Modernists & mystics

Modernists & mystics

Edited by C. J. T. Talar
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 152
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  • Book Info
    Modernists & mystics
    Book Description:

    In the six original essays included in this volume, the authors discuss how von Hügel, Blondel, Bremond, and Loisy all found inspiration in the great mystics of the past.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1780-2
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    William L. Portier
  4. 1 The Mystical Element of the Modernist Crisis
    (pp. 1-22)
    William L. Portier and C. J. T. Talar

    Modernists and mystics make an incongruous combination. Or so it might appear. Urging an often-intransigent church into dialogue with modern science, critical history, historical critical studies of the Bible, and post-Kantian philosophy, those remembered as Modernists wanted to join the ancient faith to modern thought. We find the classic mystics, by contrast, in the past. In the West, we find them in late medieval and early modern Catholicism. But the figures associated with the Modernist crisis in Roman Catholicism not only looked forward in terms of critical history and philosophy. They also looked back into history to the church’s mystical...

  5. 2 Mysticism and Modernism in Baron Friedrich von Hügel’s Life and Thought
    (pp. 23-38)
    Lawrence F. Barmann

    Whenever the name of Baron Friedrich von Hügel is mentioned, the context is nearly always that of the Modernist controversy within the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, of the dozens of books and articles written about him in the eighty years since his death, the vast majority have had to do with his role in that controversy. Yet a serious and systematic study of his life and writings unequivocally indicates that Friedrich von Hügel was a Roman Catholic Modernist precisely because he was a Roman Catholic mystic. Should this seem questionable to someone, the cause, most likely, would be that individual’s...

  6. 3 Prayer at Twilight: Henri Bremond’s Apologie pour Fénelon
    (pp. 39-61)
    C. J. T. Talar

    In March 1699 the papal brief Cum alias condemned twenty-three propositions extracted from the Explication des Maximes des Saints sur la Vie intérieure, published by François Fénelon (1651–1715) in 1697.It is generally thought that political pressure applied by Louis XIV accomplished what the serial polemics of Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627–1704) and the efforts of his namesake nephew installed at Rome could not. The commission of cardinals charged with examining the book had split evenly—the pope’s brief decided the matter. Mysticism, already in decline by the end of the seventeenth century and the object of suspicion, thereafter largely disappeared...

  7. 4 Maurice Blondel: Philosophy, Prayer, and the Mystical
    (pp. 62-81)
    Michael J. Kerlin

    Although references to the mystical appear frequently in his writings, Maurice Blondel devoted just one essay, “Le problème de la mystique” (1925), formally to the topic. In the essay, he has three goals: (1) to defend the legitimacy of a philosophical consideration of the mystical; (2) to show the relationship of the mystical, considered as a supernatural condition and activity, to natural human conditions and activities; and (3) to reject various approaches to the mystical that either deny philosophy its role or distort this relationship between nature and grace.¹ We could profitably consider any of these aspects of Blondel’s thought....

  8. 5 The Modernist and the Mystic: Albert Houtin’s Une grande mystique
    (pp. 82-103)
    C. J. T. Talar

    For those whose musical horizons encompass the recent revival of interest in Gregorian chant, Solesmes perhaps will not be entirely unfamiliar. The identification of this French Benedictine abbey with plainchant dates back well into the nineteenth century and its debates over how to interpret authentically the musical manuscripts of earlier eras.² In the course of that century, Solesmes became synonymous with the liturgical revival more broadly, its prominence dependent in no small measure on the efforts of its founder, Dom Prosper Guéranger (1805–1875).³

    Properly speaking, Guéranger restored Benedictine life at Solesmes. A priory had been established on the site...

  9. 6 Henri Bergson and Alfred Loisy: On Mysticism and the Religious Life
    (pp. 104-136)
    Harvey Hill

    Many Catholics around the turn of the twentieth century viewed appeals to religious experience as suspect. After all, Protestants often emphasized religious experience over against the objective truths enunciated by the Catholic Church through the centuries. And looming behind the Protestant emphasis on experience was the even more fearsome specter of Kantian subjectivism, the idea that all truth was relative to the knower. In response, many Catholic intellectuals turned to neo-Thomistic philosophy and theology, which were believed to provide a solid foundation for a properly orthodox Christian faith in properly deferential lay Christians.

    But not all Catholics shared this distrust...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 137-146)
  11. Contributors
    (pp. 147-148)
  12. Index
    (pp. 149-152)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 153-154)