Henri de Lubac and the Drama of Human Existence

  • by Jordan Hillebert

  • 300 pages, 6.00 x 9.00

  • Hardcover | 9780268108571 | January 2021

  • eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268108601 | January 2021

  • eBook (EPUB) | 9780268108595 | January 2021


The French Jesuit Henri de Lubac (1896–1991) was one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century. The publication of his Surnaturel in 1946, addressing the issue of the interrelation of nature and the supernatural, precipitated one of the most far-reaching theological debates of the century, culminating in a new historical, methodological, and theological consensus on the topic. And yet the question continues to be debated: How should de Lubac’s position be understood? Although many have suggested that de Lubac saw human nature as always-already graced, in Henri de Lubac and the Drama of Human Existence, Jordan Hillebert advances a new reading of de Lubac’s theology of the supernatural that is at variance with most prevailing interpretations. Through his analysis of how a “hermeneutics of human existence” pervades de Lubac’s writings, Hillebert argues that, in de Lubac’s theology, the relation between the human being and humanity’s supernatural finality is best considered in terms of the “supernatural insufficiency of human nature.” In this way, Hillebert demonstrates that de Lubac’s theology of the supernatural offers a via media between neo-scholastic “extrinsicism” on the one hand and post-conciliar “intrinsicism” on the other.

Although some authors have drawn attention to the theme of human existence in de Lubac’s writings, Henri de Lubac and the Drama of Human Existence is an original study that shows how a hermeneutics of human existence provides an interpretative key to his writings—especially in regard to the controversial question of the relation of nature and the supernatural. Due to the book’s broad ecumenical appeal, it will interest scholars in the fields of modern theology and, more specifically, Roman Catholic theology.