Nouvelle Théologie

Can someone please give articles or insight against and for the New Theological Movement?

Also, opinions would be greatly appreciated to help explore the matter a bit more.

God Bless,

Bballer32 :smiley:

The name says it all. It’s novel/new.

Of course, its proponents claim to be restoring a more ancient understanding of Catholicism. And this is exactly what they are doing (it’s not a ruse - this is REALLY what they are trying to do).

The problem with a more ancient understanding of Catholicism is that it was not as complete as our modern understanding. Augustine did not understand the Faith as well as Aquinas, who did not understand it as well as Josef Ratzinger. Our understanding has grown over time. Why throw that away? It would be like a mathematician throwing away all calculus, trig, and algebra and insisting on nothing but arithmetic.

Of course, proponents realize that our understanding develops over time. They simply do not like HOW it has developed. They would prefer it to have developed into an abortion-friendly, IVF-ing, contracepting, gay-marrying, women-priests, lay-democracy type of Church. They realize they have little chance of CHANGING doctrine, so they want to RESET it, back to a time before the Church had considered these matters. THEN, once we have replaced a more mature understanding with a less mature understanding, doctrine can develop from there, but under their careful guidance to make sure they get the outcome they want.

They want the Church to have a Do-Over. With them in charge.

Ok well a friend is a huge fan of PBXVI, so this will be interesting to tell him this.

Of course, proponents realize that our understanding develops over time. They simply do not like HOW it has developed. They would prefer it to have developed into an abortion-friendly, IVF-ing, contracepting, gay-marrying, women-priests, lay-democracy type of Church. They realize they have little chance of CHANGING doctrine, so they want to RESET it, back to a time before the Church had considered these matters. THEN, once we have replaced a more mature understanding with a less mature understanding, doctrine can develop from there, but under their careful guidance to make sure they get the outcome they want.

They want the Church to have a Do-Over. With them in charge.

But I think he will disagree with this. What do you think is a good way to explain this part to a seminarian so indulged into PBXVI, Bonaventure, van Balthazaar, Cuz seminarian on seminarian talk gets pretty deep and technical? I want to show him that what PBXVI did is alright but that not everything coming out of the New theology is good.

Tbh, it’s hard to find bad things with the new theology. At least I think de Lubac and Ratzinger are geniuses.

I would say though that a lot of stuff you find online about this will probably overemphasize the difference between St. Thomas and those who came later.

The whole reason a person seeks to “get back to basics” is because he feels that the original ideal has become corrupted. The “new religion” wants to sweep aside the insights of many great Saints and Doctors (especially Aquinas and the Scholastics) and return to an Augustinian-era understanding of Catholicism.

WHY do that? WHY is that something that should be pursued? WHY toss out three-quarters of the Church’s spiritual development?

What is it about the Augustinian-era Church that makes it superior to the modern Church, such that we would want to revert to it?

The ONLY possible answer is that someone isn’t content with how everything worked out. The Augustinian-era Church had not yet confronted many social issues that matter very much to some people. So let’s revert to that “unblemished” Church and try again.

If he can come up with a DIFFERENT reason for wanting to return to the age of St. Augustine OTHER THAN discontent with the modern Church then I would love to hear it.

:confused:

Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange wrote an article entitled “Where is the new theology leading us?”.

You could also read Pius XII’s encyclical Humani Generis.

Oh, ok. It’s starting to make sense now. I am reading some works by Lagrange and others for better understanding. But thank you anyways for answering this question! I greatly appreciate it.

Not too bad up until the diatribe about abortion-friendly, IVF-ing, contracepting, gay-marrying…etc.

The New Theology in general was/is an effort to return to the sources for what is fundamental to the Catholic Religion. Pope Paul VI had a lot to say on this. It consists of a thought and theological system less rigid than Thomism; less black and white. It acknowledges objective truth, but contrary to other ways of thinking, also acknowledges that there are multiple means of arriving at the same end.

For the OP, I would say that can look to Henri de Lubac, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Yves Congar, Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Louis Bouyer, Jean Daniélou, Jean Mouroux and Joseph Ratzinger Within those theologians, you will encounter multiple lines of thought, extremes and ultimately the via media!

I agree! This idea of going back to the ‘unblemished Church’ is the same thing you hear Evangelical Christians talking about all the time; ‘Lets go back to the Acts 2 church.’ Or the Mormans, Jehovah’s Witness and the others who want to throw out everything from the death of the last Apostle to the nineteenth century, when their religions were born. :shrug:

There are 2 main currents of thought among those associated with the “new theology”. One felt as if (or at least that’s how it appears) the Church needed to desperately “catch up” with the times, and adjusted theology accordingly. This meant for many that their theology no longer represented authentic Catholicism. The other current (so it seems to me) was mainly focused rejecting the idea of “pure nature” that neo-scholastics supported, and the Church Fathers, because of their emphasis on the historical character of faith and faith being the “true philosophy” that completes what reason lacks, were seen as a kind of rebuttal to what was thought to be a too rigid form of a Thomism that separated philosophy and faith too much. And then there are those who fall between those two.

The first group is pretty much obsolete. The second group represents what is probably considered mainstream today.

Perhaps also worth pointing out: many proponents of the new theology had no intention of making a “break” with Aquinas. For instance, De Lubac maintained he was being faithful to him. Also, the concept of a “natural end” is something that even more recent doctors of the Church don’t consider; I’m thinking specifically of Bellarmine, who afaik only speaks of man having solely a supernatural end, and Francis de Sales who Spoke of a natural desire for the beatific vision. In addition, according to Cardinal Meisner, JPII said that he owed the entire theological profile of his pontificate to Cardinal Ratzinger, who is considered part of the “new theology”.

Just food for thought.

The nouvelle theologie didn’t break with the past. It rejected an overly rigid version of Thomism that had come to dominate the Western Church. It did what the Reformation should have done–go back to the texts for fresh insights but without rejecting later stages of the Tradition. David Filmer’s account is therefore a bit of a caricature.

Pope Benedict XVI is, after all, a practitioner of the nouvelle theologie.

This piece by Rusty Reno is probably the most balanced and intelligent criticism of the nouvelle theologie I know.

Edwin

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