"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


For Christians of all traditions, the Catholic-led ressourcement movement has to be counted among the great achievements of the twentieth century. Those who were a part of this movement included many French Dominicans (such as Yves Congar, left) and Jesuits (such as Henri de Lubac,right).

Their work contributed to a renewal of theology not only in the Catholic Church, where it paved the way for the Second Vatican Council, but in Orthodoxy and increasingly Protestantism as well. Now a forthcoming book from Oxford University Press promises to examine this movement anew: 
Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology provides both a historical and a theological analysis of the achievements of the renowned generation of theologians whose influence pervaded French theology and society in the period 1930 to 1960, and beyond. It considers how the principal exponents of ressourcement, leading Dominicans and Jesuits of the faculties of Le Saulchoir (Paris) and Lyon-Fourviere, inspired a renaissance in twentieth-century Catholic theology and initiated a movement for renewal that contributed to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The book assesses the origins and historical development of the biblical, liturgical, and patristic ressourcement in France, Germany, and Belgium, and offers fresh insights into the thought of the movement's leading scholars. It analyses the fierce controversies that erupted within the Jesuit and Dominican orders and between leading ressourcement theologians and the Vatican. The volume also contributes to the elucidation of the complex question of terminology, the interpretation of which still engenders controversy in discussions of ressourcement and nouvelle theologie. It concludes with reflections on how the most important movement in twentieth-century Roman Catholic theology continues to impact on contemporary society and on Catholic and Protestant theological enquiry in the new millennium.
Chapters of particular interest to Eastern Christians will include:
  • 22: Brian E. Daley, SJ (University of Notre Dame, USA): Knowing God in history and in the church: Dei Verbum and 'nouvelle théologie'
  • 25: Paul McPartlan (Catholic University of America, Washington DC, USA): Ressourcement, Vatican II, and eucharistic ecclesiology 
  • 29: Paul D. Murray (Durham University, UK): Expanding Catholicity through Ecumenicity in the Work of Yves Congar: Ressourcement, Receptive Ecumenism, and Catholic Reform
  • 31: Andrew Louth (Durham University, UK): French ressourcement theology and Orthodoxy: a living mutual relationship?
Look for this to be reviewed in 2012 in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies. 

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