The Suspended Middle: Henri de Lubac and the Debate Concerning the Supernatural
French Jesuit Henri de Lubac (1896–1991) was arguably the most revolutionary theologian of the twentieth century. He proposed that Western theology since the early modern period had lost sight of the key to integrating faith and reason — the truth that all human beings are naturally oriented toward the supernatural. In this vital book John Milbank defends de Lubac s claim and pushes it to a more radical extreme. The Suspended Middle shows how such a claim entails a non-ontology suspended between rational philosophy and revealed theology, interweaving the two while denying them any pure autonomy from each other. As de Lubac s writings on the supernatural implicitly dismantled the reigning Catholic (and perhaps Protestant) assumptions about Christian intellectual reflection, he met with opposition and even papal censure. Milbank s sophisticated account of de Lubac delineates the French theologian s relations with other proponents of the nouvelle thologie, such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, and clarifies the subtle but crucial divisions within recent Roman Catholic theology. The most substantial treatment in English of de Lubac s as yet untranslated Surnaturel and the subsequent debate, Milbank s Suspended Middle lays down an energetic challenge that every serious student of theology and Christian philosophy will want to engage.
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The Suspended Middle: Henri de Lubac and the Renewed Split in Modern ...
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already angels Aquinas's Aristotelian Aristotle Aubier-Montaigne Augustinian Barth Barthian beatific vision beatitude beauty Berulle Cajetan Catholic causality Christ Christian Church concursus cosmic cosmos created Creation Cusa deification discourse divine drama ecclesiology elevation entirely eternal extrinsic Feinberg finite gift without contrast gratuity of grace Hence Henri de Lubac Herder human nature Humani Generis Ignatius immanent influence insisted intellectual later linked logic Lubac's thesis Maurice Blondel Maximus the Confessor metaphysics Mirandole mode Mystery mystical Narcisse natura pura natural desire neo-scholastic neo-Thomism neo-Thomists neoplatonic Nicholas of Cusa non-ontology notion nouvelle theologie ontic ontological P. J. Kennedy paradox Paris passive pernatural philosophy Pico pneuma pure nature reading of Aquinas reception RT Surnaturel Schmutz scholastic Scotist Scotus secular sense simply soul spirit spiritual creatures ST I. Q. supernatural surnaturel thesis suspended middle Teilhard theology thing Thomistic tion Torrell tradition trans ture ultimate unilateral univocal Urs von Balthasar von Balthasar
Page ix - Others destroy the gratuity of the supernatural order, since God, they say, cannot create intellectual beings without ordering and calling them to the beatific vision.
Page viii - ... reason and hands, with which he is able to get these things for himself ; so neither did it fail man in things necessary, although it gave him not the wherewithal to attain Happiness: since this it could not do. But it did give him freewill, with which he can turn to God, that He may make him happy. For what we do by means of our friends, is done, in a sense, by ourselves (Ethic.