Transforming Catholic Tradition
302 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268104771 | November 2018
eBook (PDF) | 9780268104795 | November 2018
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268104801 | November 2018
During the past few decades there has been renewed interest in the twentieth-century French Catholic philosopher Maurice Blondel (1861–1949) and his influence on modern and contemporary theology, but little scholarship has been published in the English-speaking world. In Maurice Blondel: Transforming Catholic Tradition, Robert Koerpel examines Blondel’s work, the historical and theological development of the idea of tradition in modern Catholicism, tradition’s relation to reason and revelation, and Blondel's influence on Catholicism's understanding of tradition. The book presents aspects of Blondel's thought that deserve to be more widely known and contributes to important debates in current theology on modern French Catholic thought and the emerging conversations surrounding them. Koerpel looks to the cultural context from which Blondel’s thought emerges by situating it within the broader conceptual, historical, and theological developments of modernity. He examines the problem of reason and revelation in modern Catholicism, the role and nature of tradition, and the relationships between theology and history, truth and change, nature and grace, and scripture and the development of doctrine.
This book provides readers with an appreciation of Blondel’s conceptually creative answer to how tradition represents the Word of God in human history and why it is one of his most important contributions to modern and contemporary theology. They will discover how his contribution restores the animated vitality between the institutional and liturgical dimensions of tradition essential to the living, dynamic nature of Catholicism.
Robert C. Koerpel is adjunct professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas. He is co-editor of Contemplating the Future of Moral Theology: Essays in Honor of Brian V. Johnstone, CSsR.
"I am not aware of any other scholarly study that achieves what Robert Koerpel's book does regarding Maurice Blondel's contribution to the renewed understanding of tradition in Catholic thought, set out in historical context. This is an erudite, demanding study that will be of interest to graduate students and scholars." ~Peter Bernardi, S.J., Loyola University Chicago
“This book belongs to the genre of ‘classical’ work of unshowy, brilliant history of doctrine. It gives a clear, unpretentious account of Blondel’s context in late nineteenth-century France. That is hard to come by in itself, but Robert Koerpel succeeds in giving a clear and unpretentious account of Blondel’s own thought—which is accomplished all too rarely. It draws deeply on church history, and it’s not fanciful or constructive in the bad sense, but it is driven by a kind of ‘design impulse,' using Macintyre’s notion of a 'imaginative conceptual innovation' to explain the value of Blondel’s rethinking of the idea of tradition.” ~Francesca Murphy, University of Notre Dame