attempting to exhaust the fullness of Vetö’s 1 e works we shall examine are Miklós Vetö, The Expansion of Metaphysics, trans. William C. Hackett (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2018), eBook (EBSCOhost),

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thought, or trying to give an all-encompassing account of his ambitious project, we shall restrict our investigation to a preliminary assessment of the novelty and the theological significance of what he terms ‘agapology’, namely, his systematic account of love. In what ways does it further previous emblematic discussions (think, for example, of Jean-Luc Marion’s The Erotic Phenomenon or a host of recent studies on the topic)? Where does its originality lie and, how does it seem to be relating to the preceding philosophical-theological tradition? What are the salient points of Vetö’s intellectual edifice? And, last but not least, what might be the theological significance of Vetö’s findings; in what ways do they invite one to rethink traditional theological themes? Before directly approaching Vetö’s account of love, a few remarks must be made concerning the overall shape of his philosophy and the methodology adopted in his works. Vetö’s main interest lies in the relationship between religion and philosophy and, more specifically, the relationship between God and the world from a distinctively Christian perspective.2 He stands in the the original French edition: L’élargissement de la métaphysique (Paris: Hermann, 2012); and Court traité sur l’amour (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2020). Miklós Vető (1936-2020) was born in Hungary into a Jewish family. In 1941, he was baptized in the Catholic Church as a young child and in 1954, as an adolescent he consciously embraced the Catholic faith following a mystical experience. He always considered himself as having the triple identity of being at once Jew, Christian and Catholic. Aer the Revolution of 1956 he le Hungary and went to Paris and later to Oxford where he pursued philosophical studies (besides philosophy he also earned doctoral degrees in literature and theology at later stages of his career). He taught philosophy at Yale University (U.S.), at the National University of Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and at the French universities of Rennes and Poitiers. His complex oeuvre combines studies of representative figures of German Idealism (Kant, Schelling, Fichte, Hegel) with an interest in the history of mystical-religious thought (Fénélon, Bérulle, Jonathan Edwards, Simone Weil). He published extensively in English, German, and French, but he felt most at home in the French-speaking Christian intellectual tradition. Aer illuminating analyses of the thought of various religious thinkers and philosophers, his interest recently turned towards the more explicit articulation of his own metaphysical system and the development of an, in his term, ‘expanded’ metaphysics and a new vision of love as a consequence and the basis of such metaphysics. His last work, in which he was elaborating a Christian philosophical concept of God, remained unfinished due to his death in January 2020. (His Hungarian name – Miklós Vető – is spelt in different ways in his various publications: Miklós Vetö or Miklos Vetö). 2 For illuminating assessments of Vetö’s project see the following review articles of L’élargissement de la métaphysique: W. Chris Hackett, “No Neutral Metaphysics: Miklos Vetö,” Research in Phenomenology 44 (2014): 301-314; Balázs

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continental philosophical tradition and combines a formative Kantian influence with contemporary phenomenological research in an attempt to reinvigorate both types of thinking by a renewed metaphysics which is open also to the theological dimensions of God. Joining thus phenomenologists of the ‘theological turn’, he at the same time follows his own path by retrieving the transcendental tradition of metaphysics as an overall framework for his eidetic explorations (‘eidetics’ in the Husserlian sense). Besides the philosophy of Kant, his thinking is marked by the profound influence of Emmanuel Lévinas, whose ethical concern and sustained reflections on the nature of absolute otherness make a decisive impact on Vetö’s own approach. As a third source of inspiration, mystical and religious authors (Fénelon, Bérulle, J. Edwards), and eminently Simone Weil among them, provide him with valuable insight on the intriguing question of the conceptual possibility of a real encounter and a genuine love-bond between the finite human being and God.3 As a consequence of such intellectual background and decisive influences, a major endeavor of his metaphysics is to lay bare the theological content lying at the core of philosophical assumptions, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to rethink traditional theological themes in a novel conceptual way (for example, the meaning of creatio ex nihilo, grace as God’s love donated to free beings, the idea of personhood and Trinitarian theology). He defines the role of theology as being one of “ancilla philosophiae” – a humble and silent servant assisting but never constitutively dominating the autonomous discourse of philosophical reflection which has an ultimate content in common with theology.4 ough always staying in the background, its assistance is seen as being twofold: theology provides paradigms, themes, and ideas to be conceptualized by metaphysical inquiry, but it also serves as an overall depth dimension, a perspective over against which metaphysics may situate and understand its own quest and which animates its search. While Mezei, “A szeretet metafizikája [A Metaphysics of Love],” Filozófiai Szemle 59 (2015): 177-187; and Mezei’s more recent evaluation of the entire oeuvre: “Miklós Vetö – Un philosophe à la recherche de la veritable nouveauté,” Communio 45 (May-August 2020): 161-171. See also various essays in Balázs Mezei and Dániel Schmall, eds., Megújító újdonság: Tanulmányok Vető Miklós gondolkodásáról [Nouveauté novatrice: Studies on the ought of Miklós Vetö] (Budapest: Szent István Társulat, 2020). 3 He is also indebted to eminent figures of the Hungarian philosophical tradition, such as László Gondos-Grünhut (1903-1962). 4 On the relationship between philosophy and theology in his quest see, for example, Vetö, Court traité sur l’amour, 11-14.

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theological themes are integrated into metaphysical concepts, at the same time they point to a transcendental source of origin which ultimately escapes conceptual exhaustion, but which also shapes reason’s enquiry. Joining the company of French philosophers who voice various critiques of ontology (e.g. Sartre, Ricoeur, Henry, Lévinas, Marion), Vetö likewise sets ontology and metaphysics in a sharp contrast, emphasizing the essential inadequacy of the former to capture what is beyond being, in other words, reality in its entirety. Ontology is understood here as a discourse narrowly concerned with être – construed on the basis of particular instances of being, mostly in the material order and in isolation from one another – and therefore having a negative connotation on account of conceptualizing being as purely immobile sameness, dead separation, and a closed-in circularity. It is in this sense that essence, nature and the natural are devalued as a realm lacking dynamism and a creative openness to a real other. By contrast, metaphysics is viewed as a quest aiming to overcome such an infertile universalization of being by concentrating on the reality lying beyond it and by disclosing the complete otherness of an original donation as the source of being which opens up the isolated instances of closed-in sameness towards an ultimate relationality. As we shall see, the fertile tension between the twin ideas of otherness and relationality play an important part in Vetö’s metaphysical construal of love. In order to understand the philosophical universe in which it is couched, let us examine some of the major building blocks of his expanded metaphysics. 1. An Expanded Metaphysics: Newness, Singularity, and Love5 In what does Vetö’s expansion of metaphysics consist? According to him, the true vocation of metaphysical enquiry is to unlock immanence, in other words, to think beyond the closed circle of an ontology of nature (characterized by him as the indifferent ‘kingdom of the same’ and the sphere of ‘violent refusal to what is different’) and elaborate innovative conceptual tools for the comprehension of the possibility of true novelty (as part of Vetö’s distinct path to the question of otherness). e central theme, the overall concern of such expansion may therefore be conceived as a systematic and all-encompassing investigation into the essence and forms of newness at all levels of the structures of this world. During the course of his enquiry, Vetö takes inspiration from the Kantian idea of

5

See Vetö, The Expansion of Metaphysics.

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a priori synthesis as both a creative explanation of the arrival of epistemological novelty and an interpretative tool that he then extends to various dimensions of reality, universalizing in this manner the validity of Kant’s original insight and applying it to the operation of metaphysical investigation.6 What is at stake for Vetö is to demonstrate that an originary creative synthesis is operating at the heart of reality, and to do this, he must be able to conceptualize the intelligibility of the new. His Expansion of Metaphysics is a sustained reflection on the phenomenon of newness of an all-embracing metaphysical scope through analyses of the themes of the image, moral action, and the singularity (resulting in the ‘unicity’) of the person. While in his innovative metaphysics the image of a person is freed from a secondary status as a powerless copy of the original and is credited with autonomous existence (just as in art), nonetheless its newness is recognized as being merely relative because it has no inherent source of creativity and remains stably tied as the self-expression of its author. As a next step, free moral action seems to be better placed to fulfil the requirements of genuine novelty because human freedom is – theoretically at least – a realm of unlimited possibility and a source of unforeseeable acts in which one is able to overcome the restraining confinement of nature and achieve genuine self-exit and self-surpassing. However, free moral action still does not realize radical newness since it is unable to create a fully autonomous new reality, one that could freely respond in reciprocal action, in other words, it “still remains mid-way between the subjectivity and the new meaning for which it calls.”7 is new meaning must exist as an autonomous other to the moral subject: another subject, another free being. Vetö thus concludes that the event of absolute newness arrives in the form of a free and irreplaceable person, who is not only singular with regard to other persons, but also unique in itself, beyond any qualitative or quantitative comparison or differentiation. erefore, the radical event of newness is the birth of a child. e person is unique as such, considered in and for itself, without reference to other persons, and irrespective of whatever properties it has (these can always be interpreted in the context of extrinsic or intrinsic differentiation). Unicity is not a quantitative or a qualitative category. e unicity of another person exists as a new meaning that 6 In his Critique of Judgment, Kant has famously distinguished analytic and synthetic judgments. While the former is simply an analysis of the given, the latter delivers new insight which is non-deducible by a simple analysis of its constituent parts. 7 Vetö, The Expansion of Metaphysics, 67.

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must be recognized as such and the ‘effective recognition’, the acknowledgment and interpretation of such new meaning can only be a work of love. Vetö’s concept of newness breaks away from the common idea that regards the new in essential continuity with the old as an organic development or an addition. True novelty is discontinuous with what was the case before; it occurs at the price of ruptures and its preeminent sphere is free human action where the leap of self-surpassing leads nature beyond itself and opens a way for becoming a different being and the constant possibility of ‘being otherwise’. e highest instance of novelty, therefore, is linked to the highest degree of freedom and the truest form of otherness. is is what Vetö terms ‘renewing newness’ (nouveauté novatrice): an unforeseen and unforeseeable dynamic reality, the creative power to change into a different being and the potential to construe the unparalleled unicity of the other person. e major paradigms of such renewing newness are God’s free and autonomous acts of creatio ex nihilo, on the one hand, and the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, on the other, since both acts disclose originary structures of openness to become different and bring about radical change. Underlying such an account of novelty is a non-traditional understanding of the metaphysical concept of potentiality where potentiality means more than the simple actualization of the possible or a lesser state compared to actuality. What Vetö terms ‘active potentiality’ is a dynamic and creative principle of becoming, an access to a more; it is the aptitude and capability for growth and effective self-surpassing which brings about the opening of nature towards a prolific excess characteristic of Otherness by leaving behind the sealed kingdom of the same. Such renewed understanding of active potentiality results in a departure from the traditional concept of perfection as the highest accomplishment of actualized potentiality and leads to the surprising claim that – rather than being the fulness of self-realization – perfection is the power of self-limitation, of becoming less, of being otherwise. e concepts of newness and love are both determined by the logic of active potentiality and self-limiting perfection. Vetö’s expanded metaphysics as “the chronicle of the occurrence of novelty”8 is at the same time a “metaphysics of love”9 where investigation into the reality and operations of renewing newness leads to the 8

Vetö, The Expansion of Metaphysics, 21. On the various facets of Vetö’s metaphysics of love, see Balázs Mezei “A szeretet metafizikája [A Metaphysics of Love],” 177-187; and Mezei, “Megújító 9

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discovery of its ultimate ground as love. Newness and love are interconnected in his account in several ways and although the theme of love receives a discursive treatment only at some stages of the discussion, implicitly it governs the entirety of its themes.10 For ultimately, in his vision novelty as an act of freedom is a work of love and can only be recognized as such under the regime of love. Moreover, these two realities show a structural likeness and display analogous operations by realizing a leap, a rupture, a self-surpassing with regard to what is simply given according to nature. e features of leap, rupture, and selfsurpassing recognizable in newness point to the ecstatic self-exit of a donating source. True novelty – according to Vetö – obeys a logic which is not of the ontological order, but the order of love. And while he lays down the metaphysical foundations of his innovative ‘agapology’ in the expanded metaphysics, he offers a more systematic and in-depth treatment in his treatise on love which at the same time demonstrates the fruitfulness of a novel conceptual framework in actual operation.11 2. What Is Love? – Some Sources of Inspiration Before considering some of the key features of Vetö’s agapology, it may be useful to take a short look at what seem to be important sources of inspiration underlying his account: the classification of medieval conceptions of love by Pierre Rousselot and the trinitarian theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar.12 While there are only a few explicit references made to these authors in Vetö’s book, their ideas are illuminating for a better understanding of the shape of Vetö’s project. In a classical study, Rousselot offers an analysis of texts by twelhthirteenth century theologians and mystical writers and discerns in them újdonság: Vető Miklós gondolati architektonikája [Renewing Newness: e Architectonics of the ought of Miklós Vetö],” in Megújító újdonság, 117-131. 10 e parts explicitly devoted to the discussion of love can be found in the second half of Chapter ree (titled: “Newness: Figures and Paths”): “Love,” “Sacrifice,” Double Asymmetry,” “Faithfulness,” “Towards the ird” (67-75) and in various passages of the next two chapters (IV and V) on “e Singular” and “e Unique.” It also figures prominently in the final, synthesizing chapter (XIII) in the discussion concerning the good. 11 Vetö, Court traité sur l’amour. 12 I do not attempt here to give a full overview of authors who have inspired Vetö’s thought (the list would be numerous), but I want to restrict the discussion to what I take as two representative accounts which may help in the understanding of Vetö’s main concerns and which serve as focal points where the rest of influences converge.

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two distinct models concerning the essence of love: one he describes as the Greco-omist physical conception, and another he identifies as the ecstatic conception.13 Authors of the Greco-omist physical conception embrace a metaphysical framework where love is understood in terms of a natural (hence ‘physical’ ) inclination of all beings towards the good. Such universal appetition characterizes the entire reality of beings from inanimate objects to rational human persons: they all display an inherent natural desire for their own good. e free acts of human love – defined as willing the good of another person – are regarded as being founded by this universal metaphysical dynamism. Since God is the supreme Good, the various forms of love discernible in the hierarchical structure of created beings show a certain continuity by ultimately and implicitly having a common intentional object, namely, God. Accordingly, various modes of human love – love of self, of one’s neighbor and God – are viewed as forming a seamless continuity among themselves by being instances of the same universal craving for the good identified with God. What comes to the fore from Rousselot’s explorations is the interesting fact that while this medieval model of love is metaphysically well founded, it is phenomenologically rather thin when it comes to accounting for the richness and essence of interpersonal love. By contrast, the ecstatic conception – although it lacks a clear metaphysical foundation or a systematic conceptual framework14 – is particularly rich in intuition concerning the interpersonal act of human loving. Love in this context is exclusively linked with personhood, it is not seen as an operation of nature but as a free personal act of self-abandonment and an ecstatic reaching from one person to another. inkers of this trend emphasize the essential duality of love which, as they argue, can only occur between two independent persons, being at once a reciprocal gi and a bond between them that brings about the union of two autonomous partners. Consequently, adherents of the ecstatic model posit an essential discontinuity between love of self and the love of another person whereby self-love is dismissed as a non-representative instance of love. According to them, love is in essence relation to a real and autonomous other, it always tends toward someone else. Moreover, such ecstatic

13 Pierre Rousselot, The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages, trans. Alan Vincelette (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2001). (e French original was published in 1908). 14 As Rousselot notes, the ecstatic model can be found in texts of various standing and without a concern for systematization (in sermons, meditations, lyrical passages).

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turning towards another person whereby one is pulled out of oneself towards the other has no cause outside of itself, it carries with itself its own justification as well as its final end. It occurs as a violent force within the person, without any reason or cause, pushing him or her towards ecstatic self-exit. In these discussions the idea of person is implicitly set over against the idea of nature and the superiority of the former is assumed. While Rousselot’s preference goes for the Greco-omist conception, it is not difficult to infer from what has been said so far that Vetö, by contrast, draws inspiration from the ecstatic model which he develops into an innovative systematic account where key elements of an expanded metaphysics (especially the concepts of newness, singularity, and personhood) provide sound metaphysical foundations for a wealth of phenomenological detail. Unlike authors of the ecstatic model, Vetö does not deny the continuity of various forms of love. However, – unlike members of the Greco-omist tradition –, he does not base continuity on a metaphysics of the good as a natural and ultimate object of love, but takes the idea of intersubjective generous self-exit for another person’s sake as an alternative paradigm for the ultimate unity of various types of love. For the implementation of this project he finds reliable ally in Hans Urs von Balthasar’s trinitarian theology where the inner life of the trinitarian persons is described in terms of a mutual gi of self in an eternal communion of love.15 Famously, von Balthasar’s aim is to complement a mostly one-sided tradition of psychological trinitarian models by a renewed social model which takes seriously the biblical statement that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). If the divine essence is love, then it must coincide with the love-relations of the trinitarian persons who are not simply subsistent relations, but also the outcome of such relations as divine persons and their mutual love is the supreme realization and the original archetype of love as an interpersonal reality. Such interpersonal divine love is characterized by von Balthasar as an eternal dynamism of superabundant donation, selfopening, the giving away of all one has, an unconstrained gi of self and an equally free reception of such a gi. e divine processions are understood here in terms of a primal kenosis (Urkenosis) where the eternal love of the Father consists in giving his entire divinity away to the Son in the manner of a kenotic self-emptying whereby a mysterious separation of 15 See Hans Urs von Balthasar, Theo-Drama: Theological Dramatic Theory. IV: The Action, trans. Graham Harrison (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1984).

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God from Godself occurs which grounds the possibility of every other separation. e Son’s answer is an equally kenotic reception of his consubstantial divinity as the Father’s gi. e Balthasarian idea of kenotic love displays the unity of divine omnipotence and powerlessness. Kenotic love underscores a specific understanding of the divine perfection as a dynamism of constant becoming, an ever greater, ever more which is open to the surprising novelty of mutual giing and also the possibility of omnipotent and free self-limitation. is is the basis and archetype of the kenotic act of creating the world as autonomous other to God and of the Son’s historical salvific mission in the Incarnation.16 Very cursorily, these are the major Balthasarian insights which apparently inspire Vetö’s thought on the nature of love and elicit the working out of a corresponding metaphysical scheme. 3. Love in Operation: Innovations In the Court traité sur l’amour, Vetö proceeds by small steps in concentric circles, constantly deepening and widening the perspective in which the essence of love becomes intelligible. His primary aim is not to give a proper definition of what love is, instead, what interests him most is the way love conditions human existence and human action as an overall horizon. Within this framework, any definition can only be the result of a careful and attentive analysis of how love operates. To complement such a task he introduces a series of innovations that help in setting the issue in an entirely new light. e first and key area of innovation is a radical shi in perspective, a move away from a naturalist account of love (see the Greco-omist physical conception identified by Rousselot) as a universal inclination for the good towards what one may term a social model (in the analogy of social models of the Trinity) transposed to the personal sphere of intersubjectivity (heir to Rousselot’s ecstatic model). Vetö’s surprising and repeated claim is that – despite a long Aristotelian-Christian tradition to the contrary – the intentional object of love must not be regarded as being the good, but another person in its singularity and irrespective of

16 On Vetö’s analyses of the way the divine kenosis is turned into a paradigm of human love in the thought of Simone Weil see Emmanuel Gabellieri, “Kenózis és teremtés: Simone Weiltől a metafizika kiterjesztéséig” [original title of the conference paper: Kénose et creation: de Simone Weil à l’élargissement de la métaphysique], trans. Anikó Ádám, in Megújító újdonság, 141-155.

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his or her properties.17 Love is a category which cannot be understood from the operation of nature (regarded as a realm of necessity); it has nothing to do with natural inclination or desire for a quality, such as, the good; it is the free act of turning towards another person, and aims at her or his entire being as a person. Love aims at nothing else but love, it targets a person equally capable of loving. Vetö re-reads the entire tradition of naturalist interpretation as a failed effort to personalize the Ultimate Good in terms of self-diffusion and demonstrates its insufficiency to leave the sphere of the natural (self-diffusion being aer all still an act following from nature) and enter the free realm of moral action which – according to him – is the only true horizon of donation and love. For it is precisely the Aristotelian-omistic reply to the question of what the intentional object of God’s love is that reveals the conceptual impasse a naturalist conception of love necessarily leads to. To maintain that God loves the supreme good which is Godself is, in Vetö’s view, narcissistic circularity, lacking any real insight into the true nature of love that can only be understood by approaching the dynamism of inner-trinitarian life, the foundational paradigm of inter-relationality. And here we touch upon another innovative feature of Vetö’s approach which – albeit its primary goal of exploring human love – nonetheless starts from above, from a consideration of the love between the trinitarian persons, their love towards the finite human being and the love of the human being for God.18 Such starting point is necessary because divine love is the condition of possibility of all loves as their originating source and initial archetype. Divine love also allows for the replacement of a metaphysics of nature (in terms of the general craving for the good) with a metaphysics of freedom. Vetö is convinced that love is not to be understood on the basis of God’s essence or nature, but from the trinitarian relations, although, obviously, the two coincide in the Godhead. He reads elements of the Balthasarian theology of inner-trinitarian relationships in this light and deduces from it his own conceptual construal of a social model of love which takes into account the entire reality of the process of loving as a complex dynamism between a plurality of actors – and this points to the third area of innovation. Rather than describing the characteristic features of love as a static noun, Vetö primarily regards it as action (aimer), as an exchange of free acts of loving between autonomous persons, the founding principles of which he finds in the inner trinitarian life of love and in the economic 17 18

See, for example, Court traité, 19-28. ese are the themes of the first three chapters (19-62).

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trinitarian love between God and the free human being. He interprets trinitarian love as a paradigmatic synthesis of the two key dimensions of relation and otherness where relation creates the difference of true otherness and otherness ensures genuine relation epitomized by the trinitarian relations as described in the theology of von Balthasar.19 To love is to relate to another as a real other and the union it creates does not abolish the radical autonomy of lovers. Trinitarian love is the open exchange of unconditional and gratuitous self-giving and reception which is ceaseless renewal and growth, without ceasing to be perfection – notably, Vetö’s idea of divine perfection is not incompatible with positive/active potentiality as a power to realize the always ‘more’ of love and the surprise of novelty. Divine love is renewing newness and the supreme a priori synthesis of relation and otherness where the radical autonomy of lovers consists in their equally radical unity. Relation and otherness are both rooted in this original and mysterious synthesis. Can one conceive God’s love for the created finite human being in continuity with the dynamism of inner trinitarian love? How can the infinite love the finite and in what way may the finite be loveable for the infinite? ese are the questions Vetö seeks to answer by widening his critique of the naturalist scheme. In the case of such descending love and an asymmetrical relation the intentional object of love must be likewise thought in personalist terms: divine love aims at neither the good inherent in the created world nor the goodness of the human subject, but at the free human person who is capable of loving. As Vetö argues, the highest degree of donation is to give – besides one’s existence – the ability to love. God’s creative love is the counterpart of the love between the trinitarian persons in letting otherness be truly other and in accepting the self-gi of another. However, it is within such a relationship that the kenotic element of divine love comes more visibly to the fore. Vetö interprets the act of creation in terms of a kenotic self-limitation, a gi of letting otherness exist and the sovereign freedom to make oneself needy, a ‘beggar of human love’. What is at stake here is the possibility of an asymmetrical but nonetheless entirely real relationship between divine

19 e key concepts of otherness and relation/openness/love would have served as the two pillars of Vetö’s uncompleted philosophy of God, the outlines of which are presented in two of Vetö’s papers on the topic: “Isten filozófiai megközelítése [Approche philosophique de Dieu],” in Megújító újdonság, trans. Dániel Schmall, 178-186; and “Dieu. Concept philosophique,” an unpublished lecture delivered at Sapientia College of eology, Budapest (30.11.2017).

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and human freedoms which imitates in a non-identical manner the dynamism of intra-divine love. It is self-exit and self-abandonment, even diminution for the sake of another and the reception of a counter gi of finite love. While there is ontological inequality between the lovers, the love between them is not to be measured on a quantitative scale, the two respective freedoms are genuine counterparts to one another. Love between unequal and asymmetrical partners does not mean noncorrespondence or the lack of real exchange. A corresponding question concerns the way the finite being should love God and here Vetö stresses the analogy between what he terms ‘descending inequality’ (an essential feature of God’s love for the human being) and ‘ascending inequality’ (characterizing the human person’s love for God) since both forms of love operate according to a similar kenotic logic; both of them are realized through ‘ruptures, gaps, and fissures’ since they do not belong to the continuity of nature, but follow the logic of free self-exit for another. In this context too the good as the intentional object of love is excluded. True love for God is the counterpart of divine kenosis since, in the final resort, one should not love God for any of God’s gis (that is, the good) but solely for Godself – as mystical writers insist by paradoxically separating gi and giver. And here again, one can see the essential continuity between the way God loves and the operation of finite human love: neither God, nor the human being aim at the good, but the loving subject. Against such transcendental-vertical background, aer an analysis of the ‘eidetic prehistory of love’,20 Vetö turns to the investigation of various forms of human loving and demonstrates, throughout his insightful analyses, the structural likeness between vertical and horizontal operations of love. What are the basic principles of Vetö’s social model as a creative synthesis of relation and otherness in the horizontal realm? A remarkably innovative feature of his conceptualization of the complex dynamism of loving is a move away from a radical economy of unilaterality towards duality as the quintessence of love.21 While he carefully avoids the pitfalls of situating love-exchange within the horizon of

20

See Court traité, 63-74. Marion, for example, thinks in terms of such radical unilaterality, stressing also the strictly non-reciprocal nature of love: “I have the sovereign freedom to make myself a lover […] I become amorous simply because I want to, without any constraint, according to my sole, naked desire.” Jean-Luc Marion, The Erotic Phenomenon, trans. Stephen E. Lewis (New York: Fordham University Press, 2002), 93. 21

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univocal give-and-take reciprocity, he likewise steers clear of the twin danger of denying any reciprocity at all. In his scheme, love as relation between two subjects who are capable of loving is gratuitous gi of self which calls for a real response, but which is characterized by ‘double asymmetry’ whereby the partners love unconditionally and gratuitously, without a veritable counterpart (because the end of their love is a genuine other who is entirely different) or a proportional object (because the qualities of the intentional object do not determine their love). is does not mean, though, that there is non-correspondence or non-correlation between the two loves. It only reveals the non-quantitative and noncalculable nature of mutual acts of loving be it one between partners of an equal status (in conjugal love or in the love between siblings) or one of a certain ‘hierarchy’ of partners (the descending love of parents for their children or the ascending love of children for their parents): the principle of asymmetry and, what we may call, paradoxical nonreciprocal reciprocity equally apply to all. e other pole of the social model – the concept of otherness – is likewise set in a new light by Vetö’s approach which puts great emphasis on demonstrating that love both generates and guarantees true otherness. Love as union and ‘being-with-another’ does not result in fusion or the loss of one’s autonomous self but is creative and procreative in analogy with God’s act of creation which brings about beings who are genuine others and preserves them in their autonomy. Similarly, human love has the power to ‘create’ new others (through the procreative act of calling children into being) and is also capable of confirming the other in his otherness, making the other more other (rendre l’autre plus autre).22 e insightful coherence of Vetö’s novel perspective becomes even more visible when this principle is applied to the traditionally difficult test-case of self-love. Taking issue with proponents of the medieval ecstatic model or Marion’s recent skepticism concerning the real possibility of self-love,23 Vetö convincingly argues that self-love becomes more meaningful when interpreted in the reversed perspective of otherness rather than sameness. In other words, it is not self-love that must serve as a basis for the love of others, conversely, the logic of love for another is equally at work in love of the self. One must love oneself as another, as a real you and see others as sui generis others, not simply as other 22

See the chapter on the other as the intentional object of love. Court traité, 99-113. 23 In The Erotic Phenomenon Marion finds self-love problematic because love, in his view, needs a genuine other who alone can deliver one to oneself, 41-66.

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instances of me. Once again Vetö argues for the inadequacy of the naturalist interpretation which thinks in terms of the good as the intentional object of self-love: to love oneself for the good one has/is renders the idea egoistic and to say that in loving oneself one loves a transcending greater good, does not solve the problem. e intentional object of self-love too is a real other, a you: myself as another. 4. Perspectives So where does this leave one? Our necessarily cursory overview of this grand project has revealed the benefits of an interesting interaction between philosophical enquiry and theological reflection. In the new role of ancilla philosophiae theology witnesses the deconstruction of its neat system. However, at the same time it receives a new possibility to start innovative construction work on the basis of its philosophically recast building blocks. e reappropriation of such metaphysically reworked and phenomenologically enriched theological themes may fruitfully fertilize reflection on the nature of trinitarian personhood, the hopelessly complicated debate on the relationship between human freedom and grace, or theological anthropological issues concerning human love commitments towards God and fellow humans. Vetö’s social understanding of love as a dynamic and permanent process between interacting partners may also be illuminating for moral theology in its reflections on marriage (and Vetö’s insightful phenomenological analyses of the dynamism of conjugal love may prove particularly helpful in this respect).24 e demonstration of the relationship between love and the unicity of the person may be inspirational for a moral theological grounding of the worth of personhood, especially in extreme cases, such as the worth of embryonic existence, and on this issue too one finds valuable insight in Vetö’s thought.25 One thing is sure: Vetö’s expansion of metaphysics has resulted in a genuine widening of the horizon where love may be discussed and his comprehensive survey of the basic principles of loving has definitely given new impetus to the study of this perennially intriguing creative source of novelty.

24 25

See the chapter on conjugal love in Court traité, 149-163. Ibid., 189-194.

15 Toward a Dialogical Approach of Tradition, Allowing for Coherent Self-Criticism Emmanuel Durand, O.P.*

From the point of view of systematic theology, it is common to conceive of Revelation as a primordial event whose transmission and interpretation is ensured by tradition. Such a representation bears some element of truth, but it must be inserted into a broader vision, which goes back to God the Trinity, in order to be fully consistent with the evangelical witness and its goal of conversion. We will begin here by stating some defining features of Revelation along the biblical axis and by identifying three polarities of it: its eventful and everyday character, gestures and words, external manifestations and internal teaching. We will then see how the Gospels situate the act of tradition, not only downstream but also upstream of the revelation accomplished by Christ Jesus. e act of tradition ultimately goes back to God the Father who generates the Son and commissions him. We will pay attention to the various subjects of active tradition. Finally, we will examine the growth or progress of tradition, as well as the need for reforms or purifications, especially those required by a true understanding of the Scriptures. Here we support a ‘high’ conception of tradition, in the sense that it is initiated by God and remains theological in nature. However, such a vision must be counterbalanced by attention to the distinction, sometimes uncertain in concrete terms, between the tradition of Revelation and the religious or cultural traditions that accompany it. According to an empirical approach, before being a theological reality within a salvific design, tradition is an anthropological, social, and cultural phenomenon. * For their suggestions when reading a first dra of this essay, I express my gratitude to Jeremiah Batram, Christophe Chalamet, Catherine E. Clifford, Guillaume Cuchet, Hervé Legrand, Christoph eobald, and Guido Vergauwen. Of course, their suggestions and criticisms do not make them responsible for any errors or statements taken in these pages. I am delighted to offer this text as an homage to my doctoral thesis co-supervisor, Terrence Merrigan, whose theological guidance, realism, and hospitality I greatly appreciated in Leuven.

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Every tradition, even that of the Gospel, can be questioned from this angle.1 In order to avoid giving in to the mirage of a chemically pure transmission, a high conception of tradition must also give way to a ‘conversation’ among the people of God (including other churches) and to listening to the cries of the world. is fosters a dynamic of growth in the perception of the Gospel, with potential coherent criticisms or corrections of the tradition by itself, by virtue of a deeper reception of God’s word. 1. The Revelation, Event and Teaching Divine revelation is basically God’s communication of his very life and his plan of salvation.2 God reveals himself in stages to his people Israel, following the unfolding of election, with a view to a long-term companionship. God chooses and elevates a particular people, without worldly power, to the rank of witness par excellence of the divine predilection. Israel has the vocation to be a sign for all nations. e Chosen People oscillates between fidelity and counter-witness. Divine revelation then follows the paths of a long-term parental education, with frequent disappointments and a commitment to inexhaustible resources (cf. Hos 11:111; Ezek 16). A dialogue of revelation is established. God always keeps the initiative in the addressed word. is conversation is oriented toward a growing communication of life that constitutes the foundation for the friendship of grace between God and humanity.3 e covenant draws the horizon of Revelation. According to the biblical narrative, divine revelation is delivered through encounters, words, and actions that oen become a significant event in the memory of the Chosen People. From this angle, let us recognize the eventful character of Revelation. Following a phenomenological approach, the event upsets the usual and predictable course of a domesticated world, insofar as the irruption of the unexpected provokes a new deal. is forces the protagonists and witnesses of the event 1 See Pierre Gisel, Qu’est-ce qu’une tradition? Ce dont elle répond, son usage, sa pertinence (Paris: Hermann, 2017), especially 11-35 and 145-156; MarieDominique Chenu, “Tradition et sociologie de la foi,” in Église et tradition, ed. Johannes Betz and Heinrich Fries (Le Puy: Xavier Mappus, 1963), 225-232. For a philosophical analysis, inspired by Plato, see Josef Pieper, Über den Begriff der Tradition (Cologne: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1958). 2 See Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum, no. 2. 3 See Paul VI, Ecclesiam suam, no. 67; Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum, nos. 2, 8, 21, and 25.

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to reconfigure their vision of the world and their commitment to it, because it is no longer the system to which they were accustomed, in which they could act with confidence.4 e characteristics of the event are well suited to key moments in the (told) story of the Revelation. e great narrative of the people of Israel can be read as a succession of periods inaugurated by the gi of a new revelation – new by its degree, scope or purpose. us, the prophets, judges, and kings of the biblical narrative are the key links in a chain of narrated events. e new thresholds and pivotal moments in the Revelation narrative open up new sequences of reception, exploration, and appropriation of the gi received. Each new occurrence of the Revelation implies an upheaval, initiates a reconfiguration and calls for a long and progressive assimilation. It is therefore possible to identify phases of biblical prophecy. For example, omas Aquinas believed that prophecy follows three great temporal sequences in terms of the knowledge of the mystery of God: before the Law, under the Law, and under grace. Within each of these periods the following rule applies: the initial revelation is the major one, in the period that it inaugurates. At various stages of the great Revelation narrative, a major prophetic figure receives a higher revelation, which is then unpacked and deepened by other prophets and interpreters, through the sequence that the first prophet inaugurated.5 Although biblical revelation is historically based, with a dominant emphasis on events, the unfolding does not depend solely on events, whether these are God’s deeds or events of speech, such as decisive challenges or missionary commissions. Revelation is also delivered through the continuous witness of creation and through the secular wisdom that circulates in the daily life of the common world of the Jews. e laws governing ordinary activities or relationships, the song of creation and the maxims of wisdom manifest that divine revelation is not only heard in an event-driven way. In the tradition of Israel, God’s sovereignty is confessed even in the non-events of ordinary life, even in the desolation that makes one cry out to God. A constant feature of biblical revelation is to be accomplished by the conjunction of actions and words. Without the witness of actions, gestures or signs, words would be constantly subject to doubt or suspicion. 4 See Claude Romano, L’événement et le monde (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1998), 35-77. 5 See omas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 174, a. 6. Aquinas considers that Abraham knew God’s omnipotence; Moses, his simplicity; the Apostles, the Trinity.

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Without the determination of words, communicated orally or in writing, actions would be deprived of their revelatory interpretation. e complementarity between gestures and words espouses the noetic condition of human witnesses and listeners of divine revelation. e synergy between action and word gives to our incarnated minds an appropriate access to the graces and mysteries communicated by God.6 Actions and words are not intended to fascinate the recipients of Revelation, at the risk of erecting a barrier, but to lead them to the depths of God’s wisdom through the appropriation of his plan of grace. For a divine revelation to be received, it is not enough for God to manifest himself through outward actions and words. It is also necessary that he address at the same time the mind and heart of the recipients of his revelation. e human heart must be opened by God himself in order to enter into the spiritual intelligence of the sensitive and intelligible components of the Revelation delivered in terms of signs, actions, and words. God’s inner teaching, whether seen as a word or as an “anointing” (1 Jn 2:20), enables the recipients of the tangible signs and external words to be led to their spiritual meaning and to access the divine realities thus communicated. e synergy between inner and outer teaching, by word and deed, is most evident in the ministry of Christ in the gospels.7 As the Word made flesh, he combines external preaching, gestures of salvation, and intimate action in the hearts of its listeners. e polarities of Revelation are found in its tradition. Tradition is a transmission not only of words but also of gestures, not only of discursive knowledge but also of know-how and a way of life. Tradition is underpinned not only by a memory of salvific events and by a longlasting external teaching, but also by an internal teaching addressed by God to each believing subject. In Revelation, God uses both external manifestation and internal revelation in synergy, as part of his design.

6 See Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum, no. 2. e dogmatic constitution on Revelation avoids, on the one hand, an intellectualist reduction of Revelation identified only with words and, on the other hand, the alternative position that univocally places Revelation in events. Instruction is here included into an integral and personal communication. See Henri de Lubac, “Commentaire du préambule et du chapitre I,” in Vatican II: La Révélation divine, vol. I, ed. BernardD. Dupuy (Paris: Cerf, 1968), 66-71; Emmanuel Durand, “Understanding Revelation according to a Sacramental Mode,” Nova et Vetera 18, no. 2 (2020): 443-459. 7 See Pawel Klimczak, Christus Magister: Le Christ Maître dans les commentaires évangéliques de saint Thomas d’Aquin (Fribourg/CH: Academic Press, 2013), 113-209.

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erefore, without reception by human individuals and by a community of faith, it would be incomplete. Without such an intimate revelation in the heart of believers, public revelation would not be recognized and welcomed.8 e inner dimension of the revelation transmitted makes possible the maturation and actualization of the tradition, especially on the part of simple or holy souls. By virtue of such an interior anointing, tradition implies not only teaching transmitted by an authority, but also a dimension of conversation between pastors and faithful.9 2. Tradition, Revelation, Tradition rough the memory of the Chosen People, a tradition of faith links the key moments of the (told) story of Revelation. Tradition plays a different role before and aer Christ. From a Christian perspective, the tradition of Israel tends towards a fullness and supports the possibility of its coming, without being able to actualize it. e tradition that comes from Christ is the transmission of the fullness, kept alive and made actual by the Spirit in the time of the Church. Before the coming of Christ, the tradition of Israel carries the Revelation in the process of unfolding. A dynamic of transmission, newness, and reception is repeatedly accomplished through the successive phases of the narrative of prophetic revelation. e tradition of the Chosen People provides the Revelation with its supporting axis. Genesis offers here a beautiful illustration. Genesis 5–11 unfolds the generations that stretch

8

According to omas Aquinas in the Lectura super Ioannem, Christ is the only Master who can teach human beings both from within and without (see Sup. Io. 1, 43, ed. Marietti, 1952, no. 313; 3, 2, no. 428; 13, 13, no. 1775), in synergy with the Spirit (see Sup. Io. 14, 26, no. 1958). By interior revelation, we do not mean here a ‘private revelation’ of new contents, but the intimate gi of the light of faith (and possibly of a prophetic light) which allows us to shed light with accuracy and depth on what public revelation gives us to believe, to deepen or to rediscover. 9 In his brief philosophical treatise on tradition (see n. 1), Josef Pieper formally excludes the dimension of dialogue, because of the non-reciprocity of the relationship between the one who transmits and the one who receives. It seems to me that this feature must be adjusted when applied to Christian tradition, because of the interior teaching received from God by each believer in order to adhere to the transmitted revelation and, eventually, to transmit it in turn. ere is indeed an objective authority of what is transmitted, which induces an asymmetry in the relationship between transmitter and receiver, but the active receiving part of the believing subjects can foster a conversation between transmitters and receivers, as the innovative teachings of the saints testify at will.

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from Adam to Abram through Noah and Shem. Abram’s father set out before the word of the Lord was spoken to his son (Gen 11:31). Abram’s call is implied by his father’s unfinished migration. An immemorial chain of transmission of the election precedes the newness of the covenant between God and Abraham. Christ Jesus is both the heir and the turning point of this long chain of tradition, as is evident in the final unhooking of the genealogy according to Matthew: “Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was begotten, who is called Christ” (Mt 1:16). From the advent of Christ and the Easter sequence (Passion, Resurrection, Pentecost), Revelation, now accomplished, is handed over through a long tradition, of which Jesus Christ is the initiator and the apostolic generation the relay. e tradition does not intervene only aer the Revelation, from the point of view of reception. e Revelation is prepared, accompanied, and carried by a tradition in act. However, a few distinctions must be made, both temporal and essential. From a Christian perspective, the tradition of Israel is dispositive in relation to Old Testament revelation which tends towards fulfillment. Tradition is then the support and the vector of a revelation in the process of unfolding. Starting from the revelation accomplished by Christ Jesus, tradition becomes the reception and transmission of the fullness that has come to pass. Apostolic tradition intervenes as the first complete objectification of the Revelation. It is a constitutive moment of the Christian faith as an integral response to the accomplished revelation. Ecclesial tradition gathers the fullness of grace received from Christ through the apostolic generation and actualizes the transforming power of the Gospel in various contexts throughout the ages. Tradition is, therefore, the vehicle of Revelation and opens the field for a prolonged conversation between God and his people. In the experience of Christian communities, listening to Revelation and its active reception go hand in hand. In the apostolic generation, a first response to Revelation has been integrated into its transmission through the canon of the Scriptures.10 In each era, the reception of the Revelation transmitted is part of the constitution of the ecclesial tradition that carries on to the following generations.11 In order to be able to listen in truth, one must allow oneself to be transformed. ere is no neutral perception. e 10

See Michel Gourgues, “Plus tard tu comprendras”: La formation du Nouveau Testament (Paris: Cerf; Montréal: Médiaspaul, 2019), 167-171. 11 See Yves Congar, La Tradition et les traditions. II: Essai théologique (Paris: Arthème Fayard, 1963), 76.

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innovative (and at times astounding) contents of Revelation unfold over time and are updated in practice through a long work of tradition. e fullness of the Gospel has not finished unfolding its effects of challenge and conversion. Certainly, the Church is holy in her mystery, proclamation, and sacramentality, but she is not yet holy in all her members nor in all her concrete ways of living her mystery, preaching and sacramentality.12 e pilgrim Church remains challenged by her Lord for the conversion of her members (cf. Revelation 2–3). e relationship between Revelation and tradition would be better understood as an actualization of fullness than as a sequence from simple listening to prolonged reception. Actualization concerns the power of interpellation and conversion stemming from this wholeness, which can be obscured in many ways in the complex process of tradition, not only by the receiving subjects but also by de facto traditions, falsely confused with the transmitted Gospel.13 3. The Act of Tradition Goes Back to God Himself Finally, tradition cannot be considered only according to a temporal logic, for the act of tradition goes back to God himself in his own life. To see this, we must turn to the witness of the synoptic gospels. In a primordial way, God transmits all his goods to Jesus, his Son, so that he in turn may communicate them to the recipients of Revelation (Mt 11:27; Lk 10:22; Jn 16:15). Let us focus here on the third gospel.14 In the Lukan composition, the exultation of Jesus in his mission of Revelation immediately follows the initiation into joy given to the seventy-two disciples when they return from their first mission with enthusiasm. Jesus invites them to pass from the joy of the first successes, somewhat exhilarating, to a higher joy, that of the election that presides over every sending (Lk 10:20). e reason for joy lies at the beginning of the mission, in the act of receiving everything in order to transmit the Gospel, according to the Father’s benevolent design (eudokia), leaving to the Father the singular primacy of hiding or revealing. Following this 12 See Emmanuel Durand, Jusqu’où ouvrir le livre? Brève théologie des Écritures (Paris: Cerf, 2021), 95-103 and 196-199. 13 See Joseph Ratzinger, “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation,” in Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, vol. III, ed. Herbert Vorgrimler (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969), 183, 185, and 193. 14 Allow me here to draw from observations already sketched as the conclusion of my book entitled: Dieu Trinité: Communion et transformation (Paris: Cerf, 2016), 221-229.

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sequence of initiation, Jesus rejoices and marvels at the gi of Revelation, of which he is both witness and mediator. At that same hour [Jesus] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden (apokruptô) these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to infants (nèpiois); yes, Father, for such was your gracious will (eudokia). All things have been delivered (paradidômi) to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Lk 10:21-22 RSV Cath. Ed.).

Surprisingly, the actions of hiding and revealing, of veiling and unveiling, are presented by Jesus as two symmetrical acts of the Father. It is not said that the object of revelation is hidden by nature, in a habitual way, in such a way that the proper act of God would be exclusively to reveal it. Not only unveiling but also veiling are positive acts of God. ere is no permanent state of veiling followed by an act of unveiling, but of two symmetrical acts: veiling to some, unveiling to others. e act of hiding challenges the believer. e verb used (apokruptô) comes up three times in the Pauline corpus, in connection with ‘wisdom’ or ‘mystery’ kept hidden (1 Cor 2:7-10; Eph 3:8-11; Col 1:25-27). e mystery is kept in reserve to be revealed to the saints. Hiding would not be a definitive act of closure or refusal, but a moment within the complete economy of Revelation. However, God’s two acts of veiling and unveiling are not arbitrary. ey are related to two instances: first, the various categories of recipients, and secondly, the Father’s benevolent design (eudokia), that is, a will imbued with goodness. With respect to the recipients, there is a clear contrast between the wise and the little ones. is expresses the noncontinuity between the wisdom of the world and divine revelation. Divine revelation is not the end point of worldly wisdom. More than a simple discontinuity, there is a clear inversion between the claim of human wisdom and receptivity to divine revelation. However, the veil does not depend on the supposed wisdom of the wise, but wholly on God, who hides or discloses as he wills. Jesus attributes to God the initiative to hide what he wants from the wise and reveal what he chooses to the little ones. Although there is a correspondence between hiding from one and revealing to the other, their respective conditions do not command such veiling or revealing by God. Rather, it is determined solely by the sovereignty of the Father, who is Lord of heaven and earth – and of both the wise and the little ones. Eudokia is another name for such sovereignty, a term that indicates that it is both free and good.

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Implicitly, Jesus places himself, not on the side of the wise and skillful, but on the side of the little ones, since he will soon say that he himself has received everything from the Father. e Greek word used here is nepios, which means ‘child’. Jesus will soon call himself the Son. He is the child par excellence, the one who first receives everything from the Father. Aer having blessed the Father and enunciated the Father’s proper role, Jesus includes himself in the process of tradition. From this precise angle, he is the first of the little ones. To assert that everything has been given to him by the Father is theologically loaded, for two reasons. First, Jesus receives his whole life from the Father and transmits out of this very life the totality of things revealed to him. is implies that there is no other mediator of Revelation in its fullness. Further, the verb used to qualify the act of handing over everything is paradidômi. It means both to transmit and to deliver, with the afore-mentioned double possibility of meaning: to hand over and/or to betray.15 Since everything has been handed over by the Father to Jesus, and Jesus in turn hands over everything, the very logic of TraditionRevelation already alludes to the Passion and the Cross.16 e reception of everything by the Son is the birth certificate of an active tradition-reception. is tradition is actualized in the mission of Jesus because it is fulfilled in a primordial way in God himself, through the transmission of eternal life from the Father to the Son. Jesus reports to the Father the initiative of the primordial act of tradition, which concerns the totality of things to be transmitted through the entire economy of Revelation. e totality given to Jesus is then qualified or sealed by the mutual, exclusive and ordered knowledge between the Father and the Son. Mutual knowledge is a consequence of total transmission. Indeed, the movement of knowledge (from the Father to the Son, then from the Son to the Father) presupposes the movement of the primordial tradition (from the Father to the Son). It is first affirmed that only the Father knows the Son, and then, reciprocally, that only the Son knows the Father. e path 15 Besides Lk 10:22, see Lk 9:44; 12:58; 18:32; 20:20; 21:12, 16; 22:6-21, 22, 48; 24: 7, 20. 16 Without taking the traditio back to the eternal generation of the Son by the Father, as we propose, the connection between (1) the ‘tradition’ of a man to the violence of men (Mk 1:14), (2) the ‘tradition’ of the Son through the Father (Rom 4:25; 8:32), (3) the ‘tradition’ of Christ through himself (Eph 5:2, 25; Gal 2:20), and (4) the ‘tradition’ of Revelation, is reflected, in particular, by Hansjürgen Verweyen, Gottes letztes Wort: Grundriß der Fundamentaltheologie (Regensburg: Pustet, 32000), 51-56.

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of mutual knowledge follows the movement of tradition-reception initiated by the Father. e primordial tradition establishes here a higher form of ‘conversation’, reciprocal though asymmetrical, in the mutual knowledge of the Father and the Son. An eternal tradition commands the conversation of the Father and the Son, of which Revelation is the extension offered to human beings. e Son is the depositary of such a totality and gives it as a gi to whomever he wishes. In an astonishing way, the will of the Son operates here as a singularization of the Father’s plan. e eudokia justified a preferential relationship to the little ones, approached as a category, while the will of the Son joins the singular recipients – the particular ones whom he is actually addressing. In the narrative perspective of the gospel, the will of the Son refers to his calls, his encounters, his choices, his predilections. He addresses himself not only to individuals, but also to crowds. Moreover, the act of the Son is qualified by the same verb as the positive act of the Father: to unveil-reveal (apokaluptô). It is not said of the Son that he hides anything, but that he reveals just as the Father does. According to the semantics of revelation attested in Matthew and Luke, the tradition does not only begin with the transmission of the Gospel (words and gestures) to the Twelve/Eleven and their companions, be it at the time of Jesus’ public ministry or in the aermath of Easter. Certainly, a solemn act of definitive tradition is performed by the Risen One, as recounted in the finale of Mt 28. However, the dynamic of transmission comes from much further away, as it goes back to the Father in his eternal life with the Son. Tradition originally links the Son who receives everything to the Father who gives everything to him, in view of Jesus’ ministry. Further, in Matthew, the chain of reception goes back to the Father: “He who receives you receives me; and he who receives me receives him who sent me” (Mt 10:40). As for the fourth gospel, the culmination of the tradition accomplished by Jesus is found in the gi of the Spirit. e transmission begins when Jesus explains the significance of the washing of the feet and enjoins his disciples to practice his gesture of humiliation (Jn 13:15). Here again, the chain of reception goes from the disciples to Jesus and from Jesus to the Father: “He who receives any one whom I send receives me; and he who receives me receives him who sent me” (13:20). Jesus’ final conversations with his disciples at the Last Supper resonate like a testament and announce the coming of the Spirit. According to the fourth gospel, the Spirit’s coming is fulfilled at Jesus’ death. e glorification of Jesus coincides with his ultimate downfall. erefore, the Spirit is received from the Cross. Jesus’ expiration is presented, with the help of the verb

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paradidômi, as a tradition of the Spirit to Mary and the beloved disciple (19:30; cf. 7:39). A second outpouring of the Spirit to the group of Twelve will take place on Easter evening (20:22). e same verb paradidômi is used by Paul in 1 Cor 11:23 and 15:3 to stamp the apostolic tradition of the Eucharist and the Gospel, a relay of the tradition operated by Jesus himself, through his preaching and at the Last Supper. Let us recapitulate. e tradition accomplished by Christ Jesus is evental and temporal, through his public ministry and then the Easter sequence. However, the tradition of the Gospel originates in the eternal relationship of the Father to the Son, where everything is transmitted in view of the revelation-tradition accomplished by Jesus, inclusive of the gi of the Spirit that opens a new temporal dimension. e Spirit accompanies the Church in the reception, understanding, and actualization of all that she has received from the revelation of Christ and from the apostolic tradition. 4. The Active Subjects of the Tradition To identify the subjects of the active tradition, we will proceed in a topdown manner. God is the first subject of the tradition, insofar as he is Father. As such, he begets the Son and gives him all his goods for the ministry of revelation and salvation. Only God the Father is author (auctor) in the proper sense, as the first origin.17 Here tradition is conceptually situated at the junction between eternal begetting and the sending of the Son into the world. rough the eternal gi of divine life to the Son, the Father equips him de facto for his mission as Revealer and Savior. It is the Son’s responsibility to communicate to those he chooses the riches of grace, the sharing of divine life, and the knowledge of God’s design. Empowered by the Spirit, Jesus Christ thus intervenes as the second subject of the actual tradition. He transmits the Gospel by his preaching, by his gestures and actions, by his way of life, by his familiarity with the disciples and by his commensality with sinners – in other words, by an integral ‘conversation’.18 e way of being of Christ Jesus and the sharing

17 See Congar, La Tradition et les traditions, II, 78; John Baptist Ku, God the Father in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (New York: Peter Lang, 2012), 149-169. 18 See omas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae III, q. 40; Emmanuel Durand, “L’incarnation comme ‘conversation’ selon saint omas d’Aquin,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 102 (2018): 561-610.

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of his life are teaching, formation, and transmission. As omas Aquinas states, “almost everywhere in the actions that [Christ] performs, the human is read as mixed with the divine and the divine with the human.”19 Christ forms his disciples by sharing his missionary life and he allows them to gradually appropriate what he reveals, so that they in turn can live it and transmit it to others. However, such an appropriation presupposes the gi of the Spirit, which intervenes as the third subject of the tradition. e latter takes over from Christ Jesus. e Spirit mediates in the Christian community and in hearts the active presence of the Risen One, once he has ascended to heaven.20 e Spirit spoke through the prophets of the Old Testament. He led the man Christ Jesus through his mission as Revealer. Beginning at Pentecost, the Spirit actualizes the teaching and formation that the apostles received from Christ during his pilgrim life with his disciples. roughout the life of the Church, the Spirit of the Risen One is the interior principle of unity of the true tradition of the Gospel, which must always be actualized in fidelity through the relay of human mediation.21 Beginning at Pentecost, the apostles are fully equipped to become, in turn and together, subjects of the tradition that passes through them from Christ to the Church. e mediation of the apostles is not limited to the group of Twelve, since Paul is constituted an apostle and others also receive this title, such as Barnabas (Acts 14:14). It belongs to the entire apostolic generation to live the pivotal stage of the tradition of faith as the first confessing and doctrinal objectification.22 e whole Church is in a position of both listening to and transmitting Revelation. She receives the tradition of Christ Jesus and the witness of the apostolic generation. e bishops, whose preaching office takes over from the mission of the apostles, are the guardians of the authenticity of the Christian faith. All the people of God are committed to the act of tradition from one generation to the next. e transmission is accomplished through Christian initiation in its dimensions of confession and practice: sacramental life, exercise of diakonia, witness and martyrdom, 19 omas Aquinas, Lectura super Ioannem 11, 33, n°1532: “ubique fere in factis suis mixta leguntur humana divinis, et divina humanis.” 20 See Marie-Laure Chaieb, “La Tradition, œuvre de l’Esprit selon Irénée de Lyon,” in La Tradition, œuvre de Dieu, ed. omas Alferi (Paris: Parole et Silence, 2013), 71-93. 21 See Congar, La Tradition et les traditions, II, 105-106. 22 A distinction must be made between the Twelve, the apostles and apostolicity; see Régis Burnet, “La notion d’apostolicité dans les premiers siècles,” Recherches de science religieuse 103 (2015): 185-202.

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learning of communion, modes of government, relationship to the world, etc. Ultimately, all members of the Christian community are the active subjects of the tradition, insofar as they witness to Christ the Savior, transmit the Christian faith (beginning with parents) and practice the various dimensions of charity. By virtue of their baptism, the faithful receive the “sense of faith” (sensus fidei), which is a property of the theological virtue of faith.23 It is a spiritual instinct that believers have to discern whether a particular teaching or practice is in conformity with the Gospel of Christ. It is an intuitive discernment, not a discursive one. It differs, however, from a mere opinion, whether individual or common, because it is based on baptismal participation in the prophetic function of Christ. Ideally, the sense of faith is expressed in a consensus of the entire Church, pastors and laity being animated by the same and unique Spirit. Historically, many of the Church’s doctrinal crises or indecisions have been overcome because of the firmness of the sensus fidei of the laity, while bishops have been divided or hesitant.24 rough a ministry received from Christ by the Church, pastors exercise a function of authentication and confirmation of the faith. is specific mission is realized when pastors experience and discern in the communion of the Church with the Spirit of Christ. e sensus fidei of the faithful and the cries of the world (challenges, provocations…) could lead the Church to include more lucidly the recipients of the Gospel in the process of tradition in action. On the one hand, the recipients of the preaching of the Gospel are themselves active – and at times inspired – subjects in the reception and transmission of the Gospel; on the other hand, their various modes of reception or challenge – listening, conversion, indifference, refusal, interpellation, scandal – reflect on ecclesial life and on the way the Church interprets divine tradition, so that the latter may make the “living voice of the Gospel” resound in this world as it is.25 23

See International eological Commission, “Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church” (2014); Lukasz Wisniewski, L’instinct ecclésial de la foi (Lumen Gentium 12, Dei Verbum 8) (Paris: Cerf, 2020), especially 247-254. 24 See John Henry Newman, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine (1859) (Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward, 1961), 75-101. For a contrasted assessment, see Rowan Williams, Arius: Heresy and Traditions, revised ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002). 25 See Christoph eobald, “Sensus fidei fidelium: Enjeux d’avenir d’une notion classique,” Recherches de science religieuse 104 (2016): 207-236, at 228-236.

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5. The Progression of Tradition and the Need for Reform e tradition of Revelation grows, not by adding new extrinsic contents, but by deepening and clarifying the events, graces, and mysteries of the revelation accomplished by Christ and completed by the sending of the Spirit. e Second Vatican Council described such progression as growth in the perception of the realities and words transmitted (cf. Dei Verbum, no. 8, §2). From generation to generation, believers never cease to appropriate the revealed mysteries, to meditate on them, to explore their depth and to reveal their implications. Such deepening is accomplished not only in a contemplative way, through attentive study or spiritual intelligence, but also in an apostolic way, in the face of the pastoral and contextual challenges of each age.26 In a notable way, the holy founders of new missionary movements have seen how the Gospel tradition could respond to new situations or cultural ruptures. To perceive in this way the relevance of the Gospel in new fields or hitherto unexplored implications of the salvation offered by Christ, is part of the growth of tradition as the transmission and consequent actualization of the one Gospel of Christ. 1. Identity and Continuity of Subject in Change e progression of tradition presupposes a fundamental identity of the Gospel transmitted. is implies a strong coherence and continuity of subject.27 If growth were to take place in the form of successive mutations, it would result in an alteration of the subject or the creation of another subject. ere would then be a substantial discontinuity. Such models of progress are not applicable to the Gospel of Christ. e indispensable identity of the transmitted subject was clearly formulated in the fih century by the monk Vincent of Lérins in his Commonitorium. It is debated whether or not this treatise, dated 434, fits into

26

It is legitimate to understand the crescendo of Dei Verbum, no. 8 in the literal sense as the affirmation of a simple homogeneous development of dogma, but it is also possible to broaden the perspective to better integrate historical factors, as was proposed aer Vatican II; see Yves Congar, “Church History as a Branch of eology,” Concilium 7 (1970): 85-96; Andrew Meszaros, The Prophetic Church: History and Doctrinal Development in John Henry Newman and Yves Congar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 182-187. 27 My attention was drawn to this issue by Reinhard Hütter, “Progress, Not Alteration of the Faith: Beyond Antiquarianism and Presentism,” public lecture given at the Angelicum (Rome) on December 7, 2019.

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the context of the controversy (known as the semi-Pelagian) between the monks of Provence and Saint Augustine, concerning the role of will in the preparation to receive grace.28 e Commonitorium has oen been received as an indirect justification of the semi-Pelagian posture as opposed to the ‘novelty’ defended by Augustine, namely the radical priority of grace toward any act of the human will positively oriented toward the reception of grace. Whatever the controversial or uncontroversial context of the treatise, Vincent shows no attraction for novelty or change in doctrinal matters. Today, he would be considered an uncompromising ‘conservative’. is is not our focus here. We simply note the Commonitorium’s substantive argument. He argues that by fidelity to the tradition of Revelation, we must stick to what has been believed “always,” “everywhere” and “by everyone.” e criteria of true Catholic doctrine are thus antiquity, universality, and the broadest consensus of the fathers in the faith.29 Vincent gives the counterproof of his thesis by a genealogy of the main heresies. is illustrates the dismissal by heretics of antiquity in favor of novelty, whereas the deposit of faith is “what you have been entrusted with, not what you have discovered.”30 Aer many qualified readers of Vincent of Lérins,31 we must acknowledge that the criterion of antiquity is not very effective in discerning between truth and error in dogmatic matters, except once the debates have been decided by an ecumenical council. For example, the divinity of the Holy Spirit progressively affirmed in the fourth century by Athanasius of Alexandria and Basil of Caesarea, before being professed by the Council of Constantinople (381), could not be easily justified by recourse to the criteria of antiquity, universality, and consensus. e semi-Arian thesis according to which the Spirit was not God could take advantage of the (direct) non-attribution of the divinity to the Spirit in the Scriptures. us, indirect arguments had to be developed, based on the operations and works of the Spirit, to reach at the confession 28 For a review of the issue, see omas G. Guarino, Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), xv-xxix. 29 See Vincent of Lérins, Commonitorium, II, 5. We use the edition provided by CSEL: Commonitorium pro catholicae Ecclesiae antiquitate et universalitate adversus profanas omnium haereticorum novitates, in Fausti Reiensis et Ruricii Opera, ed. Augustus Engelbrecht, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 21 (Vienna: Tempsky, 1891), 102-157. 30 See Vincent of Lérins, Commonitorium, XXII, 1. 31 Notably John Henry Newman, Yves Congar, and Joseph Ratzinger; see Guarino, Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine, 3.

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that the Spirit is co-adored and co-glorified with the Father and the Son. In retrospect, it became evident that faith in the divinity of the Spirit was an integral part of the faith of the Apostolic Church, but such objective evidence was not at all agreed upon in the third and fourth centuries. e criterion of antiquity alone did not permit a distinction to be made between the semi-Arian heresy and the Orthodox faith. In order to overcome this difficulty, omas G. Guarino proposed that the criterion of antiquity be understood not as a reference to the origin or the past, but as a reference to the apostolic faith as it is confessed and formulated by the ecumenical councils,32 here – in the Commonitorium – that of Nicaea (325) and that of Ephesus (431). Let us leave open the debate on the correct understanding of the criterion of the antiquity of orthodox doctrines. Vincent must also be heard on another aspect of dogmatic criteriology. Anticipating a well-founded objection against his fierce attachment to antiquity, Vincent gives way to a real progress, which must be understood in a homogeneous manner: But perhaps one will say, “Shall there be no progress in religion in the Church of Christ then? Certainly, there must be, and it must be considerable! Who would be enemy enough of humanity, hostile enough to God, to try to oppose it? But this is on condition that it is really for faith a progress (vere profectus) and not a change (non permutatio), since what constitutes progress is that each thing is increased by remaining itself, while change is that something from elsewhere is added to it. erefore, how much intelligence, science, and wisdom grow and progress, both that of individuals and that of the community, both that of a single man and that of the whole Church, according to age and generation! But on condition that it be exactly according to their particular nature, that is to say, in the same dogma, in the same sense, and in the same thought.33

Vincent goes on to explain that the doctrinal progress thus qualified is analogous to the coherent growth of a human body that passes from childhood to old age, while remaining one and the same person. Organs and limbs develop and change in appearance, but with substantial continuity. Conversely, if one part of the body adopted a form foreign to the human species, the body would become monstrous or perish. e Church plays a positive role in the growth of Christian dogma, but without exogenous additions. Dogmas “can receive more evidence, more light and more precision.”34 erefore Vincent assigns three related 32

See Guarino, Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine, 5, 14, 22-23, 29-33, and 41-42. Guarino argues that antiquity identifies itself with the authentic conciliar tradition. 33 Vincent of Lérins, Commonitorium, XXIII, 1-3. 34 Ibid., 10.

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tasks to the Church in doctrinal matters: “to perfect and polish what, from antiquity, has received its first form and its first outline”; “to consolidate and strengthen what already has its relief and its evidence”; “to keep what has already been confirmed and defined.”35 Intervening in the course of time and amid crises, the decrees of the councils allow the Church “to ensure that what was previously believed in all simplicity is now believed in a thoughtful manner.”36 e task of keeping the faith is not only the responsibility of the pastors, but also of the faithful, as illustrated by the moments when Christ’s sheep testify to the Catholic faith against a deviant shepherd.37 e sense of faith belongs to the whole Church, pastors and faithful in communion. 2. Articulate the Consistency of Statements of Faith over Time If tradition progresses through the explicitation and refinement of dogmatic statements issued from Revelation, human intelligence must be capable of articulating the successive expressions of the Catholic faith in a coherent manner over time.38 e statements of tradition form a homogeneous constellation referred to its dynamic principle: Revelation accomplished by Christ and completed by the Spirit. e very idea of tradition presupposes a vital continuity in a homogeneous growth, following the analogy of the body used by Vincent of Lérins. is implies that the human subject of tradition, namely the Church of Christ, discerns organic developments and foreign outgrowths. Certainly, the mysteries of God surpass all humanly formulable propositions, including dogmas in the materiality of their statements. However, human intelligence is created by God and is endowed with the capacity to know him in various degrees. e knowledge of God is accomplished according to several modes of operation: narrative, intuitive, discursive, contemplative. ese registers are assumed by the gi of prophecy to the people of God and by the witness of Holy Scriptures. In this way, God offers to the human intelligence the possibility of receiving and formulating true proposals regarding the mysteries of God and his design of grace. God remains incomprehensible in his mysteries and in 35

Vincent of Lérins, Commonitorium, XXIII, 16. Ibid., 18. 37 See ibid., XI, 5 against the heresy of Photinus. 38 e fourth characteristic note of homogeneous dogmatic developments, logical sequence, implies such intelligibility according to John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2010), chap. IV, 189-195. 36

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his plan, but he makes himself accessible to the faith, language, experience, and thought of human beings, so that they may live the friendship of grace that is offered to them. Such a dispensation of God’s knowledge grounds a tradition of faith that keeps an organic coherence of multiple expressions of faith throughout the ages. Coherence should be discernible both from a diachronic and a synchronic point of view. Beyond the documentary discontinuities or obscurities of history, coherence is hoped for and guaranteed by the continuity of the subject of the living tradition, the Church founded on Christ and the apostolic generation. 3. Theological Conviction and Empirical Approach Such a theological perspective on the homogeneous development of dogma should not lead us to neglect the contingency and complexity of the history of dogma. ough situated at two different levels of intelligibility, theological conviction and empirical approach are in law compatible. However, care must be taken to ensure that one of these approaches does not exclude the teachings of the other. It may be reassuring for some to live in denial of history for the sake of dogma, just as it is easy for others to dismiss dogma out of attachment to the dissemination and complexity of history. If we take into account historical contingencies, we must acknowledge that tradition does not develop in an irenic way. In order to declare it homogeneous, one must first believe that it is, and then try to make explicit a fundamental coherence through the contingency of trial and error, conflicts of influence and historical setbacks, successive phases of successful inculturation and problematic acculturation, etc.39 In addition to heresies that require clarifications, purifications, and arguments of the ecclesial faith, there are all kinds of situations in which the gap between the hitherto available statement of doctrine and the actual reality (ecclesial or anthropological) is such that it calls for a resolution.40 Depending on the case, this can be pastoral, doctrinal, or both. Ideally, the crisis due to a glaring discrepancy calls for a ‘theoretical

39

Under such a premise, Providence might be said to assume, according to a certain degree of instrumentality, historical circumstances, and human actors in order to achieve its ends in dogmatic matters. See Meszaros, The Prophetic Church, 215-239. 40 Ensuring such creative resolutions is a job for prophets in biblical history, according to George Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1984).

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recasting’ of the doctrinal statement that resolves the tension without, however, contradicting previous formulations of the doctrine. e historian Guillaume Cuchet has thematized such a ‘historical dialectic’ between the ‘doctrinal thesis’ and the ‘pastoral hypothesis’. Several issues of contemporary Catholicism illustrate the resolution, failed or successful, of hot spots where doctrine and practical belief have begun to diverge in an almost intolerable way: the small or large number of the elect; limbo and the fate of children who died without baptism; belief about hell and purgatory; monogenism induced by the doctrine of original sin; the right to religious liberty integrating the duty to seek the truth.41 is last case proves to be the one for which the doctrinal resolution has been intellectually successful. It is therefore necessary to ensure that a highly theological conception of the homogeneous development of dogma does not rule out the contingency and complexity of the history of dogmatic determinations. e high vision refers the development of dogma to the guidance of the Spirit of Christ, while the historical perspective emphasizes the causes and factors of the world. In a well suited epistemology, these two levels of intelligibility, theological and historical, are compatible and not directly competing. It is desirable, however, that theology should integrate the complexity of history and that the latter discipline should not exclude an explanatory register other than its own.42 4. The Limits of the Image of the Organic Development of a Living Being e image of the organic development of a living person, chosen by Vincent of Lérins and taken up by John Henry Newman,43 has a strong 41 See Guillaume Cuchet, “‘èse’ doctrinale et ‘hypothèse’ pastorale: Essai sur la dialectique historique du catholicisme à l’époque contemporaine,” Recherches de science religieuse 103 (2015): 541-565. Regarding ethical issues such as slavery, see John T. Noonan, A Church That Can and Cannot Change: The Development of Catholic Moral Teaching (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2005). 42 On the integration of history among theological loci and the challenge of being consistent in this direction, see Marie-Dominique Chenu, “Les lieux théologiques chez Melchior Cano,” in Le déplacement de la théologie, ed. Claude Geffré (Paris: Beauchesne, 1977), 45-50. 43 See Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, chap. IV, 169-206. Vincent of Lérins is explicitly mentioned twice. e analogy of a living body is frequently used by Newman to illustrate his argument about the seven characteristic notes of homogeneous development. It should be noted that the examples and applications are drawn from several historically documented

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persuasive value. e example of a living individual is within the reach of our senses and offers a convincing analogy of a substantial and coherent development. However, it must be recognized that the transposition of the properties of an organic living being to the development of a doctrine in history is an intellectual operation that must be carefully assessed in relation to other possible conceptions of historical development.44 Would the development of Christian tradition be rather dialectical, tracing its path by a mode of overcoming tensions in the midst of heresies that offer multiple antitheses to the Orthodox faith? Or would it be better to acknowledge that the historical development of Christian faith is unified by an eschatological perfection that transcends it, so that total coherence would come at the end and could only be grasped retrospectively? It seems to me that a certain fertile tension must be maintained between the original fullness and the final fullness. As for its substance, nothing is lacking in the Revelation accomplished in Christ and by the Spirit for the apostolic generation. us the tradition of Revelation grows, as a matter of principle, following an organic and homogeneous development. Nevertheless, certain dogmas, notably the late Marian dogmas (Immaculate Conception and Assumption), are not discernible in the apostolic stage of receiving Revelation. A strict application of the criteria of Vincent of Lérins would rather lead to admit that they are outgrowths, not having been held for all time, by everyone and everywhere. For a faithful Catholic, the historical development of Marian doctrine nevertheless sheds light retrospectively on the virtualities of the “full of grace” of Lk 1:28. Here one must have faith in the Church as subject of tradition in order to receive and recognize a homogeneous development. files. is avoids an unequivocal projection of the biological model on the continuity of history. Moreover, the flexibility with which Newman illustrates the first note (preservation of type) leaves a favorable margin for the unfolding of forms in the move from the implicit to the explicit. It seems, however, that the promulgation of the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and of the infallibility of the Pope finally led Newman to accentuate the warrant that falls to the authority of the Church for discernment between true and false developments; see Guarino, Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine, 62-68; Meszaros, The Prophetic Church, 207. 44 On philosophical conceptions of development (biological model, historical vitalism, spiritual continuity) related to various theories of doctrinal development (Newman, Loisy, Blondel), see Henri Gouhier, “Tradition et développement à l’époque du modernisme,” in Herméneutique et tradition, ed. Enrico Castelli (Rome: Istituto di Studi filosofici; Paris: Vrin, 1963), 75-99, followed by an interesting contribution by Henri de Lubac in the subsequent discussion, 100-101.

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It also presupposes the belief that the Spirit of Christ leads the Church to an eschatological fullness that will be the full unfolding and reception of Revelation. However, there are other, more delicate cases. It happens that some of the data of the Revelation have been le for a long time as if they were dormant, unnoticed or neutralized, even though they are undoubtedly attested by Scriptures. It is possible that certain facts may be obscured or certain injunctions silenced because their implications in terms of conversion are perceived as too costly or disturbing within a homogeneous and coherent religious tradition, and an irenic time. 5. The Risks of Confusion, Blindness or Blockage If we maintain that the development of Christian dogma is homogeneous, we must also avoid the risk of blindness, through overconfidence, in the face of the forgetfulness, deviances, and cultural excrescences of the Christian tradition. Vigilance is necessary in every age, not because, in essence, the tradition of Revelation could wander, but because it is not always easy to discern finely between the tradition of Revelation and the religious or cultural traditions that accompany or intermingle with it. us, for example, the tradition of the Eucharist is carried by various rites: Roman, Ambrosian, Byzantine, Chaldean, Syriac, etc. ese legitimate rites are more or less ancient. ey have their own history and they are more or less aligned, in the articulation or accumulation of their parts, to the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness. ey are venerable authentic traditions through which the Eucharist is transmitted. Tradition and traditions are closely intertwined. Moreover, the tradition of the Eucharist is accompanied by various forms of devotion (in the broadest sense) according to rites and times: frequent or annual communion, separation or proximity of the Eucharistic action, very diverse liturgical participation of the laity, various practices of Eucharistic adoration, emphasis on the Eucharistic reserve or on the Eucharistic body composed by the assembly, etc. In fact, the transmission of the sacrament of the Eucharist is almost inseparable from dogma, rites, and devotions. However, not everything has the same fittingness in the act and form of transmission. Enlarging the field of analysis finally leads us to take into account a serious risk: it is possible that cultural factors, more or less adjusted to the transmission of Revelation, may in practice be confused with it. Worldly habits then de facto obscure the power of the Gospel to challenge us. e cultural domestication of Christian faith, which is one of the

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drawbacks of any successful inculturation, can lead to the neutralization of this or that aspect of Revelation in its disturbing character and its call to conversion. For example, the demand for a theological renewal of the relationship between men and women within the Christian community, because of the new belonging to Christ through baptism, may have been neutralized by the adoption of the Greek domestic code within the Christian household and, by extension, within the congregation of the faithful. is is a drawback of the successful inculturation of the Gospel in the Greek world under the impulse of Paul’s preaching. is is the somewhat disturbing conclusion of the exegete Michel Gourgues at the end of his analysis of the various phases of the Pauline tradition on this subject.45 Two millennia later, we are not yet evangelized in a consistent way when it comes to relations between men and women in the Catholic Church in its present state.46 It took so many centuries for Paul’s recommendation to Philemon to be heard and applied, enjoining him to welcome Onesimus, the fugitive slave, “as a dear brother,” “according to the world and according to the Lord.”47 Facing the cruel slavery of natives during the colonization of America, their suppressed lament had to wait until it was heard by an Antonio de Montesinos in Santo Domingo in 1511 for him to take the risk of denouncing this “mortal sin” and for some consciences to gradually turn around.48 It oen seems possible to stifle the cry of the oppressed 45 See Michel Gourgues, Ni homme ni femme: L’attitude du premier christianisme à l’égard de la femme. Évolutions et régressions (Paris: Cerf, 2013); see also Aurélie Caldwell, Paul, misogyne ou promoteur de l’émancipation féminine? Étude de 1 Co 11, 2-16, Études bibliques 72 (Louvain: Peeters, 2016). 46 See Anne-Marie Pelletier, “Lire encore plus loin,” in L’Église, des femmes avec des hommes (Paris: Cerf, 2019), 87-116; Luca Castiglioni, Filles et files de Dieu: Égalité baptismale et différence sexuelle, Cogitatio Fidei 309 (Paris: Cerf, 2020). 47 See Phm 16; James B. Prothro, “History, Illocution, and eological Exegesis: Reading Paul’s Letter to Philemon,” Nova et Vetera 18 (2020): 1341-1363. 48 One could argue that, even though Paul asserts a truth that goes beyond his culture, he does return the slave as a slave, and does not tell the owner to free him. For that reason, this episode was used by professed Christians to justify slavery, particularly in the American south. It proves more complex regarding the treatment of Indigenous people. Antonio de Montesinos and his Dominican brothers were heroic, but slavery of Africans was widely practiced in Brazil and elsewhere into the 1860s, and denial of Indigenous rights remains part of many cultures. e legacy of systemic racism is a negative example of the way cultural norms may in fact choke the Gospel. I thank Jeremiah Batram for this comment.

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or to caricature it. It might nevertheless pass through the filters of protection and justification of the status quo, which sometimes turns out to be very distant from the demands of conversion stemming from the Gospel. 6. Renovate, Purify, Reform… by Accepting a Part of Self-Criticism e setting up of deviances, blindness or structural blockages in the life of the Church does not formally result from the tradition of Revelation, but a state of affairs may at one time be confused with it. Hence the need for renewal, purification, and reform in the life of the Church. e Second Vatican Council emphasized this need by a relatively abundant use of the verbs renovare, purificare and reformare.49 From several perspectives, the Council makes the purification and renewal of the Church depend on the guidance of the Spirit. While the Church painfully acknowledges the shortcomings of some of her members and structures, the discernment of the paths of renewal is not only a matter of human prudence but also of divine illumination. From a historical point of view, John W. O’Malley suggests that we distinguish various types of reforms centered respectively on (1) the renewal of leadership in the Church, (2) the adjustment of a system or the remedy of abuses, (3) doctrine, practices, values or mentalities.50 It is not easy to reconcile the presupposition of homogeneous doctrinal development with the need for doctrinal reform in the life of the Church. Yet reform sometimes requires a re-evaluation of the way doctrine has been formulated and defended in the past, as the Decree on Ecumenism pointed out: Every renewal of the Church is essentially grounded in an increase of fidelity to her own calling. Undoubtedly this is the basis of the movement toward unity. Christ summons the Church to continual reformation as she sojourns here on earth. e Church is always in need of this, in so far as she is an institution of men here on earth. us if, in various times and circumstances, there have been deficiencies in moral conduct or in church discipline, or even in the way that church teaching has been formulated

49

See in particular Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, nos. 4, 7, 8, 9, 12, and 15; Unitatis Redintegratio, nos. 4 and 6; Gaudium et Spes, nos. 21 and 43. See Peter De Mey, “Church Renewal and Reform in the Documents of Vatican II: History, eology, Terminology,” The Jurist 71 (2011): 369-400. 50 On different historical types of reform, see John W. O’Malley, “‘e Hermeneutic of Reform’: A Historical Analysis,” Theological Studies 73 (2012): 517546, especially 521-522.

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– to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith itself – these can and should be set right at the opportune moment.51

Addressing the question of the relationship between development and reform from the perspective of ecumenical dialogues, Catherine E. Clifford, in turn, offers an interesting typology.52 She distinguishes two classical types of doctrinal development. e first, relating to Antiquity and the Middle Ages, is a progressive clarification. e second, dominant in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, consists in the unveiling or explicitation of a ‘living idea’ of Christianity through a new dogmatic statement, an idea that had hitherto remained implicit in the life and prayer of the Church. is is essentially the theory of development formulated by John Henry Newman.53 To these two types of development, Clifford proposes to add a third one. It aims at giving more importance to a dialectic of self-correction of the Church, particularly sensitive through ecumenical dialogues that advance the Church’s historical consciousness in doctrinal matters. According to this logic, several Christian confessions have agreed to revisit the conflicts of the past and the resulting condemnations or caricatures, to the point of applying significant corrections to certain normative texts.54 e dynamics of self-correction by successive adjustments is already verified in the Scriptures. is is notably the case with regard to retribution in the Old Testament. Such a dynamic is also noticeable in the New Testament, for example, with regard to the delicate balance between justification by faith and demonstration of faith by works. It is not surprising that the scriptural testimony given to Revelation, being discursive, is subject to such balances, adjustments, even self-corrections. A fortiori, the long reception of the Revelation through tradition calls for balancing, adjustments, even self-corrections. e objective fullness of the gi accomplished by Christ and the Spirit, from the Incarnation 51 Second Vatican Council, Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 6, trans. taken from the Vatican website, accessed on January 25, 2021. 52 See Catherine E. Clifford, “Reform and the Development of Doctrine: An Ecumenical Endeavor,” The Jurist 71 (2011): 35-58. 53 Besides An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, see also John Henry Newman, “e eory of Developments in Religious Doctrine,” in Fifteen Sermons Preached before the University of Oxford, ed. James D. Earnest and Gerard Tracey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), Sermon XV, 211-235. 54 e most eloquent example to date remains the Lutheran-Catholic agreement on justification, preceded by the liing of the mutual anathemas of the sixteenth century; see Catholic Church-Lutheran World Federation, The Doctrine of Justification: Joint Declaration (signed October 31, 1999).

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to Pentecost, is thematized and appropriated over a long period of time in a more or less integral and balanced way. For example, over a relatively short period of twenty years, the proposition of Christ’s identity unfolded through Ephesus (431), the Act of Union of 433, and Chalcedon (451) following a dynamic of progressive balancing between the pole of the unity of the subject and that of the distinction of natures, followed by the integrity of their specific operations in communion. In reference to the objective fullness of Christ, the journey of tradition could be experienced as a process of self-correction, whose solidity and coherence we measure a posteriori. Over much longer time sequences, the dynamics of self-correction are oen the result of paradigm shis. Consider, for example, the contrasting assessments of the value of the rites of Judaism by the Catholic tradition. Gavin D’Costa has proposed a hermeneutic of this complex issue in a recent work.55 Drawing on Rom 11:29, Lumen Gentium, no. 16 and Nostra Aetate, no. 4, he asserts that God’s gis to the Jewish people – first and foremost the gi of election – are without repentance. Does such a dogmatic affirmation apply to post-biblical rabbinic Judaism? In this regard, a significant development has occurred in the teaching of Pope John Paul II since 1980. D’Costa identifies and evaluates this ongoing development in the ecclesial discourses and texts that have appeared since then, right up to the document of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism published in 2015.56 e recent Catholic conviction that the irrevocable character of God’s gis applies to rabbinic Judaism raises a serious question: once the ancient accusation of deicide against the Jewish people, which was accompanied by a supposed divine curse, has been lied, can the ritual practices of Judaism still be regarded as ‘dead’ and ‘deadly’ or should they rather be seen as valid and life-giving? How can we conceive of their positive value? D’Costa argues that the novelty of the ongoing development remains compatible with the earlier Catholic magisterium, although the presuppositions underlying the various dogmatic assertions – of 55 See Gavin D’Costa, Catholic Doctrines on the Jewish People after Vatican II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019). For my complete review of this work, which also deals with other much debated issues relating to the land of Israel and the absence of Christian missions to the Jews, see Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 103 (2019): 565-567. 56 See Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, “‘e Gis and Call of God Are Irrevocable’ (Rom 11:29): A eological Reflection on the Relationship between Catholics and Jews on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate (n. 4)” (2015).

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various but literally opposite orders – have changed markedly.57 is is what we call a paradigm shi. Regarding the ritual practices of Judaism, D’Costa conducts a fine dogmatic hermeneutic of the bull Cantate Domino (1442). Resituated in its historical context, this magisterial document does not condemn Jewish practices as ‘dead’ and ‘deadly’ when considered in a non-contextual manner, but denounces their practice or accommodation by Christians, in this case Egyptian Copts (known as Jacobites), through the circumcision of male children, the observance of the Sabbath on Saturdays and certain dietary restrictions. Let us observe here how much the doctrinal statement belongs to a system within a particular context, a determined stake and a given state of theological language. To provide a rational basis for the doctrinal development in progress, D’Costa resorts to the division of salvation history into three periods by Saint Augustine. ese are related not only to the decisive event that is the passion of Christ, but also to the noetic conditions of the reception of this event by believers: (1) before the Passion, (2) aer the Passion but before the universal diffusion of the Gospel, (3) aer the effective preaching of the Gospel to all. D’Costa argues that “rabbinic Jews,” although they lived or are living objectively aer the Passion of Christ, are subjectively situated, for the most part, in the first or second period. is position is supported by recourse to the classical doctrine of invincible ignorance. In certain cases, therefore, the ceremonial practices of contemporary Judaism should be considered effective and sanctifying, although they are not by themselves salvific, for their virtue is derived from the one salvation accomplished by Christ Jesus. D’Costa thus defends a nuanced theory of fulfillment without “hard supersessionism” from the Church to Israel.58 Clearly, we are witnessing a paradigm shi in the Catholic tradition’s view of contemporary Judaism. It is up to historians to identify the parameters that have led to such a change. Highlighting these shis makes it possible to acknowledge the dynamic of self-correction of tradition, without confusing it with a betrayal of the past.

57 See D’Costa, Catholic Doctrines on the Jewish People after Vatican II, 7-14 and 188. 58 See ibid., 55-57 and 62-63.

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6. Conclusion e Catholic tradition is a mixed reality, theological and human. We have proposed an integral approach to it, one that goes back to God the Father and takes into account historical complexity. Aer establishing several defining features of Revelation and identifying the main active subjects of its tradition, we have attempted to combine Trinitarian theology with empirical realism regarding the progression of tradition. e development might prove to be ‘homogeneous’ only a posteriori, from an eschatological perspective, but it leaves room along the way for coherent self-corrections. ese are desirable when facing the annexations or blockages that sometimes neutralize the Gospel as a call to conversion. e question remains, however, as to how far the pluralism of expressions of faith can be integrated into the unity of Revelation and carried into ecclesial communion. Since burning issues that divide its members continue to intervene again and again in the life of the Catholic Church, as in that of other Christian confessions, reference to the Gospel and its tradition is to be the principal criterion for critical discernment with regard to the present of ecclesial life. Tradition is an instance of otherness in relation to the cultural evidences of the day. In fact, such evidences are almost inevitably accompanied by accommodating annexations, partial blindness, and cultural sleepiness. In order to live the fullness of tradition in every age, however, it is also necessary to take into account the complex demands of a growth in charity in the present, since communion is also one of the criteria of truth in doctrinal matters. In the pilgrim Church there are conflicts, not only between the good and the wicked, but also among the good ones.59 In fact, each side of such conflicts has both a (just but partial) view of the good and, consequently, an acute lucidity about the part of the truth le in the shadows by those who hold the opposite view. We are all believers whose human intelligence remains in a historical condition, with all the conditioning and limitations that this entails. Simple souls, prophets, and saints – whether they are found among pastors or among the faithful – play a decisive role in challenging us, both in word and deeds, aiming at a refined perception and inventive practice of the Gospel facing the challenges of the present time.

59

See Augustine of Hippo, De civitate Dei, XV, 5.

16 The Ecclesiology of Marie-Dominique Chenu A Paradigm for Service to Humanity Gabriel Flynn

1. Evolution of an Idea Study of the life and work of Marcel-Léon Chenu (1895-1990), one of the great thinkers of the epoch and a founding father of the vital ressourcement movement,1 brings us to the heart of the French Church in the twentieth century. He was at the forefront of the intellectual and pastoral flowering that illuminated French Catholicism at mid-century and facilitated innovation and renewal on a grand scale. Chenu was, above all, a man of ideas; it was his classic text, Une école de théologie: Le Saulchoir (1937), that influenced Yves M.-J. Congar and the other leading ressourcement theologians, thereby shaping twentieth-century theology and Vatican II.2 He made a series of vibrant historical, theological, and praxisoriented contributions to the original renewal and reform movements of his time.3 e ressourcement movement was animated by its closest 1

See Janette Gray, “Marie-Dominique Chenu and Le Saulchoir: A Stream of Catholic Renewal,” in Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in TwentiethCentury Catholic Theology, ed. Gabriel Flynn and Paul D. Murray (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 205-218. 2 See Gabriel Flynn, ed., Yves Congar: Theologian of the Church, new and expanded ed., Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs 45 (Louvain: Peeters, 2018). 3 See André Duval, “Bibliographie du P. Marie-Dominique Chenu (19211965),” in Mélanges offerts à M.-D. Chenu, ed. André Duval et al., Bibliothèque omiste 37 (Paris: Vrin, 1967), 9-29; also Timothy Radcliffe et al., eds., Congar and Chenu: Friend, Teacher, Brother, Interface eology 3/1 (Hindmarsh: ATF eology, 2017); Michael Schmaus, The Church: Its Origin and Structure, trans. Mary Ledderer, Dogma 4 (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1972), 75; Gabriel Flynn, “e Twentieth-Century Renaissance in Catholic eology,” in Ressourcement, 1-19; Michael Kelly, “‘Catholicisme ondoyant’: Catholic Intellectual Engagement and the Crisis of Civilization in the 1930s,” in God’s Mirror: Renewal and

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theological precursor, the Catholic Tübingen School, notably, its greatest theologian Johann Adam Möhler (1796-1838), by means of the closest possible communion with the thought and spirit of the Fathers.4 Tübingen introduced a principle of renewal into nineteenth-century theology with a conception of faith which integrates its historical, psychological, and pastoral dimensions. Chenu articulates precisely his hopes and aims regarding Tübingen. It’s there, right down to its vocabulary, the principal theme of the Catholic theologians of Tübingen (Drey, Mœhler), and we wish the Saulchoir to borrow from these masters of the Catholic Renaissance of the nineteenth century in Germany […] With them we reject the abstract intellectualism of the Aufklärung and its indifference regarding history.5

Chenu’s work would ultimately yield a universal harvest on a global scale. His highly original, patristics-based ideas on the church, with complementary pneumatological and Christological elements, and its incisive focus on method, penetrated Catholic ecclesiology, transformed theological learning, and contributed to the reforms of Vatican II. e historian Émile Poulat (1920-2014),6 provides an epigrammatic tribute to Chenu based on his intellectual prowess, on which so much would depend for the Catholic Church in his time. A born historian, Father Chenu could lean on the example of two great Dominicans: Mandonnet and Lagrange, then, on the encouragement of Étienne Gilson, the great pioneer of medieval thought. He saw there the necessary condition to access an historical understanding of the faith and to give to theology a scientific status, hence his first important book, La Théologie comme science au XIIIe siècle (1935).7

Engagement in French Catholic Intellectual Culture in the Mid-Twentieth Century, ed. Katherine Davies and Toby Garfitt (New York: Fordham University Press, 2015), 28-49. 4 See Flynn, “Ressourcement, Ecumenism, and Pneumatology: e Contribution of Yves Congar to Nouvelle Théologie,” in Ressourcement, 219-235; Grant Kaplan, “e Renewal of Ecclesiastical Studies: Chenu, Tübingen, and eological Method in Optatam Totius,” Theological Studies 77 (2016): 567-592; Gabriel Flynn, Yves Congar’s Vision of the Church in a World of Unbelief (Oxford: Routledge, 2016 [first published by Ashgate, 2004]), 6, 7, 90-92, 202. 5 Marie-Dominique Chenu et al., Une école de théologie: Le Saulchoir, éologies (Paris: Cerf, 1985), 141. 6 See Yvon Tranvouez, “‘Émile Poulat’, Archives de Sciences sociales des religions,” https://journals.openedition.org/assr/25698?lang=en. 7 Émile Poulat, “Souvenir du Père Chenu,” Revue des Deux Mondes (April 1990): 171-177, at 173-174; ierry Paquot, “Émile Poulat (1920-2014): Un apôtre

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omas F. O’Meara says that Chenu was “a remarkable theologian who both pioneered modern medieval studies and worked with important pastoral movements.”8 Or as Jean-Pierre Jossua, his close friend at Couvent Saint-Jacques remarks, not without emotion. “His fundamental optimism and communicative genius made him an incomparable brother and teacher. e French Dominicans owe to him the splendid vitality of this period of their lives, and so does the Catholic Church even more, although she has never been willing to acknowledge it.”9 Careful study of the sources in the archives of the Dominican Province of France reveals Chenu as a profound thinker whose response to rejection, dismissal, and severe censure on the part of his order and the Roman Church was one of loyalty, fortitude, patience, and creative obedience.10 Étienne Gilson (1884-1978),11 one of the most eminent scholars of the twentieth century and a renowned historian of medieval philosophy,12 points to his inimitable contribution. “People like Father Chenu are rare; they come only once in a century.”13 His fundamental idea, from which he never deviated, was that of service to humanity. He was its prototypical exemplar, rendering service de la laïcité,” La Revue 71 (2015): 308-311, https://www.cairn.info/revue-hermesla-revue-2015-1-page-308.htm. 8 See Marie-Dominique Chenu, Vatican II Notebook: A Council Journal, Critical Edition and Introduction by Alberto Melloni, trans. Paul Philibert (Adelaide: ATF eology, 2015), book jacket. 9 Jean Pierre Jossua, “La Mort du Père M. D. Chenu,” Le Monde, 13 February 1990. 10 See Dominicans, Province of France, http://www.dominicains.fr/ rechercher/archives/409/387/3; also Poulat, “Souvenir,” 174-177. 11 See Brian J. Shanley, O.P., The Thomist Tradition (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002), 10. “Étienne Gilson was uniquely suited to rehabilitate the legitimacy of medieval philosophy against the rationalist claim that the preCartesian period was a philosophical wasteland because he backed his way into it from the study of modern philosophy. […] e best way to get at Gilson’s claim is not by a formal analysis of terms, however, but rather through his examination of the actual history of medieval philosophy. e historical reality, as laid out most perspicuously in The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy, was that medieval philosophy owed its originality and depth to its theological context.” 12 See Francesca Aran Murphy, “Gilson and Ressourcement,” in Ressourcement, 51-64; Philip Daileader, “Étienne Gilson (1884-1978),” in French Historians 1900-2000, ed. Philip Daileader and Philip Whalen (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), 285-305; Laurence K. Shook, Étienne Gilson, e Étienne Gilson Series 6 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1984); Laurence K. Shook, “Étienne Henry Gilson, 1884-1978,” Medieval Studies 41 (1979): vii-xv. 13 Cited in Yves Congar, “Témoignage du P. Yves Congar après son décès,” Archive Province Dominicaine de France (hereaer, APDF), M.-D. Chenu 2.

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with classic graciousness and profound integrity, not only to theology and the church, but also to society and, above all, to people without regard to status or religious affiliation. As Congar remarks: “A constant nourishment from within permitted him to make a constant gi of his heart and mind. It was a kind of intellectual generosity on the same plane as his extraordinary openness to others.”14 e dual concerns of this paper are, therefore, to introduce his rich, innovative, and dynamic vision of the church and to denote his mutually beneficial relationship with the popular Catholic movements of France and Belgium during one of the most fructuous periods of Catholic life in the modern era. e paper proceeds in three steps. First, it examines the spirituality that Chenu initially articulated as a student in Rome and that quickly became foundational in his life as a priest and intellectual and which he exhibited among the worker priests of France and Belgium, and as a chaplain to the Young Christian Worker and Young Christian Student movements. Secondly, it considers his theological methodology, burgeoning from the heart of his spirituality, in order to assess its capacity as a transformative leaven in the church and an innovative mode of change in an unexpected universal forum, namely, an ecumenical council of the church. As Grant Kaplan, who in an important essay expertly assesses the full impact of Möhler on Chenu, observes: “Only by tracing the influence of Tübingen on Chenu can one appreciate the methodological revolution that it inspired in him.”15 irdly, it envisions the fecundity of his ecclesial vision for the church of the future. Following the completion of his doctoral studies at the Pontifical University of St omas, also known as the Angelicum (1914-1920), in what was perhaps the most momentous decision of his life, the brilliant young Dominican declined the invitation of his thesis supervisor Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange (1877-1964) to remain on in Rome,16 choosing instead

14 Yves Congar, “e Brother I Have Known,” trans. Boniface Ramsey, The Thomist 49 (1985): 495-503, at 496. 15 Kaplan, “Renewal of Ecclesiastical Studies,” 567, 576-579. Note should be taken of two important related texts cited by Kaplan. Marie-Dominique Chenu, “Les hautes études religieuses en France et en Allemagne autour de 1830,” La Vie intellectuelle 6 (1930): 52-56; Marie-Dominique Chenu, “Position de la théologie,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 24 (1935): 332-357, republished as “La foi dans l’intelligence,” La Parole de Dieu 1 (1964): 116-138. 16 See Richard Peddicord, The Sacred Monster of Thomism: An Introduction to the Life and Legacy of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (Chicago, IL: St Augustine’s Press, 2015); Richard Peddicord, “Another Look at the eological Enterprise of Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP,” Angelicum 82 (2005): 835-848;

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to return to Le Saulchoir, then in exile at Kain-la-Tombe near Tournai in Belgium because of the anti-clerical legislation of the French ird Republic.17 From its beginnings, under the direction of Ambroise Gardeil and Pierre Mandonnet, the bold objective for the Saulchoir studium was to achieve university-level standards in theology, using a multidisciplinary approach. Gardeil had a marked influence on a brilliant generation of young Dominicans through his work Le donné révélé et la théologie,18 which was set to become the grammar of Le Saulchoir’s methodology and, along with other innovations, was embraced confidently in the adoption of Lagrange’s méthode historique.19 Père Lagrange: Personal Reflections and Memoirs (1985) is of historical importance as it documents the early history of the École Biblique et archéologique française de Michael Kerlin, “Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange: Defending the Faith from ‘Pascendi dominici gregis’ to ‘Humani Generis’,” U.S. Catholic Historian 25 (2007): 97-113. See also Joseph A. Komonchak, “eology and Culture at Mid-Century: e Example of Henri de Lubac,” Theological Studies 51 (1990): 579-602, at 601, note 67. is refers to a letter from Jacques Maritain to Garrigou-Lagrange in which he defends himself against the charge of doctrinal deviation because of his support of General de Gaulle, Garrigou-Lagrange being a resolute advocate of the Vichy regime, as Peddicord notes in The Sacred Monster of Thomism, 99. Also André Laudouze, Dominicains français et Action française: 1899-1940: Maurras au convent (Paris: Éditions Ouvrières, 1989), 31; Paul Raymond Caldwell, Yves Congar, O.P.: Ecumenist of the Twentieth Century, unpublished doctoral dissertation (Marquette, WI: Marquette University e-Publications 2009). 17 See Evelyn Martha Acomb, The French Laic Laws, 1879-1889: The First Anti-clerical Campaign of the Third French Republic, Studies in History, Economics and Public Law 486 (New York: Octagon Books, 1967). 18 Ambroise Gardeil, Le donné révélé et la théologie, 2nd ed. (Paris: Cerf, 1932); Marie-Dominique Chenu, “Regard sur cinquante ans de vie religieuse,” in L’hommage différé au Père Chenu, ed. Claude Geffré et al. (Paris: Cerf, 1990), 259-268, at 261-262. In a series of warm tributes, Chenu reveals his esteem for the great generation that preceded his own. “Fr Gardeil remains the master in doctrine, in method, in spirit. […] If there was at Le Saulchoir ‘a school of theology’, he was truly its founder and its soul. […] It is thanks to Fr Mandonnet that Le Saulchoir applied itself to the study of the works of St omas and the resources of the historical method, still a great novelty at that time. While Fr  Lagrange, the author of the famous pamphlet La Méthode historique who though he only ever passed through Le Saulchoir; exerted considerable influence there. […] Fr Lemonnyer, regent of studies (1912-1929), psychologically and deliberately modest, was the chosen heir of Fr Gardeil, including as exegetetheologian.” 19 Chenu, Une école, 138; Jean Guitton, Portrait du Père Lagrange: Celui qui a réconcilié la science et la foi (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1992); Richard Murphy, O.P., ed., Lagrange and Biblical Renewal (Chicago, IL: Priory Press, 1966).

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Jérusalem (1889-1913), the progress of the Catholic biblical renewal, and an initial assessment of Modernism. Chenu records his memories of this bountiful period in a way that manifests his esteem for the friars who “though enmeshed in the modernist crisis, had serenely articulated a theology which combines scientific principles, contemplative richness, and apostolic roots.”20 Mandonnet also exerted a vital influence on Chenu through his insistence on the historical study of medieval texts, a rich vein that would also yield lasting fruit for future generations. Chenu, with his close fellow workers Yves M. J. Congar, Henri-Marie Féret, and the faculties of Le Saulchoir, was now doing for theology and philosophy what Lagrange had done for scripture studies, namely, the rigorous application of historical-critical methods in all branches of theology.21 Le Saulchoir was effectively realising a formula dear to Chenu according to which “theology is faith in statu scientae.”22 As a young professor, Chenu embarked on a vast programme of medieval and omist research.23 Like his erstwhile ressourcement colleagues, 20

See Olivier de la Brosse, Le père Chenu: La liberté dans la foi (Paris: Cerf, 1969), 24. 21 See Gabriel Flynn, “eological Renewal in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” in The Cambridge Companion to Vatican II, ed. Richard R. Gaillardetz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 19-40, at 29-35; also Minlib Dallh, The Sufi and the Friar: A Mystical Encounter of Two Men of God in the Abode of Islam (New York: State University of New York: 2017), 24-32. 22 Chenu, Une école, 31. 23 See Étienne Fouilloux, “Marie-Dominique Chenu,” in Dictionnaire biographique des frères prêcheurs: Dominicains des provinces françaises XIXeXXe  siècles, https://journals.openedition.org/dominicains/85; Jacques Le Goff, “Le Père Chenu et la société médiévale,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 81 (1997): 371-380; Jean Jolivet, “M.-D. Chenu, médiéviste et théologien,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 81 (1997): 381-394; Jean-Claude Schmitt, “L’œuvre de médiéviste du Père Chenu,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 81 (1997): 395-406; Alain Boureau, “Le Père Chenu médiéviste: Historicité, contexte et tradition,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 81 (1997): 407-414; Henri Donneaud, “M.-D. Chenu et l’exégèse de sacra doctrina,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 81 (1997): 415-437; Xavier Debilly, La théologie au creuset de l’histoire: MarieDominique Chenu et son travail avec La Mission de France, Cogitatio Fidei 304 (Paris: Cerf, 2018); “Antoine Lemonnyer,” in Dictionnaire biographique des frères prêcheurs; Lemonnyer was the co-founder of the RSPT, Biographical texts available online from 1 April 2015 http://journals.openedition.org/dominicains/1420; “Pierre Mandonnet (26 February 1858, in Beaumont, Puy-de-Dôme – 4 January 1936, in Le Saulchoir, Belgium) was a French-born, Belgian Dominican historian, important in the neo-omist trend of historiography and the recovery of medieval philosophy. From 1891 to 1919, he was a professor of church history at

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he practiced his métier in the normal milieu of the world and in the concrete life of the church. As he writes: “I find my theology in the living church, as it lives today in a real world.”24 During the inter-war period, along with other scholars, he helped to initiate the scientific and technical study of medieval texts. In an interview published in 1965, he lauds the brilliant architects of a omist ressourcement and documents his own part in it. In this context, he refers to his enduring friendship with Étienne Gilson.25 Crucially, he attributes the Catholic enlightenment of the era to the indispensable ressourcement movement. Aer the war, my studies in Rome ended in 1920. I returned to the Saulchoir at the moment when Père Mandonnet and Père Lemonnyer set to work. ey were a team who were engaged in an historical study and analysis of the work of St. omas. e doctrinal understanding of the text had to come from a reconstruction of its genesis. e return to the sources, there as elsewhere, offered enrichment and freshness. e team furnished their collaborators with the Bulletin Thomiste; I became secretary for the publication of Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques. It was then that I got to know Étienne Gilson, who remains my very dear friend.26

Chenu’s life was a reflection of the witness and teaching of St Dominic de Guzmán (1170-1221) and St omas Aquinas (1225-1274).27 Like them, he possessed a unique ability to traverse cultural, linguistic, and

the University of Fribourg. In 1902/03 he served as university rector.” https:// peoplepill.com/people/pierre-mandonnet/. 24 Marie-Dominique Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” trans. Joseph P. Philibert, Informations Catholiques Internationales 233 (February 1, 1965): 136-143, at 139, also available at Dominicana Journal 50:2 (1965), https:// www.dominicanajournal.org/dominicana-1916-1968-archive/dominicana-502summer-1965-2/. 25 Ibid., 140; Francesca Aran Murphy, “e ‘Chosisme’ of Étienne Gilson and Marie-Dominique Chenu,” in Philosophies of Christianity at the Crossroads of Contemporary Problems, ed. Balázs M. Mezei and Matthew Z. Vale, Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures 31 (Berlin: Springer, 2019), 153-168. 26 Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 140; Dominique Avon, Les Frères prêcheurs en Orient: Les Dominicains du Caire 1910-1960, Histoire (Paris: Cerf, 2005), 185; “Hamès Constant, Dominique Avon, Les frères prêcheurs en Orient. Les dominicains du Caire (années 1910-années 1960). Paris, Le Cerf, coll. ‘Histoire,’ 2005, pp. 1029,”  Archives de sciences sociales des religions 136 (2006): 123-283. 27 See Jean-René Bouchet, “Portrait de Saint Dominique,” in Dominicains: L’Ordre des Prêcheurs présenté par quelques-uns d’entre eux, ed. Alain Quilici et al. (Paris: Cerf, 1980), 13-27.

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ideological boundaries in the service of the gospel and humanity. A vital factor in his personal and intellectual life, was his innate ability to form bonds of connection with others and to rise above the ideological flashpoints of his day. He inspired others and helped to set in motion a series of intellectual currents of renewal and movements of reform in the Catholic Church. In his solitary vocation, he also knew that he needed people; it was they who gave direction and fulfilment to his life. He devoted himself unstintingly to their service and liberty: “As a theologian I need them! People are my obsession. […] And even as a young religious, I felt the openness to others, communion with my whole self with the affairs of the world, was essential to the life of a Dominican, an ideal which comes from the beginning of the Order.”28 In a personal tribute, Congar wrote movingly of his mentor as a person of high intelligence and originality of thought. Whoever came to the Saulchoir would encounter Father Chenu first in his courses. […] e course on the history of doctrines was marked by the strong conviction of a man who believed in ideas with his whole being. One of the people responsible for his having come under suspicion told me one day that Father Chenu did not hold for metaphysics and affected an all-embracing relativism. I have encountered few people, however, who believed as he did in intelligence, in its act and in intellectuality.29

When Chenu entered the Dominican novitiate in November 1913, he took the name Marie-Dominique in religion. He was drawn to the mendicant orders, the Franciscans and Dominicans, precisely because they “owe their foundation to the evangelical somersault of a Church which rescued itself from the comfortable situation it enjoyed in feudal society.”30 Much later, in pensive mood, he described the other vital source of his religious vocation with intense emotion: “I entered the order by the contemplative door. […] ere are two doors by which one may enter the house of St. Dominic: apostolic engagement and the contemplative life. […] At the Belgian Saulchoir, the ambiance was intensely contemplative. […] I have remained faithful to the contemplative life.”31

28

Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 136, 138; André Duval, “Une organisation au service de la liberté,” in Dominicains: L’Ordre des Prêcheurs, 177-187. 29 Congar, “e Brother,” 495. 30 Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 138. 31 See J.-P. Manigne in L’actualité religieuse dans le monde, October 15, 1987, 32; cited in Joseph Doré, “Un Itinéraire – Témoin: Marie-Dominique Chenu,”

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2. The Spirituality in the Theology of the Church of MarieDominique Chenu 1. Brother, Master, Friend His original contribution to spirituality is best understood in the context of his life’s work and service to the church and society. Janette Gray’s portrayal of his œuvre demonstrates his concern for spiritual and theological equilibrium and situates his spirituality at the genesis of the Catholic theological renewal of the twentieth century. “Chenu’s thesis on contemplation launched the ressourcement of Aquinas’ theological method and development. […] His scepticism about neo-scholastic metaphysics came through his preference for historically locating omas’ teaching.”32 In common with other leading theologians of the era, he had a deep concern for wholeness (la totalité/le tout). While avoiding compartmentalisation in his opus, he lived and breathed theology, St omas, and church history, in the service of a wide range of pastoral ministries. His life and vocation, his mission to the Young Christian Student/Young Christian Worker movements, the prêtres ouvriers, as well as his intellectual and academic work were woven seamlessly in service to God, humanity, and the church. Claude Geffré’s L’hommage différé au Père Chenu (1990), a volume in the same vein as André Duval’s Mélanges offerts à M.-D. Chenu (1967) together constitute an exposition of his life and service in an honor roll of the Paris enlightenment in Catholic thought during the first half of the twentieth century and, most important, a living historical record by those who were there. As Geffré remarks: It is undoubtedly too soon to evaluate properly the place that Father Chenu will hold in the theology of the twentieth century, as a historian of the Middle Ages, a brilliant interpreter of St omas, as a theologian of the incarnation and of the ‘signs of the times’. Nor is it the objective of this Festschrift. Its great merit is to make us relive day by day this eminent person whom we have loved as brother, Master, friend, as a witness to the Gospel, and simply as a man.33

in Les Catholiques français et l’héritage de 1789, ed. Pierre Colin (Paris: Beauchesne, 1989), 313-339, at 315. 32 Janette Gray, M.-D. Chenu’s Christian Anthropology: Nature and Grace in Society and Church (Adelaide: ATF eology, 2019), 29. 33 Geffré, “Preface,” in Chenu, -, at -.

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2. The Brother I Have Known Congar expresses his appreciation of Chenu’s spiritual and intellectual matrix, expressed in the context of his vision of the church. He presents Chenu as a brave man, possessed of fortitude and, therefore, willing to suffer for a high cause. “Others have been able to glimpse behind the veil of this life that is so authentically one of a friar preacher, a life hidden with Christ in God. And in all of this, what constant resourcefulness, what freedom in the faith! […] Yes, a man truly free in faith!”34 Congar sketches the contours of his spirituality in omistic terms. His conception of the faith was that of Saint omas, as was his conception of theology: he saw this latter as the promotion of the faith in and by the cultivation of a historical and rational understanding. Who has spoken better than he of theology as a branch of knowledge subordinated, by faith, to the knowledge of God and the blessed?35

He was, however, fiercely opposed to a certain “spirit of faith” added in an extrinsic manner with a narrow moralism, as Congar demonstrates in his presentation of Chenu’s theological vision. For him the supernatural knowledge of God that the faith gives was intrinsically and ontologically religious, alive and fervent. ere was no need at all of a ‘spirit of faith’ where one would meet with a rather pale and somewhat moralizing piety, inasmuch as the faith was radiated in its living supernaturality, indissolubly intellectual and motivating Christian behavior.36

Congar places himself, with Chenu and Féret, among the founders of one of the most influential movements in Catholic theology since the Reformation. “Projects came into being. I had taken on the publication of the collection Unam Sanctam. What would a little later be called ‘ressourcement’ was then at the heart of our efforts.”37 Chenu was ‘persecuted’ within his own spiritual family. Based on the pathological fears of senior Dominicans, he was intimidated into signing a list of ten brief doctrinal propositions destined for Rome.38 It was only when the heat of battle cooled, and the light of a new day illuminated the past that Congar would ask musingly: “Ubi sunt qui te accusabant?”39

34 35 36 37 38 39

Congar, “e Brother,” 497. Ibid., 498. Ibid., 499. Ibid. Chenu, Une école, 35; note 2, 11. Congar, “e Brother,” 500.

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Possessed of a sharp mind and a noble spirit, Chenu appears to have avoided the burden of bitterness and recrimination. As Congar writes: But, enjoying an exceptionally broad range of possibilities for making contact with others and for work, he was in particular a man with a remarkable ministry among small gatherings of friends and study groups. Priests, teachers, engineers, sociologists, economists, worker priests and the Mission de France.40

3. Chenu and Contemplation: A School of Wisdom for the Modern World Chenu viewed contemplation as the highest ideal of the spiritual life, the golden thread that illuminates the constituent elements of his Dominican calling, from preaching and service to intellectual and spiritual formation. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, an acknowledged master of Dominican spirituality, contributed to his intellectual and spiritual development through his acclaimed volumes on contemplation with their rigorous omist methodology.41 As Congar remarks: He said that he owed to Father Garrigou-Lagrange his vital perception of the supernatural quality of the faith, just as he owed to Father Schultes his sense of the development of dogma. His conception of the faith was that of Saint omas, as was his conception of theology: he saw this latter as the promotion of the faith in and by the cultivation of a historical and rational understanding.42

Chenu referred to Aquinas as “my St. omas” who permeated his whole being, his theology, and spirituality. “e work of St. omas has been my constant sustenance. He is better equipped than others to understand the modern world. […] His manner of knowing human and Christian reality is what I would like to have in the Church today.”43 Chenu’s vision of the contemplative life was modelled on that of Aquinas with its indispensable focus on the other. us, for him the whole aim of the spiritual life was “to contemplate, and to share with others what one has contemplated.”44 He points to an antinomy in the art of 40

Congar, “e Brother,” 497. See Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life (Eastford, CT: Martino Fine Books: 2019); Reprint of Les trois âges de la vie intérieure, 2 vols. (Paris: Cerf, 1939/1939); Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Christian Perfection and Contemplation: According to St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross (Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 1958). 42 Congar, “e Brother,” 498. 43 Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 140. 44 Vivian Boland, Saint Thomas Aquinas (London: Bloomsbury, 2014). 41

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contemplation: “We are certainly passive with regard to contemplation; but in this passivity there is maximum activity.”45 Like his Dominican and ressourcement fellows, Chenu was deeply committed to the discovery of truth. “God accepts to be the food of our spirit but on condition that the truth actually becomes the life of our spirit.”46 Convinced that contemplation is the major problem, he held that Christians advance in perfection to the extent to which they “have a fuller sense and a more explicit control of the interior life as a whole.”47 He urged theologians to strive for spiritual freedom by doing theology in a spirit of disinterestedness and, like innocent children, to attain the whole gamut of gospel virtues. “eology is audacious, because, in the self-forgetfulness of contemplation, it is pure; it can have every boldness as long as it is pure – the science of the children of God.”48 e search for truth and freedom through the medium of pure contemplation, with its necessary abnegation of the ego, provides an indispensable foundation for radical social action. As an historian of the medieval period, Chenu had a rich sense of the interconnectedness of things and worked assiduously for the transposition of theology into the social domain for the betterment of humanity, in particular, of those at the lower echelons of society.49 At a dogmatic level, his vision of the relationship between the church and the world rests on the incarnation as the pivotal foundation of his theology and social mission. As he remarks: “I felt very strongly the exigencies of the Incarnation. If Christianity is about God incarnate in matter, the divinisation of man implies that it include matter. […] Humanisation is already a capacity for divinisation.”50 Indeed, Chenu’s cosmic theological anthropology is grounded in the reality of the present moment. 45

Marie-Dominique Chenu, “La Contemplation,” APDF, 1-6 (2). Ibid. 47 Ibid., 3. 48 Chenu, Une école, 150; also Emmanuel Vangu Vangu, La Théologie de Marie-Dominique Chenu: Réflexion sur une méthodologie théologique de l’intégration communautaire (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2007). 49 See “Marie-Dominique Chenu: Moyen Âge et Modernité,” Colloque organisé par le Département de la recherche de l’Institut catholique de Paris et le Centre d’études du Saulchoir à Paris, les 28 et 29 octobre 1995 sous la présidence de Joseph Doré et Jacques Fantino in Les Cahiers du Centre d’études du Saulchoir V (Paris: Cerf 1997). Source: “Marie-Dominique Chenu, A.” Archives of the Centre for the Study of the Second Vatican Council, Faculty of eology and Religious Studies (KU Leuven). 50 Chenu, “Une théologie pour le monde,” no. 31, 1967, 17; cited in Christophe Potworowski, Contemplation and Incarnation: The Theology of MarieDominique Chenu (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press), 116-154. 46

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e cosmos is humanized by human beings, I would go so far as to say ‘divinized’ – if it is true to say that the Creator wished his great enterprise to be led by humans. […] is consubstantiality of Humanity and the Cosmos is at once communion and confrontation, complacency and control, exaltation and despondency.51

It is unsurprising, therefore, that Chenu, while studiously avoiding the twin dangers of absolutism and relativism, worked steadfastly for global peace and communion, by placing the intellectual life and the spiritual life at the service of Christian unity and that of all humanity.52 In his programmatic “La fin de l’ère Constantinienne” (1961), he points to the renewal of Western Christianity and its transformation into a global church. In his new vision of the relationship between church and state, Chenu envisaged the Christianisation of the world as the old mutually-beneficial alliance between church and state of the Constantinian era came to a close. “What is at stake is not the Church building for itself a Christian world of its own alongside ‘the world’, but proceeding to Christianize the world in the process of being built.”53 He lived providentially in the era of giants. As Jossua notes: “In 1932, M. D. Chenu became Regent of Studies, and along with his friends Henri-Marie Féret and Yves M.  J. Congar, he would give Le Saulchoir an international reputation. Chenu was present at Le Saulchoir in Kain from 1920 onwards. He was a friar gied with a marvelous human spirit and a spark of genius.”54 3. Chenu’s Methodological Revolution at Le Saulchoir As Regent of Studies (1932-1942), Chenu launched his methodological revolution in theology that contributed, in a singular way, to the revivification of ecclesiology, albeit with dramatic consequences for his own 51 “Letter of M.D. Chenu to Mr. Albert Vallet concerning his work L’Argile. L’Homme. Le Feu (Paris: Le Courrier du Livre, 1973),” APDF, V 832, 120, (0). Ch.0/9. 52 See P.-R. Régamey, “Une école de sagesse,” in Chenu, 184-193, at 191-192. 53 Marie-Dominique Chenu, “La fin de l’ère Constantinienne,” in Un concile pour notre temps, ed. J.-P. Dubois-Dumée et al. (Paris: Cerf, 1961), 59-87; see also Gianmaria Zamagni, “Re(dis)covering Humanity: e Catholic Church and Human Rights,” in The Quest for a Common Humanity: Human Dignity and Otherness in the Religious Traditions of the Mediterranean, ed. Katell Berthelot and Matthias Morgenstern, Numen Book Series: Studies in the History of Religions 134 (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 349-361. 54 Jean-Pierre Jossua, “Preface: A Remarkable Evolution,” in omas F. O’Meara and Paul Philibert, Scanning the Signs of the Times: French Dominicans in the Twentieth Century (Adelaide: ATF Publications, 2013).

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life and career, the full drama of which has been judiciously documented by Étienne Fouilloux.55 He was effectively a harbinger of ressourcement, then taking shape and soon to become the dominant movement in Catholic theology, a position it retained throughout the remainder of the twentieth century and beyond.56 is stream of renewal became a confluence to which some of his brightest students contributed on a global stage, one that would change forever the face of the church in France and in the Catholic world. His major concern, in fact, was to form closer links with the Tradition for a better adaptation to the contemporary world. Motivated by the impoverished state of Catholic theology and philosophy, he published Une école de théologie: Le Saulchoir in 1937. He provided an account of the genesis of the text while also illuminating the indispensability of the “historical critical method” in theological discourse as part of an interview with Jacques Duquesne. is book started as an improvised short pamphlet. In fact, it was a good occasion to take stock of our deep motivations. I did so as the Rector of the Saulchoir in a short address. My paper impressed students and faculty alike and they took notes and decided to publish it. Aer all the first dra was improvised, so I decided to rewrite the entire paper and further clarify my views on the historical critical method in theological studies.57

Notwithstanding the charged political atmosphere of the time in Catholic ecclesial circles in France affecting scripture, theology, and philosophy, as well as the polemical tone in Chenu’s own text or “manifesto,” as it came to be called, the amazing success of his “pamphlet” was as a direct result of its methodology, with its essential interdisciplinary and inclusive approach. Its most profound impact was felt at Vatican II which effectively transformed how theology and catechesis were delivered at all levels from the See of Rome to the remotest country seminary, in the universities, schools, and church kindergartens. A gied team of

55 Étienne Fouilloux, “L’Affaire Chenu,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 98 (2014): 261-352; also Marie-Dominique Chenu, “Le sens et les leçons d’une crise religieuse,” La Vie intellectuelle 13 (December 1931): 357-380. 56 Reinhard Hütter, ed., Ressourcement Thomism: Sacred Scripture, the Sacraments, and the Moral Life: Essays in Honor of Romanus Cessario, O.P. (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2010); Nicholas J. Healy, Jr. and Matthew Levering, eds., Ressourcement after Vatican II: Essays in Honor of Joseph Fessio, SJ (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2019). 57 See Chenu, Une école, 7; Jacques Duquesne, Jacques Duquesne interroge le père Chenu: Un théologien en liberté (Paris: Centurion, 1970).

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academics and researchers worked together at Le Saulchoir on the new methodology exemplified in a new journal, Revue des sciences [plural] philosophiques et théologiques (1907 and the years following), the title of which demonstrated the intention of its founders to respect “the plurality of methods, and objects, in the domain – so united compared to other fields of human knowledge – of philosophy and theology.”58 Following Lacordaire, Chenu worked assiduously for “good theology” with its essential locus in the life of the church engaged with the present experience of Christianity and the world. He held that the foundation for delivery of “such a programme in philosophy and theology was by recourse to the sources in a direct study of the masters.”59 He asserts that “historically the return to the sources is equivalent to the return to principles in speculation: the same spiritual power, the same rejuvenation, the same fecundity, as one becomes the guarantor of the other.”60 His bold strategy was inherently dangerous, as Fergus Kerr points out. “For GarrigouLagrange and many who shared his views, Chenu’s project risked forfeiting the objectivity of speculative theology as a quasi-scientific discipline in favour (as they feared) of a morass of piety, subjective experience and fideism.”61 e inevitable clash of titans that followed took place at the dawn of a new era, as an essentially personalist system effectively displaced the supposedly impregnable omism, synonymous with Garrigou-Lagrange and his coterie. Chenu exhibited “the patristic sources of St omas” and exuded the spirit of freedom of St Dominic. With Congar, he was at the forefront in the renewal of ecclesiology and the realisation of the church’s missionary task at a time of new “evangelical contact with a world unequalled in centuries.”62 In a profound concern for a true Dominican ressourcement, he urged his fellows to witness to that original character of the “preachers.” Recognizing the social fermentation of the age, Chenu called on church leaders to abandon all vestiges of the feudal system, based on honor and privilege. As he writes prophetically: Dominic, himself (like Francis of Assisi), expressly rejected all that apparatus, and with it, the social and authoritarian culture that it represents. […] e avid desire to know and the ambition of the culture became

58

Chenu, Une école, 121. Ibid., 124. 60 Ibid., 127. 61 Kerr, Twentieth-Century, 22-23. 62 Yves M.-J. Congar, Dialogue between Christians: Catholic Contributions to Ecumenism, trans. Philip Loretz (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1966), 32. 59

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widespread: the universities were born, where the Dominicans and the Franciscans occupied the first places because they are its first fruits. Albert the Great and omas Aquinas revealed Aristotle and Greek reason there in the context of the construction of this new world.63

4. Chenu’s Ecclesial Methodology and the Popular Catholic Movements At the height of Chenu’s career, the Catholic Church experienced an unexpected flowering of new ideas and original initiatives in history and liturgy, scripture and patristics, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, youth ministry and mission, theology of the laity and pastoral studies. Vatican II became the living theatre of what has appropriately been called the “epoch of movements” that flourished simultaneously with Nouvelle théologie and Action Catholique.64 As part of that flowering, Chenu’s renewed vision of the church based on a return to the ancient sources was taking shape. It facilitated a true reading of the signs of the times for the renewal of contemporary society. e beating heart of his ecclesial methodology was spirituality. He collaborated with Père Louis Augros, the organizer of the “Mission de France,” a seminary founded by Cardinal Emmanuel Suhard in 1941, with the agreement and cooperation of the bishops of France, in order to break down the wall separating the church and the great mass of people.65 rough his involvement with Père Henri Godin, the founder of Mission de Paris,66 he was actively engaged with the worker-priests.67 His methodology is at once

63 Marie-Dominique Chenu, “La liberté dominicaine,” Année Dominicaine (1936): 283-287, at 286-287; APDF, M.-D. Chenu; omas O’Meara, ed., Albert the Great: Theologian and Scientist: Bibliographic Resources and Translated Essays (Chicago: IL: New Priory Press, 2013); also the Albertus-MagnusInstitute, Bonn, http://www.albertus-magnus-institut.de/; “e Sacra Doctrina Projects: omistica,” https://thomistica.net/news/2011/12/5/digital-edition-ofthe-works-of-albert-the-great.html. 64 See Gilles Routhier, “Introduction,” in La théologie catholique entre intransigeance et renouveau: La réception des mouvements préconciliaires à Vatican II, ed. Gilles Routhier, Philippe J. Roy, and Karim Schelkens, Bibliothèque de la Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique, 95 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 5-9, at 5. 65 See, https://vocations.missiondefrance.fr/la-mission-de-france/le-pereaugros-et-les-fondations/. 66 Nathalie Viet-Depaule et al., eds., La Mission de Paris: Cinq prêtresouvriers insoumis témoignent (Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2002). 67 See Michel Lémonon, Laurent ou l’itinéraire d’un prêtre-ouvrier (Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2000); Paul Valet, Prêtre-ouvrier: Itinéraire d’un jociste

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a methodology of liberty and of liberation for the poor and the marginalized. Its core elements are as follows: 1. “My Missionary Movement” Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens (1904-1996), one of the Moderators of Vatican II, whose influence permeated the entire council, viewed that assembly as the rightful heir of the great movements of renewal. At the same time, when Chenu was engaged in the publication of his most important works on omas and the medieval church, he took a bold, spontaneous step. “I launched out on my missionary movement. […] With my historical and theological methodology, my Dominican vocation, my idea of the Church in the world.”68 As Regent of Studies, Chenu committed himself and the faculties of Le Saulchoir to support the nascent Young Christian Workers. He saw a close connection between his “work situating St omas in history, and these encounters with people engaged in apostolic, even social, warfare.”69 His experience with the Young Christian Workers / Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne (JOC) provided the key to his entire mission and kept him in close contact with those at the head of his next missionary project. He was closely involved with the Mission de France / Mission de Paris along with Suhard and Godin.70 is work was not without its difficulties as “painful tensions” emerged between Godin who advocated for a general mission to the working class of France and Georges Guérin, the founder of the JOC in France, who, according to Chenu, viewed everything in terms of the Young Christian Workers. In 1951, when the worker priests came under severe scrutiny, he fearlessly defended the integrity of their mission and ministry.71 A veritable champion of openness, Chenu held that one cannot be prepared intellectually to welcome new ideas if socially and institutionally one remains closed in on oneself.

(Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2008); Paul Anglade, Prêtre-ouvrier forgeron: Ce que c’est qu’obéir (Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2001). 68 Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 142. 69 Duquesne, Duquesne interroge le Père Chenu, 57-58. 70 See ierry Keck, Jeunesse de l’Église 1936-1955: Aux sources de la crise progressiste en France (Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2004). 71 See Chenu, “Le Sacerdoce des Prêtres-Ouvriers,” La Vie intellectuelle (February 1954): 175-181.

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2. An Historian of the Church As an historian of the church, Chenu made an original contribution to the embryonic renewal movements of his time. His great gi was theological and historical reflection focused on contemporary society, its opportunities, and its problems. He did not study history for its own sake. “I’ve never studied the history of the Church alone, isolated, but always in the light of the history of civilizations.”72 He was greatly helped in his métier as historian by his strict adherence to science and his innate ability to engage in open dialogue. He considered it an abuse for theologians to arrive at conclusions that had not passed through the lens of science. He envisioned Le Saulchoir “as a centre of reflection and theological / historical research, faithful to omist inspiration as well as possessing a capacity to engage with the problems confronting Christians in contemporary culture.”73 He also worked with his fellow Dominicans, in a spirit of profound unity, for “the renewal of the whole of the theology of the Church, in which Congar had been one of the greatest crasmen.”74 Féret’s vital contribution was in history while Jean René Louis Dumont (Christophe in religion) contributed to the ecumenical movement at its inception through the Istina centre and journal.75 Yves Congar accentuates Chenu’s leadership skills and ecumenical acumen in a generous tribute. “Father Chenu, an incomparable inspiration to a whole generation of young Dominicans, spoke to us on one occasion of the ‘Faith and Order’ Movement during his course on the history of Christian doctrine, as he also spoke of the Lausanne Conference and of Möhler.”76 In an interview given in 1975, Chenu stated that he and Congar effected a rediscovery of Möhler. In order to transcend the juridical idea of the church, Chenu, together with Congar and Henri-Marie Féret, embarked on an enterprise to eliminate “baroque theology,” a term they coined to describe the theology of the Counter-Reformation.77 72

Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 139. Giuseppe Alberigo, “Christianisme en tant qu’histoire et ‘éologie Confessante’,” in Chenu, Une école, 9-35, at 12. 74 Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 141. 75 See Istina: Centre d’études œcuméniques, https://istina.eu/; also Fouilloux, “Jean René Louis Dumont,” https://journals.openedition.org/dominicains/ 1228. 76 Congar, Dialogue between Christians, 3. 77 Jean Puyo, Jean Puyo interroge le Père Congar: “une vie pour la vérité” (Paris: Centurion, 1975), 45-46; also Kaplan, “Renewal of Ecclesiastical Studies,” 578ff.; James Ambrose Lee II, “Shaping Reception: Yves Congar’s Reception of Johann Adam Möhler,” New Blackfriars 97 (November 2016): 693-712, https:// 73

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3. A Disciple of Saint Thomas in the Modern World Chenu’s approach to St omas was defined by affectivity and a profound regard for his mission, œuvre, and legacy. He promoted omas throughout his long life because he was an effective pontifex linking the church, religion, and the world. Chenu also expressed his appreciation for Mandonnet’s vital work on omas, with its indubitable focus on ressourcement. “e return to the sources, there as elsewhere, offered enrichment and freshness.”78 He lauded omas as the grand model of the intellectual life. “I want my communion with the divine life in Christ to be rooted firmly in rational foundations. […] St omas’s manner of knowing human and Christian reality is what I would like to have in the world and in the Church today.”79 In response to Leo XIII’s Aeterni Patris, the French Dominicans made a significant contribution in two areas, first, the rehabilitation of medieval philosophy as genuine philosophy, and secondly, the ongoing project to produce critical editions of the works of St omas, the Leonine Commission, so called because of its connection to Leo XIII.80 With regard to the former, the most important point, notwithstanding significant differences, was agreement “that genuine philosophy of the highest order had taken place in the period; it was not a philosophical dark age.”81 Secondly, as Brian J. Shanley has noted, in his important study, there was “a tremendous upsurge of scholarly interest in the history of medieval philosophy.”82 With the turn to the historical-critical sources, a different omas “emerged from behind the Scholastic veil.”83 Chenu was the undisputed leader of the recovery of the historical omas.84 His aim, in common with his Dominican onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nbfr.12142; Donald J. Dietrich and Michael Himes, The Legacy of the Tübingen School: The Relevance of the Nineteenth Century Theology for the Twenty-First Century (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1997). 78 Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 140. 79 Ibid.; for evidence of a new omistic ressourcement see, Gilles Emery, ed., “omist Ressourcement Series,” Catholic University of America Press, https:// www.hfsbooks.com/series/thomistic-ressourcement-series/. 80 For an account of the history of the Leonine Commission, see https:// www.commissio-leonina.org/category/histoire/. 81 Shanley, Thomist Tradition, 7. 82 Ibid. 83 Ibid. 84 Marie-Dominique Chenu, Introduction à l’étude de saint Thomas d’Aquin (Montréal: Institut d’études médiévales, 1950); English trans. Toward Understanding St. Thomas, trans. and ed. A. M. Landry and D. Hughes (Chicago, IL: Regency, 1964).

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confrères, was not “a deeper understanding of the historical Aquinas for its own sake, but rather as a resource for contemporary theology (ressourcement).”85 In the wake of Chenu’s vital work for the recovery of the authentic St omas, there was a flourishing of intellectual activity in ecclesiology, moral theology, and philosophy. Rejecting the “theological imperialism” of the ancien régime, with its inherent “intellectual clericalism,” Chenu labored for true spiritual freedom born of contemplation which was nothing other than what he referred to as “Dominican Liberty.”86 He knew that a correct understanding of doctrine depended on the historical knowledge of its genesis, evolution, and development. Success in this great enterprise depended on spirituality with truth as its compass. As Chenu recalls: “en, in 1932, I found myself the regent of a corps of teachers enlarged through the addition of young men. Spiritual filiation is an amazing thing, and it is a joy to think back on those days.”87 5. Chenu’s Legacy: Fruitful Ideas of the Future Chenu stands as an inspirational figure for the present-day citizens of a newly resurgent post-secular society by virtue of his personal integrity and humility, his love of truth and fearless defense of justice.88 In the words of Oscar L. Arnal, a Lutheran commentator: “Of the major theologians of Vatican II Father Chenu seems to be among those most forgotten. […] In spite of his relative obscurity, Chenu remains one of the most creative and innovative theologians of this century. […] His voice is fiercely relevant today where the model of his life and thought can continue to inspire.”89 By championing contemplation at the heart of his entire theological enterprise, he anticipated the threshold church of the

85

Shanley, Thomist Tradition, 7-8. Chenu, “La liberté dominicaine,” 287; Chenu, Une école, 122. 87 Chenu, “A Conversation with Père Chenu,” 141. 88 Paulette Lescot, “Fr. Marie-Dominique Chenu,” “Alongside an admirable simplicity, he possessed that rare virtue: humility, he was always self-effacing before others. […] A rare charism shone from him, a predilection for the poor and for the third world.” (P. Lescot was Chenu’s nurse). Source: Chenu, APDF. 89 Oscar L. Arnal, “eology and Commitment: Marie-Dominique Chenu,” Cross Currents 38, no. 1 (Spring 1988): 64-75, at 64; also Duquesne, Jacques Duquesne interroge le Père Chenu, 50; Francesca Aran Murphy, Art and Intellect in the Philosophy of Étienne Gilson (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2004). 86

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future, no longer confined by ecclesiastical boundaries or civil borders.90 He envisioned a frontier church capable of responding to urgent needs and requests as they emerge, whether denominational or socio-economic, in the city or the country. He inspired hosts of church volunteers and workers to join together and organize for action and service of all in order to alleviate, wherever possible and by whatever means, the isolation, emptiness, injustice, and disenchantment of the age. His apostolic vision, founded on hope and solidarity with workers, though largely forgotten in the church and neglected by the academy, retains relevancy for the present age. Its roots were set “into the nourishing soil of silence” to borrow a phrase of Josef Pieper’s. e greatest challenge, however, remains the reception of Chenu’s vision of the church, with its innovative methodology, which is effectively the vision of Vatican II. As Ormond Rush writes: “A text is dead until it is read, so too Vatican II needs its receivers to transform its vision into reality.”91 Acknowledgements: I express my thanks to Jean-Michel Potin, O.P., Archivist of Archive Province Dominicaine de France, Paris for his unfailing courtesy and assistance. I am also deeply grateful to Leo Declerck † (KU Leuven) for his helpful comments on an earlier dra of this paper.

90

See Yves Congar, “What Belonging to the Church Has Come to Mean,” trans. Frances M. Chew, Communio 4 (1977): 146-160. 91 Ormond Rush, “Conciliar Hermeneutics,” in The Cambridge Companion to Vatican II, 94-112, at 106.

 Ecclesia semper reformanda Karl Rahner, Pope Francis, and Theology as Radical Critique Jerry T. Farmer

Theologia semper reformanda may be a very apt description to honor and recognize the teaching, scholarship, research, and collegiality of Terrence Merrigan, now that he becomes emeritus professor of KU Leuven. is article is dedicated to Terry in celebration of all that he has done in serving the academic community, in particular for his work with his students and his colleagues, both at KU Leuven, and in collaboration with so many others from the global academic community. He has sought to bring us all together in so many ways and he has succeeded in doing that throughout these many years. As Peter De Mey has argued, some statements of Vatican II seem to affirm the remaining significance of the famous Protestant adagium Ecclesia semper reformanda.1 In this chapter this will be illustrated in reference to two theologians and to Pope Francis. Karl Rahner’s Christology is incarnational, his ecclesiology is sacramental, and both must always be seen as developing over the years in a dynamic way. In his ecclesiology, Rahner speaks of both sinners in the Church and the sinful Church. Sin is affirmed at both the personal and structural level. One can find traces of Rahner’s theology in the proclamations of Pope Francis, specifically the Motu Proprio, Magnum Principium, his Message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and his Apostolic 1

Peter De Mey, “Church Renewal and Reform in the Documents of Vatican II: History, eology, Terminology,” The Jurist 71 (2011): 369-400, at 369. Peter De Mey notes, at 369, that this famous Protestant adagium was “most probably used for the first time by Voetius in the Synod of Dordt in 1609.” And while De Mey points out that the terminology is not found in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, he stresses that “the council comes very close when it states about the Church in Lumen gentium 8 that she is ‘at one and the same time holy and always in need of purification’ (sancta simul et semper purificanda) and in Unitatis redintegratio 6 that she is called ‘to continual reformation’ (ad hanc perennem reformationem).”

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Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World. Magnum principium challenges and disrupts the epistemopolitical hegemonic power that has been forged as a repudiation of the Second Vatican Council. When one looks to the message of Pope Francis on Migrants and Refugees, it is a message that critiques and seeks to disrupt the hegemonic narratives, among others, of Islamo-phobia and Nationalism. And Gaudete et Exsultate discloses and critiques the tension between Catholic social morality and Catholic sexual morality. In section three we will pay close attention to the work of Judith Gruber. Today theology as radical critique is a local critique that reveals a subversive narrative. e discernment and decision-making process is one which embodies and brings forth the task and the grace of an Ecclesia semper reformanda. 1. Karl Rahner e importance and the influence of the theology of Karl Rahner before, during, and aer the Second Vatican Council is well documented. And certainly that becomes very evident when focusing on the topic of reform and purification. Starting from a pastoral point of view, Karl Rahner raises the question as to why there is oen so much conflict and tension in the Church regarding structural change, noting in particular an acute antagonism between conservative and progressive tendencies in the Church.2 His response is that in secular societies (profanen Gesellschaften) structural change is concerned fundamentally with matters that are of relative importance. In the Church, structural change is also concerned with matters that are of relative importance, that is, inner-worldly (innerweltlichen) and human realities (menschlichen). But precisely these realities are seen to be related “sacramentally” (sakramentaler) to the “divine sphere,” to human beings’ eternal destiny and salvation.3 2

Karl Rahner, “Structural Change in the Church of the Future,” in id., in Theological Investigations. Vol. XX: Concern for the Church, trans. Edward Quinn (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1981), 115-132, at 130-132. 3 Ibid., 131; Original: Schriften zur Theologie. Vol. XIV: In Sorge um die Kirche (Einsiedeln: Benziger), 352-353. Rahner notes that such a “sacramental” approach is fundamentally justified: “aber solche Wirklichkeiten haben für den kirchlich Glaubenden (grundsätzlich mit Recht) eine Beziehung gewissermaßen ‘sakramentaler’ Art zu dem eigentlich göttlichen Bereich, zu der ewigen Bestimmung des Menschen und seinem Heil.” e English translation in Theological Investigations is, at times, wrong. For example, the translation of the above

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ese realities, stresses Rahner, take on an importance that goes beyond purely secular realities. Realities such as the word of scripture (das Wort der Schrift) and actual sacramental signs (die eigentlich sakramentalen Zeichen) are mediations of the relationship of the believer to that which is eternal.4 And so if a believer has the impression that ordinary Church realities mediate really and in a vital way her relationship to God and her salvation, or, on the contrary, that such Church realities are hindering or blocking his relationship to God and salvation, this individual is going to be committed to maintaining what works and changing what doesn’t. e intensity of the struggle that can and does occur in the Church concerning earthly realities (das Irdische) results from the fact that the earthly and the eternal “cannot very easily be clearly distinguished either objectively or emotionally.”5 e “solution” that Rahner suggests is that both those with a conservative tendency and those with a progressive tendency do not conclude that their own position is absolute. In effect, “conservatives and progressives can prematurely and by over-simplification associate (verbinden) or even identify (identifizieren) what is relative and historically conditioned with

“kirchlich Glaubenden” is rendered as “churchgoing believers.” Such an imprecise translation blatantly contradicts Rahner’s own insistence that “churchgoing” is not an adequate or appropriate criterion in terms of faith. See, Karl Rahner, “On the Structure of the People of the Church Today,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XII: Confrontations II, trans. David Bourke (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1974), 218-228, at 224-225: Rahner cautions that the Church “must not adopt an attitude of latent and unexplicitated Novatianism by acting as though […] only the ‘attendants at Sunday Mass’ […] really belonged to her, while the rest had to be patiently put up with as ‘bad Catholics’.” Rahner goes on to stress that “so long as we divide the people of the Church into those who fulfill their Sunday and Easter duties and those who do not, we are, in a strange way, deciding whether individuals shall be accounted Catholics or not, not according to whether they fulfill a divine commandment, but according to whether they fulfill a precept of the juris ecclesiastici.” 4 Rahner, “Structural Change in the Church of the Future,” 131; original: Schriften zur Theologie, XIV, 353: “Diese Dinge (das Wort der Schri, die eigentlich sakramentalen Zeichen, aber auch vieles, was darüber hinaus mit den konkreten Strukturen der Kirche gegeben ist) sind die Vermittlungen des Verhältnisses des Glaubenden zum Ewigen.” e ET wrongly translates “diese Dinge […] sind die Vermittlungen des Verhältnisses des Glaubenden zum Ewigen” as “these things […] secure the relationship of the believer to the eternal.” is translation contradicts the very point that Rahner is here emphasizing; the meaning of the key word Vermittlungen – “mediation” – seems to be ignored. 5 Ibid., 131; Schriften zur Theologie, XIV, 353. e ET wrongly translates the verb “vermitteln” as “establish.”

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what is eternal and perennially valid.”6 Rahner’s basic principle – implicit – regarding sacramentology, which is radically Christological, is that the human and divine are affirmed as inseparable (ungetrennt) and also unconfused (unvermischt). Rahner’s Christology is incarnational, and his ecclesiology is sacramental, and both must always be seen as developing over the years in a dynamic way. In the context of his Christology, Rahner speaks of Jesus as the Ursakrament, translated as the “primordial sacrament.” He uses the term Grundsakrament, translated as “basic sacrament,” with regard to the Church.7 6 Rahner, “Structural Change in the Church of the Future,” 132. Rahner refers to the same reality in less explicit sacramental terms in Karl Rahner, “Basic Observations on the Subject of Changeable and Unchangeable Factors in the Church,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XIV: Ecclesiology, Questions in the Church, The Church in the World, trans. David Bourke (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1976), 3-23; original: Schriften zur Theologie. Vol. X: Im Gespräch mit der Zukunft (Einsiedeln: Benziger, 1972), 241-261; given as a lecture in 1970. “We should not oversimplify the task of distinguishing (Unterscheidung) between the changeable and unchangeable elements in the Church, and that for this reason a certain anxiety among the Church’s members and a certain antagonism between conservatives and progressives such as cannot immediately be resolved are perfectly understandable […] e only point of real conflict can be whether the new historical form (Gestalt) in which the enduring unchangeable element still is present is opportune (opportun), that is, whether it is accepted by the individual and it serves the task of the Church today and tomorrow better than the past forms, or that it is precisely that which one wants to relegate even now to the past” (emended translation; the ET is inexact on p. 23; German, p. 261). 7 In Karl Rahner, “e eology of Symbol,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. IV: More Recent Writings, trans. Kevin Smyth (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966), 221-252, Rahner uses the term Ursakrament to describe the Church, but he notes that “the Church is of course the ‘primary’ sacrament (‘Ur’sakrament) in relation to the single sacraments, not to Christ,” 241, n. 14. However, it must be pointed out that in his later writings one sees a development in which Rahner uses the term Grundsakrament to describe the Church and uses the term Ursakrament to speak of Jesus Christ. See Karl Rahner, “e One Christ and the Universality of Salvation,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol.  XVI: Experience of the Spirit: Source of Theology, trans. David Morland (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1979), 214-215, particularly n. 17, where, in reference to this terminology, Rahner cites an earlier work, Karl Rahner, Die siebenfältige Gabe: Über die Sakramente der Kirche (Munich: Ars Sacra, 1974); subsequently published in ET: Karl Rahner, Meditations on the Sacraments (London: Bloomsbury, 1977). See also the contention of Rahner that this “more comprehensive and more appropriate view of the sacraments as such and of the concrete sacraments in particular” has been arrived at since Vatican Council II, in which Jesus Christ is the Ursakrament and the Church is characterized as

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A more nuanced terminology can be seen in his 1966 article. But it is more than a question of a refining of terminology. ere is a new theological emphasis. Rahner uses the term sacramentum in the context of the Church’s relationship to the world, and not primarily as descriptive of the constitutional structure of the Church. And one notes an equivalency in terminology in describing the Church as sacramentum and Grundsakrament.8 But fundamental to Rahner’s understanding of the Church as Grundsakrament is first affirming the Church as a diaspora Church, a Church that exists in a pluralistic society.9 Consequently, the Church is seen as the Grundsakrament which is a reference to (ein Verweis auf ) the grace of God precisely where that grace is not manifested in its full ecclesial expression. But the Church is also the Grundsakrament inasmuch as it is the manifestation of God as grace in its social and historical fullness. And it is in this dialectic that the terminology Ursakrament and Grundsakrament particularly contrast

Grundsakrament, in Karl Rahner, “Introductory Observations on omas Aquinas’ eology of the Sacraments in General,” in id., Theological Investigations, XIV, 149-160, particularly n. 24, 159-160. In an article first published in 1947, and later updated in regard to the notes, Karl Rahner, “Membership of the Church according to the Teaching of Pius XII’s Encyclical ‘Mystici Corporis Christi’,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. II: Man in the Church, trans. Karl H. Kruger (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1963), 1-88, his use of the term Ursakrament as applied to the Church does not yet manifest a more nuanced approach. At this point he simply wishes to stress that “there is the notion of the Church as incarnate presence of Christ and his grace, together with Christ and his grace, and, on the other hand, the notion of the Church in as far as she must be essentially distinguished from this grace and inner divine union,” 73-74 [emphasis in original]. In this same context he speaks of the sacramental dimension of membership in the Church as a sakramentales Urzeichen (sacramental primordial sign). In another article also first published in 1947, Karl Rahner, “e Church of Sinners,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. VI: Concerning Vatican Council II, trans. Karl-H. and Boniface Kruger (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1969), 253-269, Rahner uses the term Ursakrament for the Church, still insisting, however, on the distinction between the Church as sign of grace and the Church as filled with grace. 8 Karl Rahner, “e New Image of the Church,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. X: Writings of 1965-67 (2), trans. David Bourke (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1973), 3-29, particularly 12-14, esp. 14. 9 Karl Rahner, “On the Presence of Christ in the Diaspora Community according to the Teaching of the Second Vatican Council,” in id., Theological Investigations, X, 84-102. Rahner himself refers (wrongly cited in TI) to an earlier foundational treatment of this topic in his 1954 presentation, Karl Rahner, “A eological Interpretation of the Position of Christians in the Modern World,” in Mission and Grace, vol. 1 (London: Sheed & Ward, 1963), 3-55.

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with each other. For the pledge of salvation manifests itself above all as a primordial-sacramental pledge (ursakramentale Zusage) in Jesus the Christ. And then it is the Church which, as the historical continuation of Jesus’ existence, manifests this pledge as a fundamental-sacramental pledge (grundsakramentale Zusage).10 us, to speak of the Church as Grundsakrament is not simply to contrast this in a negative way with Jesus the Christ, the Ursakrament. Naming the Church as Grundsakrament is to positively recognize the Church as the affirmation of the salvation of the world that takes place “outside” the Church. is salvation that takes place in the “non-ecclesial” world is what can be described as anonymous Christianity. is relationship between Church and world is dealt with explicitly by Rahner in 1968. In his article on this topic in Sacramentum Mundi he describes the Church as the Grundsakrament which manifests that “in the unity, activity, fraternity, etc. of the world, the kingdom of God is at hand.”11 Rahner’s theology has been extremely helpful and important in emphasizing the incarnational nature of the Christian faith. He asserts that if we say that ‘God is made man’ […] we either think automatically of God being changed into a human being or else we understand the content of the word ‘human being’ in this context as an outer garment […] But both interpretations of this statement are nonsensical and contrary to what Christian dogma really intends to say. For God remains God and does not change, and Jesus is a real, genuine, and finite human being with his own experiences, in adoration before the incomprehensibility of God, a free and obedient human being, like us in all things.12

And on another occasion he puts it very simply: “We could still say of the creator, with the Scripture of the Old Testament, that he is in heaven and we are on earth. But of the God whom we confess in Christ we must say that he [God] is precisely where we are, and can only be found there.”13

10

Rahner, “e New Image of the Church,” 13-16. Karl Rahner, “Church and World,” in Sacramentum Mundi, vol. 1, ed. Karl Rahner et al. (London: Herder and Herder, 1968), 346-357, esp. at 348. 12 Karl Rahner, “‘I Believe in Jesus Christ’: Interpreting an Article of Faith,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. IX: Writings of 1965-67 (1), trans. Graham Harrison (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1972), 165-168, esp. at 166. 13 Karl Rahner, “On the eology of the Incarnation,” in id., Theological Investigations, IV, 105-120, esp. at 117. Rahner comments that the finite “has been given an infinite depth and is no longer a contrast to the infinite.” And, 11

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In his ecclesiology, Rahner speaks of both sinners in the Church and the sinful Church.14 Sin is affirmed at both the personal and the structural level. Rahner holds that one must conclude that the Church can be sinful in its actions. is Church, which never ceases to be human, remains in life-filled solidarity with Jesus, the Christ, who is the source of all holiness. And the Church’s sin can never so distort the visibleness of Jesus, the Christ, in the world so that the Holy Spirit would depart from the Church or be unable any longer to manifest God historically and visibly. is is because the Holy Spirit has inseparably (untrennbar) united itself to the Church. Rahner has done a great service to us through his theology, in particular his Christology, ecclesiology, and pneumatology. But even Rahner, as probing as his theology is, does not have the last word. 2. Pope Francis On September 9, 2017, the New York Times published an article entitled: “Pope Francis Shis Power from Rome with ‘Hugely Important’ Liturgical Reform.” e article proclaims that “Pope Francis, who has used his absolute authority in the Vatican to decentralize power from Rome, made a widespread change Saturday to the ways, and words, in which Roman Catholics worship by amending Vatican law to give national bishop conferences greater authority in translating liturgical language.” And, not of minor importance, the announcement of the Motu Proprio, Magnum Principium, which took effect on October 1, 2017, was made while Pope Francis was in Medellín, Colombia, the site of the Second General Conference of Latin American Bishops that took place in 1968 that embodied and interpreted at the local level the reforms that had been promulgated at the Second Vatican Council.15 is decision by Pope

“in the incarnation, the Logos creates by taking on, and takes on by emptying himself.” 14 Karl Rahner, “e Church of Sinners,” in id., Theological Investigations, VI, 253-269, and Karl Rahner, “e Sinful Church in the Decrees of Vatican II,” in id., Theological Investigations, VI, 270-294. 15 Jason Horowitz, “Pope Francis Shis Power from Rome with ‘Hugely Important’ Liturgical Reform,” in New York Times, September 9, 2017, available from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/09/world/europe/pope-francis-liturgicalreform.html. Interestingly, in the print edition that appeared on September 10, 2017, the same article had a different headline: “Pope Gives Nod to Liberals in ‘Liturgy Wars’,” [accessed March 14, 2021].

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Francis can be seen and interpreted through the lens of theology as radical critique, as a subversive message. A few weeks earlier, on August 15, 2017, Pope Francis released his Message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, scheduled for January 14, 2018, (entitled: “Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees.”) In his message he emphasizes that these four verbs, welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees should guide world leaders, specifically referring to those who gathered at the United Nations Summit, September 19, 2016, who “clearly expressed their desire to take decisive action in support of migrants and refugees to save their lives and protect their rights.” And a goal of this summit is the draing and approval, “before the end of 2018,” of “two Global Compacts, one for refugees and the other for migrants.”16 is message of Pope Francis can also be seen and interpreted through the lens of theology as radical critique, as a subversive message. Finally, on Monday morning, April 9, 2018, the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate, On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, was issued by the Vatican. e headline in the New York Times reporting on the release of the Apostolic Exhortation proclaimed, “Pope Francis Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing.”17 In Paragraph 101, Pope Francis states: Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the

16 Pope Francis, Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018, available from https://w2.vatican.va/content/ francesco/en/messages/migration/documents/papa-francesco_20170815_worldmigrants-day-2018.html, [accessed March 14, 2021]. 17 Jason Horowitz, “Pope Francis Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing,” in New York Times, April 9, 2018, available from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/world/europe/pope-francis-migrantsabortion.html, [accessed April 29, 2018]. Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, available from http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/ papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20180319_gaudete-et-exsultate.html, [accessed March 14, 2021]. ough publicly released on April 9, 2018, the note at the conclusion of the exhortation indicates: “Given in Rome at St. Peter’s, on 19 March, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, in the year 2018, the sixth of my Pontificate.”

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vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.

And he continues in Paragraph 102: We oen hear it said that, with respect to relativism and the flaws of our present world, the situation of migrants, for example, is a lesser issue. Some Catholics consider it a secondary issue compared to the “grave” [scare quotes in original] bioethical questions. at a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian, for whom the only proper attitude is to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children.18

e New York Times article quotes an earlier paragraph of the exhortation and adds this comment: “‘In their daily perseverance, I see the holiness of the Church militant’, [Paragraph 7] Francis wrote, using a phrase that has been appropriated by archconservatives critical of his papacy. e Pope’s allies have described the fringe Catholic website Church Militant as openly in favor of political ‘ultraconservatism’.”19 Here, again, all of these words of Pope Francis can be seen and interpreted through the lens of theology as radical critique, as subversive messages. Anne Patrick, by contrast, interprets the writings of Pope Francis with an explicit innocence, without any hint of the perspective presented by a theology as radical critique: “Without criticizing the hierarchy or his predecessors in papal office – on the contrary, his writings quote many statements of popes and episcopal conferences appreciatively – Pope Francis is opening up new lines of thought […]”20 Whereas theology as radical critique is indeed a critique beyond such innocence, explicit or implicit. 18 Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, Paragraphs 101-102. 19 Horowitz, “Pope Francis Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing.” e complete text of Paragraph 7 provides a fuller context: “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church militant. Very oen it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbours, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence. We might call them ‘the middle class of holiness’.” 20 Anne Patrick, “e Rhetoric of Conscience, Pope Francis, Conversion, and Catholic Health Care,” in Conscience and Catholic Health Care, From Clinical Contexts to Government Mandates, ed. David DeCosse and omas Nairn (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2017), 17-32, at 24.

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3. Theology as Radical Critique Judith Gruber presents an outline of a genealogy of critical theories which themselves are critical of Immanuel Kant’s absolutization of reason. Twentieth-century critical theories argue that Kant’s presupposition of pure theoretical reason “allows him to conceal, first of all, that his (and any) critique is a (specific, and therefore contingent) practice and, second, that knowledge is always and inextricably conditioned by social, historical, and economical forces.”21 Even more crucial, stresses Gruber, “post-Enlightenment critical theories expose that this ‘blind spot’ in Kant’s critique is not politically innocent. In fact, quite the contrary: Max Horkheimer and eodor Adorno, who are crucial in exposing some of the issues at stake, argue that the original emancipatory notion of enlightenment (emancipation through the use of reason) endorsed repressive and oppressive behaviors.”22 erefore Gruber argues that “theology lives up to its own normative foundation only if it is done as radical critique.”23 Gruber goes on to highlight the contributions of Michel Foucault, who insisted that “critique, too, is a discursive practice and, as such, irresolvably entangled into the relations of knowledge and power. Critique, Foucault says, does not transcend the hegemonic relation of society but can only be at work within it; it is and remains local critique.”24 “Critical

21

Judith Gruber, “Revealing Subversions: eology as Critical eory,” in Beyond Dogmatism and Innocence: Hermeneutics, Critique, and Catholic Theology, ed. Anthony Godzieba and Bradford Hinze (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2017), 179-202, at 181. 22 Ibid., 182. With regard to the “problematic relation between validity of investigation (guaranteed by method) and meaningfulness of interpretation (truth),” see Sandra Schneiders, “Biblical Hermeneutics since Vatican II,” in Beyond Dogmatism and Innocence, 3-17: “e whole problematic was symbolically captured in the title of what was perhaps the most important book on the subject in the last half of the twentieth century, Hans-George Gadamer’s, Truth and Method, which, in fact, was really an attempt to challenge and reverse the accepted relationship between these two terms. According to Gadamer, method does not, as the high priests of the Scientific Revolution and then the Enlightenment would have us believe, control our access to truth nor determine the validity of our engagement with it. Rather, the hegemony of method is actually an obstacle to the search for truth, because it defines (and thereby limits) truth rather than using method to facilitate the quest for truth,” 15. 23 Gruber, “Revealing Subversions,” 179 (emphasis in original). 24 Ibid., 185 (emphasis in original).

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theory,” argues Gruber, “no longer looks for the one universal form of reason, knowledge or truth which is believed to facilitate emancipation but in reality reinscribes the epistemo-political logic of hegemony; instead it traces the forging of knowledge in an – uneven – tug of war between hegemonic and subversive narratives.”25 With respect to the formulation of the Christian tradition, “a radical critique of church history thus discloses that structures of oppression have inscribed themselves deeply into the texture of its master narrative – and, once in place, have served to perpetuate the hegemonic forces which gave it its shape […] ose in power have the power to shape knowledge in a way that reinforces their power.”26 And Gruber emphasizes that “the reemergence of silenced theologies troubles the established tradition in an even more profound way: their critique reveals just how deeply and inextricably Christian tradition is entangled in the particular social, historical, and economic situations out of which it has been forged

25

Gruber, “Revealing Subversions,” 188. Ibid., 189. Gruber adds [in note 30] that “the discursive history of the concept of original sin is one of many examples for this epistemo-political dynamics at work in the Christian tradition. Feminist theologians have exposed the interplay of patriarchal power and theological knowledge in the formation of the dogma of original sin,” citing, for an overview, Tatha Wiley, Original Sin: Origins, Developments, Contemporary Meanings (New York: Paulist Press, 2002), 153-178. See, also, Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, “Between Mountain Peaks and a Crumpled Handkerchief, Hermeneutics and Critical eory,” in Beyond Dogmatism and Innocence, 18-39: “Habermas argues that hermeneutics works out of a translation model that assumes meaning. When one translates one assumes that the text is meaningful […] But Gadamer’s approach is much more fundamental than the translation model [emphasis in original] […] For Gadamer […] a text is understood only when one understands its practical application […] Habermas offers yet another, more basic critique beyond the one of the translation model. is critique takes issues with the appeal to practical application that assumes that the tradition can be understood primarily in terms of having an authority or a claim upon us. Such an understanding, he believes, glosses over the hidden mechanisms of power. is fundamental critique goes against the universalism of hermeneutics. Tradition not only expresses a meaning but also reveals and incorporates power and domination that are present in the hidden mechanisms and societal structures of the past and up to the present [my emphasis]. Consequently, a need exists to critique the tradition through open discourse by all who are affected by the tradition. Habermas introduces the categories of the transcendental conditions of discourse that are counterfactual and consequently raises the possibility that every consensus can be revised and thrown into question” (19-22). 26

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[…] It highlights political, social, historical and economic conditions as decisive factors in the forging of the church.”27 Finally, Gruber brings us back to the incarnational foundation of the Christian faith. e event of the incarnation is a prime example of this logic of the event: the belief that God revealed God’s self in Jesus from Nazareth could emerge only against the discursive background of revelation as understood in the Hebrew Scriptures. It depends on the Hebrew belief that God’s salvific presence becomes manifest in the history of God’s people. Yet, at the same time, the event of incarnation shis and unsettles this discourse: proclaiming the crucified as the Messiah (and the Messiah as the crucified) is ‘impossible’ for Hebrew theology, which tends to conceive of the messiah as a powerful, kingly figure.28

erefore Gruber insists that if we want to hold on to the historicity of incarnation as the foundation of the church, we can therefore not assume a linear relation between the historical event of revelation and the theological discourse of the church. Instead, there is a hermeneutical circle between revelation and theology, in which God’s revelation and ecclesial theology are in a relation of mutual dependence. As an event in history, incarnation provides a foundation for the church which manifests itself only through its proclamation by the church. eologically speaking: the body of Jesus the Christ is available only as the ecclesial body of Christ; incarnatio necessitates the incarnatio continua of the church.29

27

Gruber, “Revealing Subversions,” 189-190 (emphasis in original). Gruber insists, for example, that “the texts and practices of the basileia tou theou in the gospels do not simply pitch God’s reign versus Roman reign in a binary fashion. ey do not envision God’s kingdom as a reversal and replacement of the Roman Empire but develop a more complex and profound critique of its hegemonic rule” (191). She points to the work of John Dominic Crossan and his study of the basileia texts of the gospels: “By advocating an ethical rather than an apocalyptic eschatology, the basileia texts and practices of the New Testament become a theological tool which transforms rather than replaces the violent logic of hegemonic power: the Roman Empire is not simply to be substituted by God’s kingdom; instead, the texts envision a more profound critique of hegemony. ey employ strategies that undermine the structures of oppression necessary to establish and keep imperial power in place” (193); the reference is to John D. Crossan, The Birth of Christianity: Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately after the Execution of Jesus (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999), 260, 283, and 284. 28 Gruber, “Revealing Subversions,” 196. 29 Ibid., 196-197.

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4. Conclusion e Motu proprio of Pope Francis, Magnum principium, his message on Migrants and Refugees, and Gaudete et Exsultate can each be seen and interpreted through the lens of theology as radical critique and as subversive documents. Magnum principium challenges and disrupts the epistemo-political hegemonic power that has been forged as a repudiation of the Second Vatican Council. It shis the decision-making away from centralized Vatican control and power to the local leadership of national Bishops Conferences. And why, in this instance, is this so important? e adagium, legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi [Prosper of Aquitaine, fih century, oen shortened to lex orandi lex credendi], stresses that the prayer and worship of the believing community is a foundation for belief itself.30 And as noted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1126, “since the sacraments express and develop the communion of faith in the Church, the lex orandi is one of the essential criteria of the dialogue that seeks to restore the unity of Christians.”31 (Even the language of “restoring” the unity of Christians is itself veiling a hegemonic narrative. For the challenge of Christian unity is not a return to a past golden age, however that might be identified.) But theology as radical critique does not idealize Magnum principium in a naive way, but sees that the hegemonic power of the national Bishops Conferences must also be critiqued and disrupted by other subversive narratives. And when one looks to the message of Pope Francis on Migrants and Refugees, it is a message that critiques and seeks to disrupt the hegemonic narratives, among others, of Islamo-phobia and Nationalism. e questions addressed here are similar, but distinct: “Where is the grace of God present, or absent, for the Church as sacrament of the grace of God precisely where that grace, or its absence, is not manifested in its full ecclesial expression.” And the question addressed relating to the ways 30 Rick Hilgartner, “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: e Word of God in the Celebration of the Sacraments,” in United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catechetical Sunday, September 20, 2009, available from: http://www.usccb.org/ beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/word-ofgod/upload/lex-orandi-lex-credendi.pdf, [accessed March 14, 2021]. For a more thorough study of the text of Prosper of Aquitane, Hilgartner cites Kevin Irwin, Context and Text: Method in Liturgical Theology (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1994). 31 Vatican, Catechism of the Catholic Church, III. Sacraments of Faith, Paragraph 1126. Available from: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P32. HTM [accessed March 14, 2021].

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and words in which Roman Catholics worship: “Where is the grace of God present, or absent, for the Church as sacrament inasmuch as it is the manifestation of God as grace in social and historical fullness.”32 And it is Gaudete et Exsultate that discloses and critiques the tension between Catholic social morality and Catholic sexual morality. Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler succinctly point out that in social morality […] the Catholic Church offers principles for reflection, criteria for judgment, and guidelines for action. In sexual morality, however, it offers propositions from past tradition, not as principles and guidelines for reflection, judgment and action, but as laws and absolute norms to be universally and uncritically obeyed […] Since social and sexual morality pertain to the same person, this double and conflicting approach seems illogical.33

In paragraphs 101 and 102, Pope Francis rejects the view that the situation of migrants is a “lesser issue,” “a secondary issue compared to the ‘grave’ [scare quotes in original] bioethical questions,” and that the “lives of the poor, those already born,” are not equal to the innocent unborn. His words constitute a subversive narrative critiquing a double and conflicting approach to social morality and sexual morality. ough not offering the last word, Rahner’s reflections, analysis, and support of the deliberatio communitaria of Ignatius of Loyola is insightful and pertinent. e spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola has a profound influence on Rahner’s theology, specifically his pneumatology. Rahner views the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius as a “fundamental document” of the modern period.34 But the Spiritual Exercises do more than affirm modernity, they transcend it. Rahner emphasizes, Ignatius developed a logic of existential decision by means of his rules of choice, which had not existed in this form before, despite the traditional doctrine of the discernment of spirits. Since then, there has never been sufficient theological study of the real meaning and presuppositions of this Ignatian innovation. Its importance remains valid today, but it must be removed from the context of the choice of a vocation in the Church and clearly expressed in terms of its general significance for human existence. Hesitation and opposition in the mind of the Church against the 32

See above, notes 10 and 11. Todd Salzman and Michael G. Lawler, eds., Sexual Ethics: A Theological Introduction (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2012), 4. Salzman and Lawler, ibid., 40, n. 12, note that “this notion of individual responsibility is brilliantly analyzed by Jean-Yves Calvez in Morale sociale et morale sexuelle: Etudes 378 (1993): 642-644.” 34 Karl Rahner, “Modern Piety and the Experience of Retreats,” in id., Theological Investigations, XVI, 135-155, at 138. 33

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spirit of the modern period prevented the real understanding and the proper expansion of this logic of existential and practical reason, which cannot be given an adequate theoretical basis.35

Peter Fritz argues that “Ignatius’ modernity is an alternative to the modernity that has hitherto prevailed.” And referring to Louis Dupré, Fritz states: “Ignatius entirely redefines the emerging modern idea of freedom. In contrast to his humanistic contemporaries, and more like the Protestants, he defines freedom as ‘a divinely inspired surrender within which action itself becomes grounded in passivity’. Freedom is primarily God’s, and God shares this with human creatures.”36 Rahner finds in Ignatius one who is situated at the beginning of the modern period, but who, at the same time goes beyond it. It is a movement away from the radical autonomy and self-sufficiency of the individual. To what is Ignatius drawn? Rahner describes it in this way: […] Ignatius did not regard himself as the single founder of his order, but rather saw the group of his first companions, united by the spirit of the Exercises, as the real founders of the order. We are not, I think, justified in dismissing this notion simply as the expression of saintly humility. For he knew and practiced the ‘deliberatio communitaria’ with his companions (deliberation not only in the group but of the group), where the logic of existential choice was to apply and operate for the group as a whole.37

eology as radical critique is a local critique that reveals a subversive narrative. e discernment and decision-making process is one which embodies and brings forth the task and the grace of Ecclesia semper reformanda.

35

Rahner, “Modern Piety and the Experience of Retreats,” 140-141, n. 11. Peter J. Fritz, Karl Rahner’s Theological Aesthetics (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2014), 134. Fritz comments: “Prior to reading Rahner’s Ignatian texts, it would help briefly to set up a hermeneutical structure for understanding Rahner’s Ignatius […] From Dupré [Louis Dupré, Passage to Modernity: An Essay in the Hermeneutics of Nature and Culture (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993), 224-227] we shall get a sense of how Ignatius works at the dawn of the modern worldview to transform it. From Guardini [Romano Guardini, The End of the Modern World (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1956] we shall learn how a transformation of the modern worldview heralds that worldview’s terminus” (132). 37 Rahner, “Modern Piety and the Experience of Retreats,” 145. 36

Part III

Theology of Interreligious Dialogue

18 Revisiting the Redaction History of Lumen Gentium 16-17 in Response to a Recent Debate in Catholic Theology of Interreligious Dialogue Peter De Mey

Ever since the publication of the 2012 monograph by Ralph Martin, a Catholic priest and professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, I have been fascinated by its challenging title: Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization.1 e 50th anniversary of the opening of the Council during the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI seemed the perfect occasion for Martin to present the program of New Evangelization as the faithful heir of Vatican II’s teaching on mission. What is really crucial in what Vatican II actually teaches about the chances of salvation outside the boundaries of the Catholic Church, according to Ralph Martin, is a line towards the end of Lumen Gentium [LG] 16 which has been overlooked by most commentators. In his opinion only the English translation by Flannery faithfully renders the meaning of the Latin text: But very oen (at saepius), deceived by the Evil One, men have become vein in their reasonings, have exchanged the truth of God for a lie and served the world rather than the Creator (cf. Rom. 1, 21.25). Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair. Hence to procure the glory of God and the salvation of all these, the Church, mindful of the Lord’s command, ‘Preach the Gospel to every creature’ (Mk. 16, 16) takes zealous care to foster the missions.

On the basis of this line, Martin is convinced that the interpretation by Karl Rahner, that LG 16 represents “the theological optimism of the Council regarding salvation,” is no longer tenable.2 In his opinion, 1 Ralph Martin, Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012). 2 Karl Rahner, “Observations on the Problem of the ‘Anonymous Christian’,” in id., Theological Investigations. Vol. XIV: Ecclesiology, Questions in the Church, The Church in the World, trans. David Bourke (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1976), 280-294, at 286.

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Rahner belongs to those who “have made the leap from ‘possibility’ to ‘probability’ to ‘presumed universal salvation’.”3 In his plea to take the message of Vatican II regarding mission and evangelization most seriously,4 he feels supported by Gérard Philips, the peritus who as of the first intersession coordinated the redaction of the different dras of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church in the eological Commission and who already in 1967 wrote the following commentary on LG 17: We cannot remain silent on a paradoxical situation, stirred up by a misunderstanding of the doctrine of the Council. Under the influence of an extension of conciliar perspectives, the missionary zeal of some has been weakened. No ecclesial document has ever emphasized with such insistence the universal missionary obligation as Lumen Gentium did, not only in this text, but throughout the Constitution, from the first to the last page. True missionary zeal is the fruit of a pure faith and unselfish charity: that is what Vatican II aimed at, not indifference.5

Gavin D’Costa, who is professor of Catholic theology at the University of Bristol and a major voice in theology of interreligious dialogue, supports the interpretation of Martin in his 2014 book Vatican II: Catholic Doctrines on Jews & Muslims, while at the same time offering a more complete picture of the teaching of the Council on Jews and Muslims.6

3

Martin, Will Many Be Saved?, 58. See for a critique of Martin’s view on other religions Terrence Merrigan, “Between Scylla and Charybdis: Breaking the Impasse in Contemporary Catholic eology of Interreligious Dialogue,” in Res Opportunae Nostrae Aetatis: Studies on the Second Vatican Council Offered to Mathijs Lamberigts, ed. Dries Bosschaert and Johan Leemans, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 317 (Louvain, Paris, and Bristol, CT: Peeters, 2020), 469-482, at 479: “e position advanced by Martin seems incapable of accommodating either the reality, or the theological significance, of non-Christian religious life and practice. Neither does it seem to take much account of the achievements of the value(s) of those traditions, some of which predate Christianity and continue to provide moral and spiritual sustenance to countless numbers of people. e non-Christian traditions are, as it were, reified, reduced to the perceptions of critical Christian outsiders, and found deficient or at least wanting.” 5 Martin, Will Many Be Saved?, 203. is is Martin’s own translation of Gérard Philips, Dogmatische constitutie over de Kerk “Lumen Gentium”: Geschiedenis – tekst – kommentaar. Eerste deel (Antwerpen: Patmos, 1967), 227. 6 Gavin D’Costa, Vatican II: Catholic Doctrines on Jews & Muslims (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). See, e.g., the section on “Sin, Satan and Salvation Optimism in Lumen Gentium 16,” ibid., 107-112. 4

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Even if Martin and D’Costa have only a limited interest in historical research on Vatican II,7 in view of the many imperfections of their reconstructions,8 in this chapter I will present an unavoidably detailed analysis of the redaction history of LG 16-17 in four stages: the clash of opinions in the pre-conciliar eological Commission on the question whether non-Catholics can be called members of the Church (1), the preparation of De Ecclesia 8-10 during the first session and intersession (2), the division of n° 10 in a number on non-Christians and another on mission during the second session and intersession (3) and the final modifications of LG 16-17 during the third session (4). 1. The Pre-Conciliar Theological Commission’s Chapter on the Members of the Church 1. The Initial Expectations of the Members and Advisors Soon aer his appointment as secretary of the pre-conciliar eological Commission on June 15, 1960, Sebastian Tromp received the task from Cardinal Ottaviani to coordinate the draing of an outline for four dogmatic constitutions. e outline for a Dogmatic constitution on the Church (De Ecclesia) in twelve chapters was his work.9 e constitution

7

See e.g. D’Costa’s support of the critical view on Alberigo’s History of Vatican II project by Agostino Marchetto: “Obviously private diaries are illuminating, popes do have different visions and emphases, and cardinals work out strategies in smoke-filled rooms, but none of these factors allows the final texts to be other than normative. e text’s genesis is important, as is the debate on the Council floor but ultimately the agreed text is the agreed teaching.” Vatican II, 23. 8 To mention only a few shortcomings in their historical account: as to the pre-conciliar period they only focus on “the original dra of De ecclesia prepared by the Curia” (Martin, Will Many Be Saved?, at 11); if LG 14-16 is seen as “a triptych” and only “some attention” is given to LG 13 and 17 (ibid., xii), one wonders whether Martin is aware that during the second session the decision was taken to split the previous n° 10 in two coherent numbers 16-17 with Congar as major draer; the authors only refer to the relationes de singulis numeris (ibid., 12, n. 13-14; D’Costa, Vatican II, 80, n. 49 and 102, n. 96; cf. for LG 16, Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II [AS] III/1, 206-207) but seem to be unaware of the relatio generalis on chapter two pronounced by archbishop Garrone immediately before the crucial vote on chapter 2 during the third session (see AS III/1, 500-504). In the conclusion of this chapter, we will contrast our findings again with the work of Martin and D’Costa. 9 Sebastian Tromp, Konzilstagebuch mit Erläuterungen und Akten aus der Arbeit der Theologischen Kommission II. Vatikanisches Konzil, ed. Alexandra von Teuffenbach (Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2006), I/1,

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would start with treating general ecclesiological themes: ‘e nature and mission of the Church’, ‘e Church and the communion of the Saints’, ‘e members of the Church and its juridical subjects’ and ‘e necessity of the Church for salvation’.10 Towards the end of the Dogmatic Constitution, Tromp planned chapters on ‘e Church and the return of the separated brethren’ and on ‘Christian tolerance’.11 On September 22, they received the observations by the Pope which contained, among others, the request to insert a chapter on missions.12 In the following weeks, Tromp received the first comments on the proposed structure, but Congar had already submitted his reflections on the four constitutions soon aer receiving his nomination as consultor of the eological Commission.13 Congar hopes that the Council will pay attention to the eschatological dimension of the Church and will present the Church as “the sacrament of eschatological salvation.” In his opinion, “an essentially missionary aspect” equally is “at the heart of one’s notion of the Church.” For him, the notion of the unity of the Church is not static, but “dynamic.” “Catholic unity” requires “perpetual growth” and “is the goal of missionary efforts.”14 Among a few ‘additional remarks’ he mentions that the Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus needs to be better explained to Protestants.15 70. Henceforth this source will be abbreviated as Konzilstagebuch, followed by the series number. 10 In line with the tradition that a Council was usually convened in response to doctrinal challenges, the consultor of the Holy Office added in brackets the word “indifferentismus.” 11 Archivio Apostolico Vaticano (henceforth: AAV), busta (henceforth: b.) 736, n° 64: “Lavori della commissione teologica,” 13.6.1960, 3. 12 AAV, b. 736, n° 67: Card. Tardini to Card. Ottaviani, “Osservazioni ai quattro schemi di costituzione,” 22.9.1960, 3 p. 13 See the 17-page letter of Congar of 24.9.1960 in the archive of Philips, which is preserved in the Centre for the Study of the Second Vatican Council, Faculty of eology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven (henceforth: F. Philips), here at n° 54. On September 28, Tromp writes in his diary: “H. Pater Congar schickte ein groβes französisch geschriebenes Memorandum, das er selbst allen Mitgliedern und Beratern zugeschickt hat” (Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 82). 14 Cf. “Congar’s Initial Proposals for Vatican II Translated by Joseph A.  Komonchak,” 5. Cf. https://jakomonchak.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/ congars-plan-for-the-council.pdf. 15 Ibid., 10. Congar had developed a strong interest in this theme in the previous decade, starting with “‘Hors de l’Église, pas de salut’, destin et sens d’une formule,” Vers l’unité chrétienne 58 (December 1953): 109-111. In 1959, he had written a book for a wide audience on this theme: Vaste monde ma paroisse: Vérité et dimensions du salut (Paris: Bibliothèque de l’homme d’action, 1959);

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e Louvain theologian Gérard Philips, who had been appointed as member of the eological Commission, only reacted to the proposed chapters of the schema De Ecclesia. He approved the attention to the “mission and intrinsic finality of the Church, which needs to lead all people to salvation in Christ.”16 e second chapter announced by Tromp inspires him to make a comment on the salvation of non-Christians: “ose who are not ‘really’ members of the Church but are nevertheless living in a state of grace, are not foreign to the communion of saints.”17 As regards the question of the ‘members and subjects of the Church’, he argues that both notions are not identical but that it is an urgent and important topic.18 A remark made about the chapter on tolerance is equally relevant for our theme. Philips wonders whether “no better word can be found to indicate the attitude of Catholics towards nonCatholics.”19 Even if his expectation would not be met during the work on the pre-conciliar dra of De Ecclesia, professor Michael Schmaus of the university of Munich made already a general remark about the importance for the theology of missions of recognizing the values present in other religions.20 English translation: The Wide World My Parish: Salvation and Its Problems (London: Darton, Longmann & Todd, 1961). See for a thorough study of this theme in Congar: omas F. O’Meara, “Yves Congar: eologian of Grace in a Wide World,” in Yves Congar Theologian of the Church. New and Expanded Edition, ed. Gabriel Flynn, Louvain eological and Pastoral Monographs 45 (Louvain: Peeters, 2018), 453-481. See also Terrence Merrigan, “e Appeal to Yves Congar in Recent Catholic eology of Religions: e Case of Jacques Dupuis,” ibid., 509-540. 16 Gérard Philips, “Schema I: De Ecclesia,” s.d., 2: “Hoc elementum ut maxime fundamentale apparet, neque plena notio mysterii huius exspectari potest, si negligeretur indicatio missionis et finalitatis intrinsecae Ecclesiae, quae omnes homines ad salutem in Christo perducere debet” (AAV, b. 736, n° 69). 17 Ibid., 3: “Quidam qui non sunt ‘reapse’ Ecclesiae membra, sed tamen in statu gratiae inveniuntur, a Communione Sanctorum non sunt extranei.” 18 e sensitive nature of this topic also appears from a remark made by Tromp in his diary on October 1 (Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 85): “Heri vespere mihi dixit R.P. Hürth Cardinalem Beam secundum Baseler Nachrichten in sermone quodam dixisse omnes baptizatos simpliciter esse membra Ecclesiae. Quod non facile creditur. Essent enim apostatae et haeretici malae fidei membra Ecclesiae: Forsan locutus est de dissidentibus bonae fidei.” 19 Philips, “Schema I: De Ecclesia,” 6: “Quaeritur utrum forsan aptius vocabulum inveniri posset ad indicandam habitudinem catholicorum erga acatholicos, ita nempe ut libertas actus hominis ad fidem accedentis, clare agnoscatur.” 20 Michael Schmaus, “Bemerkungen zu den vier Schemata, welche der Pontificia Commissio eologica pro Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II vorgelegt werden,” 24.10.1960, 3: “Es ist zu prüfen, ob echte religiöse Werte in den

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2. The First Drafts by Hugo Lattanzi e members were invited for a first meeting of the eological Commission on October 26-27. Aer the first meeting of the sub-commission De Ecclesia on October 28, Tromp asked the Cardinal whether he could be appointed as draer of the schema, since the obvious candidate, Philips, could only irregularly attend their meetings.21 Since the Cardinal considered this task incompatible with that of a secretary,22 on November 15 he nominated Rosario Gagnebet as chair of the commission and the dean of the Lateran University, Hugo Lattanzi, as additional member.23 e latter was asked to write a first dra of De Ecclesia, which was discussed in a meeting of the sub-commission on January 5, 1961 and qualified by Tromp as “a concatenation of texts.”24 Two things are obvious in the general outlook of this 6 page document without subtitles: the author has done a huge effort to support his views with a total of 50 biblical references and he has inserted four explicit condemnations. Two of these pertain to the topic of salvation outside the Church: even among Christians the unacceptable opinion is heard that “the way to eternal salvation” is open in other religions,25 but Lattanzi’s document equally blames those who hold that an explicit desire is necessary for salvation.26 Briefly it is mentioned that the Church “continues the mission of the incarnated Word as an alter Christus.”27 ose who know the three conditions to be considered real members of the Church but do not live according to nicht-christlichen Religionen, insbesondere in den grossen Weltreligionen, bejaht werden und in die Ausdrucksgestalt des katholischen Glaubens einbezogen werden können. Diese Prüfung ist deshalb wichtig, weil durch ihre Ergebnisse die Arbeitsweise der Missionen bedingt ist” (AAV, b. 736, n° 69). 21 Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 103: “Philips optimus, non nisi raro adesse potest.” 22 Ibid.: “Noluit Cardinalis: plures sibi dixisse me minutalem urgere propriam sententiam. Me autem ut secretarium assistere debere omnibus subcommissionibus non ut observatorem tantum, sed cum iure dicendi.” 23 Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 115. 24 Ibid., 147: “Est concatenatio textum: Dixit Prof. Schauf tali modo fieri constitutiones pulcherrimas, quae a catholicis suo, ab haereticis suo sensu explicari possint.” 25 Hugo Aemilius Lattanzi, Pars schematis Constitutionis de Ecclesia, 2.1.1961 (F. Philips 105), 6: “Damnamus ergo illorum errorem qui, quavis in communitate christiana, immo vero qualibet in religione, aeternae salutis viam patere arbitrantur […].” 26 Ibid.: “Errorem ergo damnamus eorum qui implicitum hoc votum, quod ad extremum in fide charitate formata continetur, sperentes, explicitum votum, quod in catechumenis inest, ad salutem aeternam omnino requiri contendunt.” 27 Ibid, 5: “Docemus ergo per Ecclesiam tanquam per alterum Christum, Incarnati Verbi missionem continuandam esse […].”

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these, cannot be saved.28 At the same time, however, Lattanzi also paraphrases the 1949 response of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston in the Feeney case, as will be continued till the final version of LG 16.29 In preparation of the January 12 meeting of the sub-commission, Lattanzi submits a revised version, divided in 8 paragraphs.30 Lattanzi underlines that the Church is a necessary means (necessitas medii) and not just a necessary precept (necessitas praecepti).31 e next morning, Tromp is asked by Gagnebet, with the support of Ottaviani, to replace Lattanzi as draer but Tromp prefers to wait till the second plenary session of the eological Commission, scheduled for February 13-16.32 Lattanzi’s third version, received on February 3, was sent to the members of the eological Commission in preparation of this session.33 e paragraph on ‘salvation of unbelievers’ contained an explicit reference to the 28 Hugo Aemilius Lattanzi, Pars schematis Constitutionis de Ecclesia, 2.1.1961 (F. Philips 105), 6: “[…] nullam salutem illis futuram esse declaramus.” 29 Ibid.: “Attamen docemus eos qui circa Ecclesiam invincibili eaqua inculpabili ignorantia laborant et naturalem legem, cuius praecepta in cordibus hominum insculpta sunt, honestam vitam agendo, servant, quod quidem sine gratia fieri plane non potest, qui porro in omnibus parere Deo parati sunt, ipsa hac mentis ipsorum dispositione, tanquam implicito voto ad Ecclesiam ordinari.” Cf. DS 3870: “[…] sed ubi homo invincibili ignorantia laborat, Deus quoque implicitum votum acceptat, tali nomine nuncupatum, quia illud in ea bona animae dispositione continetur, qua homo voluntatem suam Dei voluntati conformem velit.” – Enchiridion symbolorum, definitionum et declarationum de rebus fidei et morum, ed. Henricus Denzinger and Adolfus Schönmetzer (Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 1967). 30 Hugo Aemilius Lattanzi, Pars schematis Constitutionis de Ecclesia, s.d. [manu scripto “2° red.”] (F. Philips 106). e prologue is followed by the following paragraphs: ‘Incarnati Verbi exsecutio’, ‘Mysterium Ecclesiae’, ‘Spiritus S., anima Eccesiae’, ‘Definitivum salutis institutum, Ecclesia’, ‘eandrica natura Ecclesiae’, ‘Necessitas Ecclesiae’, ‘Membra Ecclesiae’ and ‘Votum implicitum ingrediendi Ecclesiam’. 31 Ibid., 4: “[…] cui adhaerere homines non praecepti modo, verum etiam medii necessitate tenentur, ut in ipsa et per ipsam, suam quisque consequatur salutem.” Cf. Yves Congar, Chrétiens désunis: Principes d’un ‘œcuménisme’ catholique, Unam Sanctam 1 (Paris: Cerf, 1937), 294: “Les théologiens précisent qu’il s’agit non d’une nécessité de précepte, qui tiendrait seulement à une disposition positive, mais d’une nécessité de moyen, tenant à la nature des choses.” Lattanzi borrows this from the 1949 letter of the Holy Office (DS 3868). 32 Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 149. 33 See Constitutio de Ecclesia, 4.2.1961 (F. Philips 111), 5 p. e name of Lattanzi is no longer mentioned and a preliminary note from Gagnebet asks for the judgement of the members of the eological Commission, “cum discussiones […] in Subcommissione nondum ad finem pervenerint.” e order of the last three paragraphs has changed: ‘Membra Ecclesiae’, ‘Infidelium salus’, ‘Ecclesiae necessitas’.

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salvific will of God34 and also stipulated that people with an implicit desire towards the Catholic Church would once be united with their Catholic brethren “in one and the same communion of saints.”35 Philips informed Congar, who had not been invited to the meeting, about a discussion on the salvation of non-Catholics. He supported the position of Tromp that one could make a distinction between the communio sacramentorum and the communio sanctorum and that “non-Catholics would possibly belong to the communio sanctorum.”36 During the meeting of the sub-commission De Ecclesia on February 15, Cardinal Ottaviani insisted that one had to respect the teaching of Mystici Corporis and the letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston.37 e sub-commission had to make sure to “avoid danger, so that non-Catholics would not say that they can easily reach salvation outside the Church.”38 A few days later Tromp received a visit from Gagnebet, since he had missed the second meeting of the sub-commission. Some members had been concerned about the position defended by Cardinal Bea, who relied on Mediator Dei, another encyclical of Pius XII, to argue that non-Catholics could be considered members of the mystical body of Christ. One was even wondering whether Bea was not spreading such ideas with the support of the Pope.39 Gagnebet had therefore invited the members and consultors to submit further reflections on this topic and Tromp was asked to take the lead in draing the first two chapters and also prepare the final redaction of the entire constitution.40

34

Constitutio de Ecclesia, 4.2.1961 (F. Philips 111), 4: “[…] quippe Deus, sincera quidem voluntate vult omnes homines salvos fieri et ad agnitionem veritatis venire (1 Tim. 2,4).” 35 Ibid., 5: “Omnes tamen eos qui implicito hoc voto ad Catholicam ordinantur Ecclesiam, in unam eandemque Communionem Sanctorum pariter coalescere declaramus.” 36 Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council (Adelaide: ATF Publications, 2012), 39 (3-4.3.1961). In general, however, Philips was not really satisfied about the quality of the dras prepared by Lattanzi. 37 Konzilstagebuch, I/2, 627. 38 Ibid., 628. 39 Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 183. In the same period, Mgr Willebrands, the secretary of the Secretariat for Christian Unity, had asked Tromp whether the topic of membership in the Church could not be treated by a mixed commission so that the ecumenical implications could also be discussed. Aer solicitating the opinion of Cardinal Ottaviani on this issue, Tromp informed Willebrands that dogmatic discussions are the sole prerogative of the eological Commission but that they were free to prepare a votum for them. Ibid., 158 and 178. 40 Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 183.

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e communis opinio which Philips summarized at the start of his contribution definitely goes beyond the first dras prepared by the eological Commission on this theme.41 In his opinion, non-Catholics who have been baptized bona fide in another Church are not members of the Catholic Church in the fullest sense of the word, but they are also not complete “outsiders” (extranei). e major reason why – Philips uses a traditional expression here42 – belonging (pertinentia) to the Church cannot be entirely denied to them is that they have received the indelible mark of baptism. In contrast with the first dras of the eological Commission, Philips also pays attention to “all people, even the non-baptized.” eir chances of salvation depend on how they respond to “their call and destination to be incorporated in the Church.”43 His optimism regarding baptized non-Catholics is based on his contacts with Catholics who are no longer strictly following the prescriptions of the Catholic Church, but still one feels that they are blessed with “sanctifying grace.”44 His recommendations are that the dra would not put any blame on Christians who have become committed followers of Christ in communities outside the Catholic Church. We would, however, also hurt them by considering them as members of the Catholic Church, which they do not want to be. In so doing, we would moreover give them the impression that they no longer have to convert to the Catholic Church.45 In Philips’ opinion, “many spiritual goods” are not only found with individual non-Catholic Christians but also in their communities.46 In conclusion, he proposes to substitute a more sensitive description of the religious landscape – making divisions between those who are “really” (reapse) members of the Church; “imperfect” (imperfecte) members and “non-members” 41

Gérard Philips, “De membris Ecclesiae,” 7.4.1961, 7 p. (F. Philips 119). Cf. Ward De Pril, “Yves Congar, Extra Ecclesiam and the Identity of the Church,” Louvain Studies 37 (2013): 179-194, at 187. 43 Philips, “De membris Ecclesiae,” 1: “Omnes homines, etiam non baptizati, ad plenam rationem membri vocantur et destinantur, sicque ad Ecclesiam spectant, utique incorporandi.” 44 Ibid., 2. 45 On the same basis, Philips would also be opposed to Rahner’s theory of anonymous Christianity. It also becomes clear that Philips still has a long way to go before being able to no longer insist on the identification between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church. Ibid., 5: “Ex quo sequeretur error, quod Ecclesia romana non esset simpliciter Ecclesia Christi, et quod baptizati acatholici ad plene ei adhaerendum non deberent aspirare neque excitari.” 46 Ibid.: “Agnitio multorum bonorum spiritualium extra coetum catholicum non restringenda est ad casum mere individualem, sed applicanda est etiam coetibus dissidentibus, licet cum debita restrictione.” 42

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(non-membra) – to the old adagium which only distinguished between those inside and those outside the Church. His major intention at this point seemed to be the promotion of ecumenism in the Catholic Church,47 and he shared the view of many of his colleagues that a clear distinction needs to be made between “the Orthodox churches” and “the groups issued from the Reformation.”48 As a result, he is aware that adherents of other religions are much further removed from the Catholic Church.49 Congar submitted a 12 page reflection on how the Council could articulate the relations of those living outside the visible structure of the Church with the Church understood as mystical body.50 Already the title of the document indicates that Congar is no longer willing to accept the strict identification of the mystical body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church as articulated in Mystici Corporis.51 Congar points to an important development in the interpretation of the adagium Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Whereas the Church fathers applied the notion to the chances of salvation of individuals, it now has become a general statement about the Catholic Church as “unique and perfect sacrament of universal salvation.”52 e Council should not repeat the mistake of 47 Philips, “De membris Ecclesiae,” 6: “Non tamen paganis aequiparari possunt qui solo voto ad Ecclesiam pertinent.” 48 See e.g. Christophe-Jean Dumont, “Rome, Constantinople et Genève: L’œcuménisme au tournant,” Istina 6 (1959): 415-432, at 422: “Du point de vue de la foi catholique une distinction fondamentale doit être faite entre les Églises orthodoxes et les communions issues de la Réforme protestante.” Cf. Peter De Mey, “Preparing the Ground for Fruitful Dialogue with the Orthodox: An Important Motivation of the Ecumenical ‘Avant-garde’ during the Redaction History of Lumen Gentium, Unitatis Redintegratio and Orientalium Ecclesiarum (1959-1964),” in Le souci de toutes les Églises: Hommage à Joseph Famerée, ed. Benoît Bourgine, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 314 (Louvain, Paris, and Bristol, CT: Peeters, 2020), 57-85. 49 Philips, “De membris Ecclesiae,” 7: “Non-baptizati, saltem bene dispositi, per solam internam iustitiam, id est per gratiam ad Ecclesiae coetum ordinantur. […] Longissime vero absunt qui, extra Ecclesiam catholicam viventes, insuper peccatis personalibus indulgent.” 50 Yves Congar, “Quomodo exponi exprimique possit nexus inter homines extra Ecclesiam visibilem exstantes, et corpus mysticum,” 18.5.1961 (F. Philips 123). 51 Cf. De Pril, “Yves Congar,” 189. 52 Congar, “Quomodo exponi,” 1: “Dicere ‘Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus’ idem est ac dicere: Ecclesia (catholica Romana) est unicum perfectum sacramentum universalis salutis.” Congar repeats ideas which he has exposed elsewhere, such as in The Wide World My Parish: Salvation and Its Problems (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1961), where he had said that the adage “is not a declaration of the salvation or non-salvation of any man whatever, it is a principle about the

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Mystici Corporis of not including a positive statement “about the Christian quality of our separated brethren” and perhaps better completely refrains from repeating the old formula.53 In line with his typical distinction between ‘structure’ and ‘life’ Congar distinguishes the relationship of non-Catholics to the “Church” from their relationship to “the body of Christ.” Whereas the former describes the economy of salvation as experienced on earth, the latter points to eternal salvation as depending upon the action of Christ.54 Differently from Mystici Corporis55 Congar is convinced that theologians need to treat in a different way the relation to the mystical body of Christ of (i) non-Christians and (ii) baptized non- Catholics. (i) e first line of his exposition on the ‘nonbaptized’ reminds his readers of “the salvific will of God,”56 which, however, does not deny the efforts these people have to accomplish with the help of the grace of Christ.57 e ‘non-baptized’ are “oriented” (ordinati) towards the visible structure of the Church, and perhaps, albeit in an eschatological sense, they even can be called “members of the People of God,” since this expression refers to the action of God.58 (ii) Also in the next point Congar continues to criticize the theology of Mystici Corporis. In his opinion, ‘baptized non-Catholics’ can be called members both of Christ and of the Church, because of “the objective link of baptism.”59 In the strongest terms he admits, however, that their membership is

Church: she is the institution to which universal salvation is committed.” Ibid., 139, as quoted in De Pril, “Yves Congar,” 181. 53 Congar, “Quomodo exponi,” 1: “[…] insufficiens esset si Concilium Vaticanum II […] se tali modo Encyclicae Mystici Corporis litterae obstringeret, ut nil positivi, nil novi, nil benigni diceret de christiana qualitate Fratrum nostrorum separatorum. Maxima esset deceptio, intra et extra Ecclesiam! Nonne melius esset, ad omnem ambiguitatem tollendam, si Concilium formulam ‘Extra Eccl.[…]’ deliberate praetermitteret?” 54 Ibid., 3. 55 Ibid., 2: “Indistincte tangit statum acatholicorum baptizatorum et paganorum sive non-evangelizatorum; nullam inter eos differentiam exprimit.” 56 Ibid., 4: “Extant omnes sub voluntate salvifica Dei.” 57 Ibid.: “Non tamen salvabuntur nisi in hora mortis inveniantur amantes Deum!” 58 Ibid., 5: “Populus Dei significat in recto homines quos Deus Sibi congregat ex omni gente. Non multo haesitarem quin iustos non baptizatos vocarem membra Populi Dei, non vero membra Ecclesiae, quia ‘Populus Dei’ non tam dicit visibilem formam ac Ecclesia.” 59 Ibid., 6: “Omnis vere baptizatus membrum fit, et Christi et Ecclesiae.” Ibid., 8: “Haec impossibilia essent nisi vinculum obiectivum baptismi servaret aliquod titulum reale membri Corporis Christi.”

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severely damaged.60 Congar is also convinced that both groups share in a different way in the means of salvation.61 Finally, a different pastoral praxis is needed in both cases: “mission towards those not yet evangelized, ecumenical action towards baptized non-catholics.”62 3. Tromp’s tabula rasa Already during the plenary session of February 15, the secretary of the eological Commission had described the twofold task for the draer of this chapter. It should be explained who can be qualified as members of the Church and which spiritual links do exist with those who are baptized in good faith.63 Once Tromp was officially assigned with the task to prepare the next dra, he followed exactly this plan and on April 14 he finished a dra with a paragraph on ‘e necessity of the Church for salvation’ (necessitas Ecclesiae ad salutem) and another one on ‘Spiritual union with our separated brethren’ (unio spiritualis cum fratribus separatis). Tromp chose to completely ignore the previous versions of Lattanzi, let alone individual submissions such as those by Philips and Congar. Errors are no longer explicitly mentioned but the teaching on the necessity of the Church is accompanied by a threefold warning that neglect of this teaching will imply the loss of eternal salvation.64 It is explained who are “really members of the Church” (reapse membra Ecclesiae) and who “are oriented to the Church by desire” (voto ad Ecclesiam ordinantur): the catechumens and the non-Catholics. Both membership 60

Congar, “Quomodo exponi,” : “Sunt membra separata, abscissa, reiecta. Sunt desertores.” See also the description of the paradoxical situation on p. 7: “Sunt vere membra, imperfecta et aegrota, quamvis non plene dici possint vera membra.” is position is according to Congar’s opinion in line with c. 87 of the 1917 Codex Iuris Canonici: “Baptismate homo constituitur in Ecclesia Christi persona cum omnibus christianorum iuribus et officiis, nisi, ad iura quod attinet, obstet obex, ecclesiasticae communionis vinculum impediens, vel lata ab Ecclesia censura.” 61 Ibid., 8-9. 62 Ibid., 11: “Tam per Missionem erga non-evangelizatos, quam per Oecumenicam Actionem erga baptizatos acatholicos, tendit Ecclesia ad adaequandum extensive interiorem influxum Christi in homines.” 63 Konzilstagebuch, I/2, 627: “Notat Secretarius ex una parte clare dici debere, quinam sint reapse membra Ecclesiae, et deinde erga eos qui voto sunt membra, maxime baptizatis bonae fidei, existere ligamina spiritualia, maxime oratione et fide in Christum.” 64 Sebastian Tromp, “De membris Ecclesiae et de eius necessitate ad salutem,” 14.4.1961, 3 p. (AAV, b. 793, n° 117) as found in Konzilstagebuch, I/2, 855-856: “ideoque neminem salvari posse […]; Sicut autem nemo salvari potest […]; sic nemo salute obtinere valet […].”

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and desire need, however, to be complemented by faith and charity. e teaching is largely borrowed – oen while maintaining the exact terminology – from the 1949 letter of the Holy Office.65 At the start of the second number, Tromp enumerates some qualities that can be found among non-Catholics and especially among those baptized, and which connect them spiritually to the Church. ereaer, however, he returns to Mystici Corporis to argue that it is much safer for non-Catholics to follow their desire to take part in the mystical body of Christ. e chapter ends with a warning to the Catholic faithful to live according to their privileged condition.66 No consensus was reached on Tromp’s dra during the meeting of the sub-commission on May 25. Among others his Jesuit confrere Johannes Witte believed that further distinctions should be made among separated brethren: those who received baptism have entered into a “sacramental and real relationship to the Church.”67 On June 25, Tromp manages to make a slightly amended version of this chapter in preparation of the ten day working meeting of the sub-commission De Ecclesia in Ariccia from July 6-15, 1961. In the first number he revises the following quotation from § 22 of Mystici Corporis: “ey, therefore, are truly and properly to be said to be members of the Church who, washed in the bath of regeneration, profess the true Catholic faith, and who have not been so unfortunate so as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or have been cut off from the structure of the Mystical Body because of very serious offences.”68 In the positive part of the definition he adds the third vinculum in Bellarmine’s definition of a Catholic believer, i.e. acknowledging the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. On the negative side he no longer states that non-Catholics are personally responsible for the sin of separation.69 e final phrase indicates that they are not real 65

Cf. DS 3867, 3870, 3871, and 3872. e footnote added to this line is the only one of chapter 2 containing biblical references. 67 Konzilstagebuch, I/2, 857. 68 If changes are made that will remain in the final version of the preconciliar dra, then we cite from the official version in the Acta Synodalia and also thankfully make use of the online translation made by Joseph A. Komonchak and entitled ‘Dra of a Dogmatic Constitution on the Church’. 69 First redaction Tromp: “Sunt autem ii solum reapse membra Ecclesiae, qui regenerationis lavacro recepto veram fidem profitentur, neque a Corporis Mystici compagine semetipsos misere separarunt vel ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate seiuncti sunt” (Konzilstagebuch, I/2, 855). Second redaction Tromp: “Sunt autem ii solum reapse membra Ecclesiae, qui regenerationis lavacro recepto veram fidem profitentur, Ecclesiae catholicae auctoritatem agnoscant, nec ob gravissima admissa a legitima auctoritate ex toto seiuncti 66

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members of the Church though. is line is followed by the longest footnote in the chapter, quoting magisterial teaching from Clement VIII to John XXIII.70 As was asked in the discussion on Tromp’s first dra, in the second paragraph explicit attention is given to baptism as establishing a link between Catholics and non-Catholics. is version was presented for discussion during the meeting of the sub-commission in Ariccia. On July 12, a proposal of Schauf was accepted to divide the same material into three numbers. e final part of the number ‘e necessity of the Church for salvation’ (necessitas Ecclesiae ad salutem) henceforth will be entitled ‘Who the members are’ (quinam membri). e title of what is as of now the third number will be changed into ‘Union with non-Catholics’ (unio cum acatholicis).71 Schauf’s further suggestion that the new second number would start with “a general declaration that they only are members of the Church who belong to the visible Roman Catholic Church” was only partially followed.72 Tromp borrows more lines from Mystici Corporis to argue that those who are “really” (reapse) members of the Church “are joined in its visible structure to its Head, Christ, who rules it through his Vicar.”73 Moreover, it is even said in stronger words that it remains possible for people to be “completely (ex toto) cut off from the structure of the Mystical Body.” However, also a subordinate phrase was added which already anticipates the next number and states “that many real relations exist in the juridical and sacramental order, and indeed can exist in the mystical order, by which every baptized person is linked to the Church.”74

sunt” (Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano  II Apparando [AD] 2.2.3, 990). Even if quotation marks are missing, the exact text – including the omitted words – is found in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 35 (1943): 220. Footnote 10 explains: “Mutata sunt verba Mystici Corporis, quia inter baptizatos, qui auctoritatem Ecclesiae non agnoscunt, perplures sunt qui nunquam sese personaliter ab Ecclesia separaverunt […].” Cf. “De membris Ecclesiae eiusque necessitate ad salutem,” 2a red., mense Iunio 1961, 2 p. (F. Philips 126). 70 Cf. AS I/4, 20-22. 71 Heribert Schauf, “Animadversiones ad Const. De Membris Ecclesiae (2 red.),” 12.7.1961, 1 p. (F. Philips 128). 72 Ibid.: “Incipere posset illa doctrina cum generali declaratione eos tantum membra ecclesiae esse qui ad ecclesiam visibilem catholico-romanam pertinent.” 73 AS I/4, 18: “[…] in compagine visibili cum Capite eius, Christo videlicet eam regente per Vicarium suum.” Cf. Acta Apostolicae Sedis 35 (1954): 211: “Unum solummodo Caput constituere Christum eiusque Vicarium […]” 74 AS I/4, 18: “Etsi plures relationes reales exsistunt in ordine iuridico et sacramentali, immo exsistere queunt in ordine mystico, quibus omnis omnino baptizatus cum Ecclesia connectatur, tamen […].”

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Tromp’s diary indicates that he had a private conversation with Philips on July 12 in which the latter agreed with the proposed dra.75 A small note preserved in his archive indicates, however, that the theologian who would one and a half year later take the lead in the preparations for the revised De Ecclesia was far from satisfied. Philips had no difficulties with the doctrine itself but with the theological presentation thereof. e chapter does not make any difference among non-members and shows insufficient appreciation for the reality of the sacraments among dissident groups. e note, however, also suggests that Philips experienced some pressure not to oppose to the consensus.76 Maybe in response to Philips’ critique the paragraph on ‘Union with non-catholics’ was further improved as well. It is now said that the Church is linked to them “on many counts” (plures ob rationes). A new reason was added to the already existing list: they “excel in faith and devotion towards the Most Holy Eucharist and in love for the Mother of God.”77 In preparation of the third plenary session of September 18-29, the members and consultors were invited to suggest further changes to the constitution De Ecclesia. e reference to canonical obstacles to baptism will be expanded78 and about those “ignorant of Christ” it will be stated that they “sincerely desire to fulfil the will of God their creator.”79 Requests by Congar to enhance the ecumenical quality of the chapter

75

Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 245: “In colloquio privato cum Mons. Philips obtineo plenam concordiam cum Mons. Philips de membris.” 76 Gérard Philips, “Schema de membris Ecclesiae,” s.d., 2 p. (F. Philips 127), 2: “Quae theologica systematisatio a pluribus non admittitur, et quamdiu non imponitur, ei subscribere non possum. Si autem imponitur, admittam.” 77 Remarkably even the plenary commission of the eological Commission accepted this formulation and thus it was included in the dra sent to the Central Commission: “fide et devotione erga Sanctissimam Eucharistiam et amore erga Deiparam eminent” (AD 2.2.3, 991). 78 AS I/4, 18: “per Baptismus […] quo quis non ponens obicem incorporationis.” Cf. “Animadversiones membrorum et consultorum in constitutionem De Ecclesia,” 13.8.1961 (F. Philips 89), 2: “D. D. Si retineatur ‘ponens obicem’, dicatur quid sit. D. B. Discussioni subiciatur, utrum post verba ‘non ponens obicem’ convenienter additur genetivus declarativus: ‘aggregationis’.” 79 “Animadversiones,” 4: “P. P  T. Ubi legitur ‘Sincere adimplere desiderant voluntatem Dei ac Creatoris’, mihi non ita placet quod nihil habeatur de sic dictis atheis speculativis bonae fidei. […] Non convenire videtur quod tempore quo marxismus atheus per orbem diffunditur, Concilium de atheis non loquatur, deque eorum morali responsabilitate coram Deo.” e addition of the word “sui” was probably the response to this request by the Carmelite consultor Philippe de la Trinité.

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were not attended to.80 During the plenary discussion of the chapter on September 29, Metropolitan Hermaniuk asked why the catechumens are mentioned before the Orthodox among those having a votum baptismatis. e president answered that only catechumens can have a votum explicitum.81 e chapter was approved with only one negative vote by Joseph Fenton, for whom the entire constitution was unacceptable.82 4. Final Changes after the Revision by the Central Commission On May 7-9, 1962, the first two chapters were assessed by the Subcommissio de schematibus emendandis of the Central Commission. e presence of “different theological tendencies” was for Tromp “the prelude for the discussions that were to come during the Council.”83 At the end of the discussion, both chapters were only accepted iuxta modum and Tromp notes the lament of Cardinal Bea that the views of the Secretariat for Christian Unity on the matter had almost not been taken into account.84 On May 29, the remarks made in the Central Commission were passed on to the eological Commission, but due to the heavy work on different constitutions only on July 3 a Textus emendatus could be sent to the Cardinales revisores. On July 20, Tromp unofficially is informed that, a few details notwithstanding, the entire Dogmatic constitution was found acceptable.85

80 “Animadversiones,” 1: “P. C. Christiani dissidentes multum animadvertentur caput hoc. Optandum est ergo ut cum ipsa doctrina Concilium breviter det aliquas rationes explicationesque.” His request to mitigate the reference to the Pope as vicar of Christ by referring to his role as head of the college of bishops was equally dismissed. Ibid., 4: “P. C. Ut obviam Orthodoxis procedamus, optandum est ut dicatur: ‘Christo videlicet et Summo Pontifice ipsum repraesentante et Collegio Episcoporum praesidente’.” Cf. also Congar, Journal, 48 (24.8.1961): “ere is no trace of an ecumenical perspective or concern […] Everything goes on as if promoting the reunion of Christians was not the ultimate aim of the Council.” 81 Konzilstagebuch, I/1, 289. 82 Ibid.: “[…] Intercedit iterum Dom. Fenton: ‘Deleatur tota constitutio’. Tromp equally notes in his diary: “Omnes Episcop. dicunt Secretario placuisse constitutionem de membris.” 83 Konzilstagebuch, I/2, 752. 84 Ibid. 85 Ibid., 756: “Ut aliquomodo appareat magnitudo laboris, notare iuvat observationes ad totam Constitutionem de Ecclesia (incluso tractatu de B.M.V.) contineri 197 paginis, et responsa Subcommissionis Revisoriae 72 paginis, multo magis compactis.” See also AAV, b. 750 and 751.

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We learn from the relatio of Cardinal Ottaviani that the preparatory eological Commission during the last revisions still decided to change the title of chapters 1 and 2. By speaking about the ecclesia militans it is better emphasized that Catholic doctrine defends the identity of the mystical body of Christ and the Catholic Church.86 e great effort in chapter 2 to explain that only Catholics are fully members of the Church was needed to thereaer explain “that not all ties are destroyed between the sons of the Church and the separated brethren.”87 Interestingly he explains that, even if the expression communio sanctorum has not been used because of the existence of different interpretations, the commission is convinced that Catholics and non-Catholics who live in a state of grace belong thereto.88 e eological Commission first addressed the general observations of the members of the Central Commission, not however aer seriously questioning the right of the Central Commission to evaluate the work of the eological Commission.89 Which requests were attended to? e proposal by Cardinal König was accepted to change the title of the second paragraph in ‘Members in the proper sense’ (quinam membra sensu proprio). One also accepted the request of the archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal William Godfrey, to affirm that the Catholic teaching on who can be considered members of the Church is “according to the most ancient tradition” and to establish a connection with the discussion on the nature of the Church in chapter one by qualifying the Church as “one

86 AD 2.2.3, 995. In their response to the work of the Central Commission, the eological Commission was willing to accept the expression Ecclesia peregrinans (AD 2.4.3.2, 194 and 197) but on the printed version chapter one is entitled ‘De Ecclesiae militantis natura’ (AS I/4, 12) and chapter two ‘De membris Ecclesiae militantis eiusdemque necessitate ad salutem’ (AS I/4, 18). 87 AD 2.2.3, 997: “Dum Commissio eologica maximam curam habuit, ut clare appareret solos catholicos esse reapse membra Ecclesiae (consequentiae doctrinae oppositae sunt reapse tremendae, et in dubium vocant oecumenicitatem et infallibilitatem Ipsius Concilii Vaticani II); ex altera parte quoque strenue adlaboravit, ut clare exponeret, non omnia vincula esse destructa inter filios Ecclesiae et fratres separatos.” 88 Ibid.: “Nec dubitandum est fratres separatos in statu gratiae viventes cum filiis Ecclesiae in statu gratiae viventibus iungi Sanctorum Communione. Licet in Constitutione res ipsa clare expressa sit, tamen vox Communio Sanctorum adhibita non est, utpote non semper eodem modo intellecta.” 89 AD 2.4.3.2, 188-189. e limitations of this chapter do not allow to study the general reactions in detail. Cf. ibid., 190-194.

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and indivisible, indefectible and infallible.”90 e eological Commission also changed the second half of the number speaking about those “ordered by desire towards the Church” by insisting that this requires the assistance of divine grace.91 e critical readers of the Central Commission believed that some formulations in the third number could sound offensive to non-Catholic ears. Already the title now speaks about the ‘Union with those separated’ (unio cum separatis). Instead of the problematic word votum it is now said that non-Catholics “still desire, even unknowingly” (desiderio, etsi inconscio) the communion sub Petro.92 Upon the request of Cardinal Döpfner, the final version differentiates those implicitly longing for the faith – maybe even non-Christians –, those who are baptized – the Protestants – and those with a strong sacramental and devotional life – the Orthodox.93 According to the corrected version baptized non-Catholics “do not believe with Catholic faith” and one thus explicitly points to the fides qua. Another correction, in response to an observation by Cardinal Richaud, states that the Holy Spirit is potentially even active outside the boundaries of the Catholic Church with “sanctifying grace.”94

90

AS I/4, 18: “[…] tamen ii soli, ex antiquissima traditione vero et proprio sensu Ecclesiae membra vocantur, ex quibus ipsa Ecclesia, ut est una et indivisibilis, indefectibilis et infallibilis, in unitate fidei, sacramentorum et regiminis, coalescet: iis igitur, qui […]” Cf. the response and correction in AD 2.4.3.2, 197-198. During the final assessment of this report by the Central Commission on July 17, Cardinal Browne successfully proposed to break up this long phrase into two parts. Cf. AD 2.4.3.2, 236. 91 AD 2.4.3.2, 198: “Ut melius appareat tam necessitas gratiae quam certitudo eius, ubi adest bona voluntas, Commissio eologica revisoria proponit has tres additiones: 1) ‘qui, Spiritu Sancto movente, conscio et explicito desiderio […]’; 2) ‘tamen, gratia Dei, implicito et inscio […]’; 3) In fine addantur verba Pii X ex Alloc. Singulari quadam: ‘Gratiae autem caelestis dona nequaquam illis defutura sunt, qui luce divina recreari sincero animo velint ac postulent’.” 92 Ibid.: “Sed quia vox voti videtur acatholicis veluti pannus ruber tauri obiectus, legi potest lin. 7-8, quod ad idem redit: ‘tamen desiderio, etsi inscio, ea anhelant’.” 93 AD 2.2.3, 1012: “Potius climax iam ponenda est: praeter omnes mero voto ad Ecclesiam ordinatos singulari modo iis Ecclesia se coniunctam scit, qui sunt baptizati et ideo christiani nomine gloriantur et amanter in Christum credunt; magis adhuc vicini sunt, si insuper devotione erga S. Eucharistiam et amore erga Deiparam eminent.” 94 AD 2.4.3.2, 199: “[…] legatur: ‘qui non solum donis et gratiis, non exclusa sanctificante, in ipso mystico Corpore operatur’.” e president of the subcommission for amendments, Cardinal Confalonieri, even was willing to accept a late request by the absent member Cardinal Siri asking to substitute “aliqua

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2. The Debate on the Pre-conciliar De Ecclesia and the Preparation of a New Scheme: First Session and Intersession 1. The Assessment of the Pre-conciliar De Ecclesia during the First Session e discussion on De Ecclesia started on December 1, 1962. e dra was only sent to the Council fathers one week earlier. On the first day Cardinal Ottaviani gave his famous short speech anticipating the critique on the scheme.95 e Croatian bishop Frane Franić described the content of the different chapters in his relatio. He admitted that it had taken the commission a long time before reaching a consensus on this topic. e dogmatic constitution only focuses on those who are members in the fullest sense of the word, and therefore theologians maintain the freedom to form their own opinion on whether or not it is not possible to extend this membership in an analogous sense.96 e commission also had tried to describe the relation of baptized non-Catholics with the Catholic Church in “a somehow positive way” (modo quoque positivo).97 Already the first speaker during the opening day, the bishop of Lille, Cardinal Achille Liénart defended the view that the mystical body of Christ has a much wider extension than the Roman Catholic Church.98 saltem communio” for “orationum, expiationum et beneficiorum spiritualium communio.” Cf. AD 2.4.3.2, 240-241. 95 AS I/4, 121: “Exspecto audire solitas litanias Patrum Conciliarium: non est oecumenicum, est scholasticum, non est pastorale, est negativum et alia huiusmodi.” 96 One wonders whether Franić was not reacting in his Relatio against a criticism made by Edward Schillebeeckx in his “Animadversiones in ‘Secundam seriem’ schematum constitutionem et decretorum,” 30.11.1962 (F. Philips 441), 2: “Distinctio enim inter membrum Ecclesiae ‘vero et proprio sensu’ et membrum, ‘tantummodo voto’ non est exhaustiva, cum haec notio ‘membri Ecclesiae’ non sit univoca sed analoga. Datur enim ‘membrum Ecclesiae’ vero et proprio sensu sed secundum analogiam attributionis intrinsecae, i.e. secundum maiorem vel minorem sed intrinsecam approximationem ad integram veramque Ecclesiam unam Christi.” 97 AS I/4, 123. 98 AS I/4, 127: “Et quid dicam de christianis separatis, qui tamen per baptismum validum in Christo sunt sepulti ut in eo ad vitam supernaturalem reviviscant et in eo inserti maneant? Doleo quod Ecclesiae romanae alieni non gaudeant nobiscum de omnibus donis supernaturalibus quorum illa est dispensatrix; sed non auderem dicere quod nullo modo Corpori Christi Mystico adhaereant, quamvis non sint in Ecclesia catholica incorporati.” A good overview of the oral and written interventions regarding the different chapters of the first De Ecclesia was prepared by the secretary of the eological Commission himself. Cf.

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Also Joseph Zimmermann, who was bishop in Madagascar, argued that all the baptized are in a certain sense members of the mystical body of Christ and sometimes even excel Catholics in virtue.99 According to Cardinal Bea, speaking on December 4, the question of the membra Ecclesiae is a quaestio disputata and the Council did not have to conclude this discussion now.100 Marinus Bergonzini, the bishop of Volterra, argued that the links with the separated brethren should be better articulated. He also believed that one should first treat about the necessity of the Church and only thereaer about the members. e necessity of the Church for salvation is not only an individual but also a collective issue.101 Cardinal König from Vienna was hoping in the same vein that the Council would not only reflect about membership of the Church as an individual member but also learn from theologians who consider the Church as sacramentum mundi.102 François-Albert Bougon, the bishop of Moulins, asked for a profound reformulation of De Ecclesia, with the help of the secretariat for Christian unity. e links “of all people” with the Church needed to be clarified and Bougon proposed to distinguish three categories: Catholics, non-Catholics (thereby making distinctions between Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants) and non-Christians.103 According to the Benedictine superior Benedictus Reetz, the whole Tromp, “Relatio de observationibus factis a Patribus Concilii circa primum Schema constitutionis de Ecclesia,” 26 p., presented at the plenary session of 5-26.7.1963, included in Konzilstagebuch, II/2, 620-653, here at 637-639. 99 AS II/1, 582: “Libenter autem concedimus, fratres baptizatos separatos, uti membra corporis Christi mystici, cooperante Spiritu Christi virtutibus christianis excellere vel membra Ecclesiae catholicae, gratiam Christi respuentia, virtute superare posse et superare.” 100 AS I/4, 228. 101 AS I/4, 423-425. Similar points were also made in the Adnotationes criticae ad Schema de Ecclesia of the Episcopal Conference of Germany and Austria, which were prepared by the Jesuits Karl Rahner and Otto Semmelroth. Cf. AS II/1, 604: “Titulus ordinem rerum convertit: Ex necessitate Ecclesiae ad salutem resultat quaestio, qui sint ejus membra. […] Necessitas Ecclesiae describi deberet non tantum pro salute hominis singularis individualistice considerati, sed etiam pro genere humano ut collectiva unitate. Ecclesia est sacramentum generis humani, quod est magni momenti etiam quoad eos, qui non baptismate ad eam pertinent.” 102 AS I/4, 133: “Mihi videtur, ostendenda esse etiam necessitas Ecclesiae pro toto genere humano in quantum est entitas collectiva.” 103 AS II/1, 482: “Schema describere posset: eos, qui pleno sensu Ecclesiae incorporantur; eos, qui simul et diversis aspectibus Ecclesiae religantur et nondum in ea perfecte inseruntur: orthodoxae, anglicani, protestantes; eos, qui nondum christiani ad Ecclesiam ut novum Dei populum vocantur.”

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chapter needed to be rewritten in order to comfort Christians and nonChristians. He deplored that the text does not speak about non-Christians. In his opinion, they can receive sanctifying grace – albeit never apart from Christ and his Church – by following natural law, repent and live according to their conscience.104 According to the apostolic vicar emeritus of Guam, Leon Olano y Urteaga, the adagium Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus had to be carefully explained. e bishop believed in first instance in the universal salvific will of God as he finds it confirmed by Scripture (1 Tim 2:3-4). God offers non-Christians the necessary means so that they can follow the natural law and God’s commandments and enables them to receive his sanctifying grace so that the door to the kingdom of heaven is opened to them.105 Finally, the attention in later dras to both the themes of the salvation of non-Christians and of mission was anticipated in some reactions of Council fathers as well. Especially the archbishop of Reims, François Marty, was convinced that reflecting on salvation outside the Church asks for a theology of missions. e goal of mission is not to spread the news that it is the Church which possesses salvation, but “to announce and transmit salvation.”106 A more academic flashback on the debate De membris within the preconciliar theological commission is found in an article which Gérard Philips wrote in the first months of 1963, in which he described two tendencies in contemporary theology.107 One of the case studies which he discusses is whether Protestants or Orthodox, who are “sacramentally, juridically and especially spiritually connected to us,”108 can be called members of the Catholic Church. For one group of theologians, Church membership does not allow for gradations. According to them non-Catholics are only “ordered” towards the Catholic Church, without 104 AS I/4, 544-546. Also bishop Zimmermann ended his long essay by asking an “actus caritatis seu deditionis perfectae praeprimis a Iudaismo et Mohametanismo suis asseclis commendari videtur.” Cf. AS II/1, 582. 105 AS I/4, 537-538. 106 AS I/4, 192: “Sicut et Christus missus est, ita et Ecclesia in Christo est missa. Quae missio intrinsecae est necessitatis: ‘Vae! Mihi si non evangelizavero’. Non igitur in hoc est missio Ecclesiae, ut salutem hominum possideat. Haec enim salus semel pro omnibus per Christum est acquisita. Sed Ecclesiae missio in hoc stat, ut salutem hanc annuntiet et transmittat. Axioma ‘Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus’ significat omnem hominem, quisquis sit, qui in mundo salvatur, per Christum salvari, ideoque per Ecclesiam. Voluntas salvifica universalis, essentialis est missioni Ecclesiae, quae in mundo illam adimplet.” 107 Gérard Philips, “Deux tendances dans la théologie contemporaine: En marge du IIe Concile de Vatican,” Nouvelle revue théologique 85 (1963): 225-238. 108 Ibid., 231.

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belonging to it. According to a second group of theologians, a body may include deficient members. With an allusion to canon 87, Philips believes that through conversion they can remove the obstacle which separates them from full membership in the Catholic Church. Philips, however, is at the same time opposed against too easily “proclaiming that welldisposed dissidents are without any restrictions members of the true Church. […] It would be highly inappropriate to suggest that one could belong to Christ or relate to Him without belonging to or relating to His Church in the same proportion.”109 He would for this reason not wish “to impose a fatally imperfect vocabulary.”110 2. The Drafting of an Alternative De Ecclesia under the Leadership of Gérard Philips Soon aer the start of the first session, Cardinal Suenens had entrusted it to Philips to rewrite De Ecclesia in a shorter and more pastoral manner. e Cardinal should dispose of this version as soon as the public debate would start.111 e structure Philips proposed to Congar on October 18 already shows that he prefers to maintain but “adapt Tromp’s schema” as far as the second chapter is concerned.112 A first version was finalized with the help of Congar on October 24,113 one day later discussed by a larger group of theologians and by the Secretariat for Christian Unity114 and thoroughly expanded by the end of the month.115 Towards the end of November, the text is approved by Suenens, translated in French and widely distributed among the Council fathers.116 During a meeting in 109

Philips, “Deux tendances,” 232. Ibid. 111 Karim Schelkens, ed., Carnets conciliaires de Mgr Gérard Philips, secrétaire adjoint de la commission doctrinale, Instrumenta eologica 29 (Louvain: Peeters, 2006), 5. 112 Congar, Journal, 97 (18.10.1962). 113 Ibid., 121 (24.10.1962). Cf. “Schema Constitutionis De Ecclesia,” 24.10.1962 (F. Philips 421). 114 Cf. “Schema Constitutionis De Ecclesia,” s.d. (F. Philips 422). Aer another visit by Philips, Congar notes in his diary that “the Secretariat feels that it is better not to speak of ‘members’ and to settle for giving an entirely positive description, in descending order, of the various ways of sharing in the life of the Church: in full, and on all counts, in the case of holy Catholics, incomplete in the case of Catholics who are sinners, etc.” Ibid., 124 (28.10.1962). 115 F. Philips 425. 116 According to Congar’s diary, the dra was finished on November 26. Cf. Congar, Journal, 208. Its major output was a document in French that was 110

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Mechelen, organized by Cardinal Suenens on January 12-13, 1963, Philips’ schema is improved further.117 e first version of the Schema Philips returns to the original title of Tromp, De Ecclesiae necessitate ad salutem. e four ideas presented to the Secretariat for Christian Unity start with a principle – the necessity of the Church for salvation, which can be responded to by way of desire – and then focuses on the situation of those “really members of the Church,” the “other Christians” and “those who did not yet come to the faith.”118 As in the previous dra, the activity of the Holy Spirit among non-Catholics is not denied, but the role of the Spirit is especially to help them return to the true Church in which the means of salvation can be completely enjoyed.119 Different from the pre-conciliar dra one paragraph suggests that non-Christians who are sincerely searching the Church, “may be saved”120 though their situation is not without danger. Also the commentary underlines the importance to distinguish between both groups.121 e final dra of the so-called Schema Philips reflects the desire expressed by Cardinal Suenens as relator of De Ecclesia on January 23, 1963, during the first session of the Coordination Commission. In his opinion, the first two chapters of the previous dra needed to become widely distributed among the Council fathers: “Ce que nous attendons et espérons de la Constitution dogmatique sur l’Église” (F. Philips 434). 117 Cf. Congar, Journal, 252 (12.12.1962). It was mainly Congar who insisted to pay more attention to the mission of the Church in the opening chapter and the second chapter would have to summarize “the essential points De membris, but without using this term and presenting the motherhood of the Church in a positive manner.” e final version, “Adumbratio Schematis Constitutionis De Ecclesia,” 27.2.1963 (F. Philips 595) will form the basis for the discussion in the Sub-commission De Ecclesia. 118 “Schema Constitutionis De Ecclesia,” 24.10.1962 (F. Philips 421), 5-6: “1. Ecclesia, in Scriptura luculenter descripta, est institutio necessaria ad salutem, quia extra Christum nemo salvatur […]; 2. Reapse (et sensu pleno) ii tantum sunt membra Ecclesiae […]; 3. Alii christiani […]; 4. Ecclesia, ut omnes qui ad fidem nondum pervenerunt […]”. In the following dras the newly interpreted doctrine of the Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus is said to be found in “Sacra Traditione, in Scripturis fundata.” Cf. “Adumbratio Schematis Constitutionis De Ecclesia” (F. Philips 595), 6. 119 Ibid., 7: “A Spiritu Sancto aguntur, ut ad veram Ecclesiam perfecte pertineant, ut […] abundantibus mediis salutis verae Ecclesiae totaliter gaudeant.” 120 Ibid.: “Illi sane qui sincero voto, etiam inscio, veram Ecclesiam Dei et Christi quaerunt, salvantur quidem […]” 121 Ibid., 8: “Manifestius praeterea indicat notabilem differentiam inter christianum acatholicum et non-christianum, etiam bene dispositum.”

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one chapter De Ecclesiae mysterio.122 In the final Schema Philips, the previous second chapter now has become numbers 8-10 of chapter one.123 Differently from the pre-conciliar chapter two, which only referred to Scripture in the final footnote, already n° 8 quotes Mk 16:16 and Jn 3:5 in defense of its teaching on the necessity of baptism. Philips, however, apparently believed that his proposal would enjoy a better chance to be taken as basis for the dogmatic constitution if he reintroduced the word reapse, even if he also prepared the discussions on collegiality by stating that Christ governs his Church “through Pope and bishops.”124 e final line repeats the warning to Catholic faithful that had been put at the very end of the chapter in the pre-conciliar Schema Tromp.125 e number on relations with non-Catholic Christians also basically repeats the work of the pre-conciliar eological Commission. In the opening line, however, it explicitly indicates that only baptized Christians are addressed and they are said to lack the “complete,” not the “real” faith.126 e dra of Philips also does not explicitly affirm the perfect identification between the mystical body of Christ and the Catholic Church.127 e final number of chapter one gave Philips and his fellow theologians the occasion to compose their own text independently from any existing material. As becomes clear from the title, the opening phrase and the conclusion of the paragraph, attention to adherents of other 122

AS V/1, 95. “Nota explicativa de constructione capitis primi” (F. Philips 595), 1: “[…] Ad quam aliter ac aliter referuntur catholici, christiani separati et non-christiani (n° 8-10).” 124 “Adumbratio Schematis Constitutionis De Ecclesia” (F. Philips 595), 6: “Reapse et sine restrictione ad Ecclesiae familiam pertinent illi tantum qui integram eius ordinationem omniaque media salutis in ea instituta agnoscunt, et in compagine visibili eiusdem cum Christo eam per Summum Pontificem et Episcopos regente, iunguntur, vinculis baptismi, professionis fidei et ecclesiasticae communionis.” I take the “sine restrictione” to be an implicit reference to the canonical term “obex” in AS I/4, 18. 125 “Adumbratio Schematis Constitutionis De Ecclesia” (F. Philips 595), 7: “Memores ergo sint omnes Ecclesiae filii condicionem suam eximiam non propriis meritis, sed peculiari gratiae Christi esse adscribendam; cui si cogitatione, verbo et opere non correspondent, nedum salventur sed verius iudicabuntur.” 126 Ibid.: “Cum omnibus illis qui, baptizati, christiano nomine decorantur sed integram fidem vel unitatem communionis sub Romano Pontifice non profitentur […].” 127 Compare “[…] Spiritu Sancto […] qui non solum donis et gratiis intra catholicam agit” with AS I/4, 19: “[…] qui non solum donis et gratiis in ipso mystico Corpore operatur.” 123

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religions is immediately linked to mission. ey have to be led to the Church;128 the Church is “sent to all people” so that our Savior can “call and conduct them to his kingdom”;129 the heart of the Church is opened “to all people and to the whole world, so that through its Lord, the king of the universe, it happily is the light of all people.”130 N° 10 contains three biblical references and the one to Eph 2:11-13 allowed the draers to reflect on the proclamation of the Gospel not only to the Israelites who were “close” to the Lord but also to those who, “far from Him but not abandoned by Him, seek an unknown God.”131 Pursuing the idea of n° 7 that “some elements of sanctification can even be found outside the structure of the Church,”132 n° 10 knows that tradition considers the good elements to be found in other religions as a “preparation of the Gospel.”133 Whereas the Schema Tromp made their chances of salvation dependent upon human efforts, the Schema Philips contains the hopeful message that those “honestly seeking the true Church of God and Christ, may hope for salvation,” while at the same time not hiding that access to salvation will be more easily available aer baptism.134 3. The Revision of the Schema Philips by the Theological Commission When opening the plenary session of the eological Commission from February 21 till March 13, 1963, Cardinal Ottaviani announced the creation of a number of sub-commissions. In the sub-commission on the Church five out of the seven bishops were in favor of a thorough revision 128

“Adumbratio Schematis Constitutionis De Ecclesia” (F. Philips 595), 8: “De non-christianis ad Ecclesiam adducentis.” 129 Ibid.: “Ad omnes enim homines missa est, pro quibus Dominus sanguinem suum fudit, ut eos ad Regnum suum vocaret et dirigeret.” 130 Ibid.: “Ita, dilatata caritate, Ecclesia cor suum universis hominibus totique mundo aperit, ut per Dominum suum, Regem universorum, sit feliciter lumen omnium gentium.” 131 Ibid.: “Quapropter Ecclesia ab orando et praedicando quiescere nequit, donec omnes in Ea incorporentur, sive Domino iam prope fuerint (cf. Eph. II, 11-13), tamquam Israëlitae, fratres Ejus secundum carnem, quorum sunt testamenta et promissa (cf. Rom. IX, 4-5), sive longe ab Eo, sed non derelicti, in umbris et imaginibus Deum ignotum quaesierint (cf. Act., XVII, 23).” 132 Ibid., 6: “[…] licet elementa quaedam sanctificationis etiam extra totalem compaginem inveniri possint.” 133 Ibid., 8: “Quidquid enim boni aput illos invenitur, ab Ecclesia tamquam praeparatio evangelica aestimatur.” 134 Ibid.: “Qui sincere veram Dei et Christi Ecclesiam quaerunt, si salutem quidem sperare possunt […]” To be compared to AS I/4, 18: “[…] simile praestant, sive quod sincera voluntate id volunt quod vult ipse Christus.”

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of the pre-conciliar De Ecclesia. At a secret meeting the next day, they decided to take the so-called Schema Philips as basis and they managed to convince the others of this on February 26, aer Bishop Charue of Namur had made the clever proposal that they would also consult the schema prepared by Parente as well as other dras. None of the other dras, however, shared the same interest and respect towards nonChristians.135 e sub-commission reconfirmed the structure of the opening chapter as proposed in the Schema Philips.136 e revised version was printed on March 1 so as to give the members of the eological Commission enough time to study it, even if the last numbers had not yet been discussed in detail.137 In the number dealing with the Catholic faithful the bishops were asked to reflect whether it would not be better to reintroduce the original lines of n° 9 of the pre-conciliar Schema on catechumens and inculpable non-believers.138 While the final version of

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e dra approved by the episcopal conferences of Germany and Austria only discussed relations with non-Catholics. ere was no agreement, however, about whether or not they could be called imperfect ‘members’ of the Church, hence the presence of alternative formulations in §§ 11-13. Cf. “Adumbratio schematis constitutionis dogmaticae De Ecclesia,” in AS II/1, 608-639, at 616618. See also Schelkens, ed., Carnets, 14: “For the issue of Church membership two versions are proposed, the open position and a neutral via media, more or less in the manner recommended by me” [my translation]. Chapter 11 of the dra prepared by the episcopal conference of Chile focused on the evangelization of the world without mentioning other religions. Cf. “Annotationes genericae in Schema Constitutionis dogmaticae De Ecclesia” (F. Philips 581), 55. 136 Schelkens, ed., Carnets, 19-20 (1.3.1963): “I have conceived the following plan: first the Ecclesia de Trinitate, i.e. facing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. en the personal relations of the Church with Christ, the idea of the mystical body and the other biblical images. Finally the Church on earth and its relation to Catholics, other Christians and all people” [my translation]. 137 “Adumbratio Schematis Constitutionis Dogmaticae De Ecclesia,” 1.3.1963 (F. Philips 597), note on p. 9: “Numeri 9 & 10 in genere tantum a peritis approbati sunt et non usque ad ultimum apicem critico examini subjecti. Exspectant periti indicationes quas Patres praebere voluerint.” 138 Ibid., 7: “Voto autem ad Ecclesiam ordinantur catechumeni, qui Spiritu Sancto movente, conscio et explicito desiderio ad Ecclesiam adspirant. Quod suo modo ii praestant, qui nescientes Ecclesiam Catholicam esse veram et unicam Christi Ecclesiam, sincere, adiuvante gratia, voluntatem Christi adimplere volunt, vel si Christum ignorant, voluntatem Dei et Creatoris sui, qui vult omnes homines salvos fieri.” With the exception of the implicit reference to 1 Tim 2:4 in the final line the text is almost identical with AS I/4, 18. A note explains: “Doctrina, in hac ultima paragrapho expressa ab omnibus peritis admittitur. Plures tamen eorum aestimant hanc explicationem proprie theologicam (scilicet de modo quo necessitas Ecclesiae cum voluntate salvifica universali cohaereat)

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the Schema Philips had le n° 9 largely untouched, now the final lines were slightly reformulated, with more attention to the action needed from the part of the non-Catholics.139 Two changes were accepted as to n° 10, but it were reassertions from the pre-conciliar De Ecclesia: the possibility was reaffirmed that atheists acknowledge God as creator and in line with the 1949 letter of the Holy Office hope for salvation is only offered to those “invincibly ignorant” (invincibiliter ignorantes).140 Attempts by André Naud, appointed as peritus by Cardinal Léger, and by Daniélou to improve the text towards an even further openness towards adherents of other religions were not followed.141 e discussion of chapter one in the plenary commission started on March 5, aer an unsuccessful attempt by Ottaviani and Tromp to revoke the decision of the sub-commission to take the Schema Philips as basis for their discussions and numbers 8-10 were discussed on March 8 and March 9.142 e title of n° 8 was changed from De catholicis in Ecclesiam to De fidelibus catholicis since the question was raised who else than Catholics would be “in the Church.” At the start of the discussion, Philips explained as relator that in this number two claims are to be reconciled that at first sight seem contradictory: “the salvific will of God and the non esse a Concilio imponendam.” e insertion would be approved by the eological Commission. 139 “Adumbratio Schematis Constitutionis De Ecclesia” (F. Philips 597), 8: “Ita in cunctis Christi discipulis desiderium actionemque suscitat, ut omnes, modo a Christo stabilito, in uno grege sub uno Pastore pacifice uniantur” [emphasis mine]. 140 Ibid., 9: “[…] sive longe ab Eo, sed non derelicti Deum creatorem agnoscant […] Qui corde sincero veram Dei et Christi Ecclesiam ignorantes quaerunt […]” e differences with F. Philips 595 have been indicated in italic. 141 Cf. Schelkens, ed., Carnets, 16: “M. Nau [=Naud] is a missionary who defends that there is a clear distance between the visible and the invisible Church. Such a theory is unacceptable in this sharp form and risks to endanger our position” [my translation]. Cf. Leo Declerck and Claude Soetens, eds., Carnets conciliaires de l’évêque de Namur A.-M. Charue (Louvain-la-Neuve: Publications de la Faculté de théologie, 2000), 92. See for a more critical account of the tensions between “les équipes de Louvain et de Montréal,” Gilles Routhier, “Léger et Suenens: Les relations difficiles de deux princes de l’Église,” in The Belgian Contribution to the Second Vatican Council: International Research Conference at Mechelen, Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve (September 12-16, 2005), ed. Doris Donnelly, Joseph Famerée, Mathijs Lamberigts, and Karim Schelkens, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum eologicarum Lovaniensium 216 (Louvain, Paris, and Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2008), 325-357, at 345-346.  142 e official report by the secretary Tromp has been preserved in Konzilstagebuch, II/1, 283-291 and II/2, 676-680. A more personal account is given in Declerck and Soetens, eds., Carnets, 104-106.

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necessity of the Church for salvation.”143 Parente insisted to speak about incorporation in order to maintain the idea of membership and he successfully proposed to return to a more traditional rendering of Bellarmine’s conditions of membership in the Church. e term “communio” which Philips had deliberately chosen was maintained as well.144 e title of n° 9 was changed into De nexibus Ecclesiae cum Christianis non catholicis upon the request of Cardinal Browne, who thought ‘unione’ was too strong. A proposal to only treat this topic in the Decree on Ecumenism was dismissed, since the structure of the chapter requires speaking about different degrees of communion with the Church. A more realistic account of their sacramental and liturgical life is given.145 At the end of the number on ecumenism it is mentioned that Catholics need to be “purified and renewed” as well.146 e title of n° 10, De non-christianis ad Ecclesiam adducendis, remained unchanged, but the original opening line was removed.147 Upon the request of Archbishop Dearden, the paragraph still refers to the Church’s “brethren according to the flesh” without however mentioning the Israelites by name.148 143

Konzilstagebuch, II/2, 676: “[…] recordans quomodo in hoc numero reconcilianda sint duo apparenter opposita: voluntas Dei salvifica et necessitas Ecclesiae ad salutem.” e official relatio prepared by Philips would reduce this to: “Imprimis statuitur necessitas Ecclesiae ad salutem, comparatione facta cum baptismate.” Cf. “Commentarius” (F. Philips 668), 4. 144 Konzilstagebuch, II/1, 283: “Dictum est communio et non regiminis, ut sententia latius pateat.” e version sent to the Coordination Commission on March 23, shows the compromise reached: “[…] vinculis nempe professionis fidei, sacramenti et ecclesiastici regiminis ac communionis” (AS V/1, 454). 145 AS V/1, 455: “Amanter enim credunt in Christum, Filium Dei Salvatorem, baptismo indelebili signantur, imo omnia aut saltem quaedam sacramenta agnoscunt et recipiunt, et plures eorum fidem erga Sanctissimam Eucharistiam necnon devotionem erga Deiparam Virginem fovent.” To be compared with the final version of the Schema Philips (F. Philips 595), 7: “[…] quaedam sacramenta agnoscunt et accipiunt, et plures eorum fide et devotione erga Sanctissimam Eucharistiam necnon amore erga Deiparam Virginem eminent.” 146 AS V/1, 455: “Quod ut obtineat Ecclesia precari, sperare et agere non desinit, omnesque ad orandum et cooperandum exhortatur, ut purificati et renovati, signum Christi super faciem Ecclesiae clarius effulgere faciant.” Tromp’s notes on the meeting do not indicate who was responsible for this addition. Cf. Konzilstagebuch, II/1, 289. 147 Compare “Adumbratio Schematis Constitutionis Dogmaticae De Ecclesia” (F. Philips 597), 9: “Ecclesia, ut omnes qui ad fidem christianam nondum pervenerunt, ad regenerationem in Corpore Christi perducat, instanter operatur. Ad omnes enim homines missa est […]” with AS V/1, 455: “Ecclesia ad omnes homines missa est […].” 148 Konzilstagebuch, II/1, 291. Cf. Declerck and Soetens, eds., Carnets, 106: “Congar en est heureux parce que cela pouvait indisposer les musulmans qu’on

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4. Final Preparations f