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Liturgy as Revelation

Liturgy as Revelation: Re-Sourcing a Theme in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology

Philip Caldwell
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  • Book Info
    Liturgy as Revelation
    Book Description:

    A critical issue in modern Catholic theology has been the relationship between the doctrine of revelation and the church’s liturgical and sacramental practice. This volume argues that although in the twentieth century Catholic theology increasingly recognized the centrality of Christology—particularly the person of Christ—as the locus of revelation and drew out the crucial implications of Christ as the revelation of God, it was slow to connect this revelatory dynamic with the encounter that occurs within the sacramental space of the liturgy, most notably the Eucharist. Taking the decline of the neoscholastic enterprise in Catholic theology and the challenges posed by modernism as his point of departure, Philip Caldwell traces the evolution of the Catholic theology of revelation in the twentieth century and the vital role played by the liturgical and sacramental renewal movements in reimagining this pivotal theological category. Examining the specific contributions of René Latourelle, Avery Dulles, Salvatore Marsilli, and Gustave Martelet against a background of pre-conciliar ressourcement theology, this volume provides a comprehensive account of why a Trinitarian and Christological construal of liturgy and sacraments as revelation is key to the vision that informed Vatican II and offers constructive theological and ecclesial possibilities for the future.

    eISBN: 978-1-4514-8947-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Renewal: Conversations in Catholic Theology
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    Sometimes where one “is at” can reveal an interesting and fruitful point of departure for reflection, and such proved true for this study. The thesis that eventually gave rise to the present book was finalized at Ushaw College,¹ the then-senior seminary for the Catholic dioceses of the north of England, founded in 1808. It was St. Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw, that, if in nothing other than its annals, was responsible for the meeting of two men of very different sensibilities and perspectives: Rafael Merry Del Val, Cardinal Secretary of State to Pius X, and the poet Francis Thompson. Being at Ushaw,...

  7. Part I. The Historical-Theological Background and Major Themes

    • 1 Overtures for Change
      (pp. 17-112)

      In the nineteenth century, various themes arose to prominence within the mind of the church. Some surfaced from within, by the natural process of maturation and development, while others resulted from sharp reminders given by a rapidly changing secular world. Among these, perhaps the most significant, and that because its influence was so far-reaching, was the awakening to a sense of history.¹ This questioned fundamentally the prevailing certainties of knowledge, and had the potential to transform the intellectual disciplines completely. To become aware of historicity is to acknowledge a sense of contingency, pluralism, and the possibility of change. Much that...

  8. Part II. The Exposition and Analysis of Selected Authors

    • 2 René Latourelle Establishing the Christological Foundations of Revelation
      (pp. 115-188)

      René Latourelle is a theologian typical of the focus phase¹ in the history of fundamental theology. Born in Montreal in 1918, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1938 and, after completing doctoral studies in both history and theology, he began in 1959 to teach theology at the Gregorian University, where he subsequently became dean of the faculty of theology.² Latourelle’s career as a student, theologian, and teacher spans the era of the development of fundamental theology through phases that he later calls “Reaction,” “Expansion,” and “Focusing.” Educated within the era of classical apologetics, he was involved with the development...

    • 3 Avery Dulles Diversifying the Models of Approach
      (pp. 189-266)

      Avery Dulles wrote one of the first and best critical appraisals of René Latourelle’sThéologie de la Révélation. Not only did he recognise the work as an “enormous step forward,”¹ but he recognized in it “a number of major questions . . . which would seem to call for concentrated labour on the part of Catholic theologians.”² Whether his extensive writings in fundamental theology are a conscious response to the invitation he recognized in Latourelle’s work remains uncertain, but the points of issue that he identifies in his 1964 article “The Theology of Revelation” are ones that remain central to...

    • 4 Salvatore Marsili Granting Priority to the Liturgy
      (pp. 267-336)

      Achille Maria Triacca suggests that “it would be worth writing a biography of Marsili to show its course parallel with the history of the liturgical movement in Italy, in a way that elevates the contribution to liturgical renewal of the meritorious Benedictine.”¹ Though far from a biography, it is hoped that this chapter will make apparent some of the more important connections between the work of other theologians of the liturgical renewal and the particular contribution of Salvatore Marsili. Yet there are other interesting parallels to be drawn from the biography of Marsili that are perhaps more pertinent to this...

    • 5 Gustave Martelet Forming a Sacramental Anthropology
      (pp. 337-402)

      That the lives of the four theologians of our study are roughly contemporary, that their theological enterprises are not dissimilar, and their vocations as teachers and formators the same, means that by this stage the benefits of a cumulative and composite picture are beginning to be felt. Hopefully, with each chapter, further depth and a changed perspective are provided to the central question. Yet, while similarities in the broad outlines of the writers’ lives allow for the establishment of certain coordinates, the unique response of each provides particularity and nuance.¹ Such parallels, intersections, similarities, and distinctions should become apparent from...

  9. Part III. Evaluations and Prospectives

    • 6 Moving Toward a Synthesis
      (pp. 405-496)

      The particular period in which the four writers of this study were contemporaries offered a unique opportunity for the employment and expression of their theological gifts. To look to their particular contribution is to look to the specific tasks that the moment set before them. Born within a decade that saw the burgeoning of progressive currents in Catholic theology, they witnessed both the suspicion and suppression of these themes in the last reaches of the Modernist crisis and their acceptance and legitimation at the Second Vatican Council. At the peak of production in the postconciliar period, each labored for the...

  10. Conclusion
    (pp. 497-506)

    It was always the advice of my teachers never to introduce new material into the conclusion of an essay. On this occasion I will risk ignoring what I recognize is generally sound advice for two reasons. To have offered a study that has reflected at length on the relationship between revelation and the liturgy in the period of Vatican II without significant mention of Joseph Ratzinger seems clumsy, if not foolhardy.¹ Moreover, perhaps the questions and tensions that can be found in Ratzinger’s work in regard to our subject both identify the key issue clearly and also indicate avenues of...

  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 507-558)
  12. Index of Names
    (pp. 559-566)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 567-567)