In Church of the Ever Greater God, Aaron Pidel offers the first major English-language study of the ecclesiology of Erich Przywara, S.J., one of the most important Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. As Pidel shows, Przywara’s idea of analogia entis, or analogy of being, shaped his view of ecclesiology. According to this theory, every creature is made of various tensions or polarities in its being. Creatures flourish when these tensions are in equilibrium but transgress their creaturely limits when they absolutize one polarity over the other. Pidel demonstrates how Przywara used the concept of analogia entis to describe the structure and rhythm of the Catholic Church. In Przywara’s view, the Church, too, is essentially constituted by her tensions or polarities, and the members of the Church conform to that analogical tension to varying degrees of fidelity. Przywara claims that analogia entis not only describes the Church as she is but also can be used as a criterion for discerning the spiritual health of the Church by helping her to see where her equilibrium has become imbalanced. Pidel maintains that Przywara thought that the biggest risk to the Church’s analogical equilibrium in the last century was a de-emphasis of the typically Ignatian ideas of reverence for the Divine Majesty and missionary extraversion. Przywara’s vision of the Church is presented as a corrective to this one-sided imbalance. In drawing attention to Przywara’s metaphysically informed and deeply Ignatian ecclesiology, Pidel’s study will appeal not only to scholars of Przywara but also to all those who study ecclesiology and Catholic theology more broadly.
“This book makes a worthy contribution to philosophy in general and Catholic theology in particular. Aaron Pidel adeptly explains in clear language Erich Przywara’s complex but innovative metaphysics of analogy.” —Stephen Fields, S.J., author of Analogies of Transcendence
“As Erich Przywara was arguably the best Catholic mind of the twentieth century, Church of the Ever Greater God makes an original and essential contribution to the Church’s self-understanding.” —Graham McAleer, author of Erich Przywara and Postmodern Natural Law
"This book is the first major study of Przywara’s ecclesiology in English. It is recommended not only for those who study Przywara but for any serious reader who is concerned with the future of the Roman Catholic Church." —The Way
"Church of the Ever Greater God is a beautifully written and impressively thorough work that not only highlights the salience of Erich Przywara for contemporary theology but also establishes Pidel as an emerging figure in the field." —The Heythrop Journal