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Culture and Theology: The Ressourcement Movement (Part 3) | Policraticus

Culture and Theology: The Ressourcement Movement (Part 3)

Culture and Theology: The Ressourcement Movement (Part 3) April 7, 2008

Part 1: Historical Context
Part 2: A Brief Look at Henri de Lubac

In this, my third and final installment on the Ressourcement movement in Catholic theology, I wish to briefly sketch the impact and historical endurance of the movement. While Henri de Lubac may rightly be described as the centerpiece of Ressourcement, he most certainly was not alone in infusing its spirit into Catholic life and thought. Rather, he was flanked by a number of confreres in theology and philosophy which ensured that this spirit remained embodied in theology and philosophy alike.[1]

As has been mentioned, the spirit of Ressourcement may be succinctly described as a return to the first interpreters of Christian revelation, the Church Fathers, so as to rediscover and revitalize the essence of Christianity in the midst of Europe’s modern crises of faith. Therefore, contrary to the perception of many of its detractors from both within and without Catholic theological circles, Ressourcement was neither a simple exercise in some sort of theological archeology nor a nostalgic admiration of bygone eras. Ressourcement was responding to two chief trends in 20th century Europe: 1. the ossification of Catholic theology due to the manual tradition of Neo-Scholasticism, which had (a) deemed itself the only proper philosophical response to modern philosophy’s preoccupation with subjectivity and ideas, and (b) claimed that, through Thomas Aquinas and the commentary tradition, it had extracted and unified the best teachings of the Fathers and Scholasticism, establishing itself as science; 2. the increasing disappearance of the sense of the sacred in European consciousness due to (a) secularizing post-Enlightenment trajectories, and (b) the increasing irrelevance of the Christian worldview on account of liberal Protestant theology and Catholic Neo-Scholasticism.

The earliest efforts of that loose band of theologians whom we call Ressourcement thinkers have proven to be among the most enduring in Catholic theological studies. As early as 1942, the French Jesuits Henri de Lubac and Jean Daniélou had inaugurated the Sources Chrétiennes project, which sought to make available to the Francophile world fresh translations and critical editions of the writings of the Western and Eastern Fathers of the Church. The project continues today, having published its 500th translation and critical edition in May 2006.

It was the early recovery and re-appropriation of the genuine Thomistic and Augustinian theologies of nature and grace through the efforts of de Lubac[2] and Henri Bouillard[3] that set the terms of the debate with Neo-Scholasticism on the one hand, and with ‘transcendental Thomism’ on the other. This latter debate continues today, though it appears that the theology of grace and nature as developed by Rahner and his disciples is beginning to fade due to its marked Suarezian base and its haphazard—or should I say schizophrenic—oscillation between Neo-Scholasticism and a poor interpretation of Martin Heidegger’s ‘existential’ phenomenology. On account of the efforts of de Lubac and Bouillard, the theology of grace has not gone out of style in Catholic theology and continues to be of interest to contemporary theologians.[4]

In 1946, Ressourcement had become a well recognized and, depending on who was asked, a rather notorious force in Catholic theology. If de Lubac’s Catholicisme (1938) may be called Ressourcement’s programmatic essay, Jean Daniélou’s 1946 essay “Le orientations présentes de la pensée religieuse” was its manifesto.[5] In this remarkable essay, Daniélou discussed three elements in current theology: 1. The spirit of Ressourcement as a return to early Christianity so as to revive biblical, historical and liturgical studies; 2. The need for Catholic theologians to dialogue with modern philosophy on the latter’s terms, employing the tools and ideas recovered through Ressourcement; 3. The gross need to move beyond the prevailing Neo-Scholasticism and its ahistorical and hermeneutically numb attempts at systematization. Needless to say, the thinkers associated with the early Ressourcement movement, especially de Lubac, Bouillard and Daniélou, drew the ire of many Neo-Scholastics of the day, most notably that of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange and Marie-Michel Labourdette. It would be Garrigou-Lagrange who, expressing both disapproval and dismay, would coin what would become the lasting caricature of Ressourcement: “la nouvelle théologie”.[6]

The talk of a “new theology” fermenting among the French Jesuits no doubt left many in the Roman Curia uneasy. The prominence of Garrigou-Lagrange in Rome ensured that Pope Pius XII would catch word of the development. In 1950, the encyclical Humani Generis was promulgated in response to a number of troubling scientific, political, philosophical and theological trends in Europe. The encyclical made a cryptic reference to a “new theology” and the effort of some to destroy the gratuity of grace. While Humani Generis made no explicit reference to de Lubac or his confreres, many ecclesiastics and academics interpreted (wrongly) the encyclical as a condemnation of their efforts. After the promulgation of Humani Generis, the Superior General of the Jesuits ordered the removal of all of de Lubac’s books from Jesuit libraries and asked him to step down from his teaching position. Many others mistakenly took the encyclical as a censure of de Lubac’s positions and kept their distance from him. Daniélou and, to a lesser extent, Bouillard were also looked upon with suspicion. However, de Lubac would be vindicated when he was called by Pope John XXIII in the late 1950’s to help prepare the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).[7]

During the Second Vatican Council, the bishops voted overwhelmingly to scrap the various schemata prepared by the preparatory councils due to their archaic tone and stark dependency on Neo-Scholasticism’s outdated language and thought-forms. New constitutions were drafted under the aegis of a number of theological experts who had felt the heavy-hand of the Curia during the 1950’s: Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Küng. What marked these drafts was an historical awareness of the development and pluralism of Catholic thought and liturgical practice across 1900 years. The Council began heading in a new direction, re-grounding the theology and liturgical life of the Church in the earliest Christian traditions stemming from the Fathers. The intention was to fortify the Church’s understanding of its foundations in order to respond to the modern world in terms that were both relevant and coherent. Thus, the work of the Second Vatican Council was largely shaped by the very spirit of Ressourcement. Ressourcement became virtually synonymous with the theme of the Council, aggiornamento—retrieval, restoration and renewal in the Church.[8]

After the Council, Neo-Scholasticism all but disappeared from the theological scene. At the risk of over-generalization, it may be said that Catholic theology largely followed two post-conciliar trajectories. On the one hand were a number of thinkers who interpreted the Council as sanctioning a thoroughgoing grounding of theology in the methods and manners of modern philosophy and/or historiography.[9] On the other hand was a number of thinkers who aligned themselves within the Ressourcement movement, and by extension, the truest spirit of the Council. These included, of course, the original members of the movement such as de Lubac, Daniélou and Congar, as well as a younger generation of thinkers who had been greatly influenced by their works. Most famous among them include Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Louis Bouyer and Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II).[10]

If there is any doubt that the Catholic Church did not favor the Ressourcement movement in its theological and liturgical life after the Second Vatican Council, one need only point to the ecclesial honors bestowed on its greatest proponents. Three of the Ressourcement thinkers who were pivotal in forming the theology of the Second Vatican Council were made Cardinals: Jean Daniélou in 1969, Henri de Lubac in 1983 and Yves Congar in 1994. Rarely are priest-theologians elevated to the College of Cardinals. The Ressourcement movement has proven itself to be far more enduring than other twentieth-century movements in Catholic theology. While many of the post-conciliar theological trends continue to lose their abilities to provide answers to the questions of contemporary philosophy and society, Ressourcement thought continues to exert a strong influence in contemporary theology and Christian life. A few examples of this will suffice.

Since the early 1970’s, the pioneering Catholic theological journal Communio, which was founded by de Lubac, Ratzinger and Balthasar in order to aid in the interpretation, implementation and expression of conciliar theology, has been a major force in contemporary scholarship. Not only does the journal publish articles by contemporary theologians influenced and marked by the Ressourcement style, but it also reprints a number of short and scarce pieces by the major thinkers associated with the movement.

Henri de Lubac continues to be read and studied by specialists and non-specialists alike. In recent years, many of his ideas have been appropriated by the Radical Orthodoxy movement due to their recovery of the Neo-Platonist, Origenist, Augustinian and Scotist themes in the history of Christian thought that were typically forgotten or ignored by Neo-Scholasticism’s triumphalism and pageantry.

Hans Urs von Balthasar’s recovery and development of the primacy of beauty among the Scholastic transcendentals has provided Catholic thought with a certain resiliency in the face of post-modernity’s sweeping critiques of modernity and its (dis)contents. Balthasar has become a pivotal figure in contemporary theological and philosophical discussions within and without Catholic circles.

Finally, Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, has ensured the incorporation of Ressourcement theology in the Catholic doctrinal tradition. Less speculative than Balthasar and more philosophically and politically conscious than de Lubac, Ratzinger’s theology has been a constant address to, and discourse with, modern and contemporary philosophy and politico-social theory.

To conclude, it is worth repeating that Ressourcement never meant to remain an exercise within academic theology. On the contrary, Ressourcement was a spirit that found haven in a number of independent, diverse men of deep Christian conviction who possessed the understanding that Catholicism needed to rediscover its very core in order to survive in the shifting boundaries of Europe’s intellectual and political landscape. This necessitated a theology that was informed by its past so as to address the present, and a theology that was nourished simultaneously by its intellectual merits and its spiritual heritage. Ressourcement theology is a theology can be lived in prayer, in society and in academia. For this reason alone, it exposed the inadequacies of arid Neo-Scholasticism, it outlives its post-conciliar peers, and it will continue to inspire the whole of Christianity in a post-modern, post-religious world.

Notes:

[1] Abutting Ressourcement theology was the work of Maurice Blondel, Marie-Dominique Chenu and Étienne Gilson, all of whom possessed an acute sense for historicity and hermeneutics in philosophical investigation.

[2]Among Henri de Lubac’s major works on the nature/grace debate were Surnaturel (1946) [no English translation], Augustinisme et théologie moderne (1965) [ET: Augustinianism and Modern Theology, trans. Lancelot Sheppard (1969; reprint New York: Crossroad, 2000)], Le Mystère du surnaturel (1965) [ET: The Mystery of the Supernatural, trans. Rosemary Sheed (1967; reprint New York: Crossroad, 1998)], and Petite catéchèse sur nature et grâce [ET : A Brief Catechesis on Nature and Grace, trans. Richard Arnandez (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1984)]. It may be worth noting that, in his recent book on de Lubac and the ‘debate on the supernatural’, John Milbank does not once reference de Lubac’s last word on the issue, Petite catéchèse sur nature et grace. See John Milbank, The Suspended Middle: Henri de Lubac and the Debate concerning the Supernatural (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005).

[3] Among Henri Bouillard’s major contributions on the question of grace were Conversion et grâce chez S. Thomas d’Aquin (1944) [no English translation] and Blondel et le Christianisme (1961) [ET: Blondel and Christianity (Cleveland: Corpus, 1969)].

[4] Three recent books on this very topic are worth mentioning here: Stephen J. Duffy, The Graced Horizon: Nature and Grace in Modern Catholic Thought (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992); Lawrence Feingold, The Natural Desire to See God According to St. Thomas Aquinas and His Interpreters (Dissertationes, 3; Rome: Edizioni Università della Santa Croce, 2001); John Milbank, The Suspended Middle.

[5] Published in Étudies 249 (1946): 5-21.

[6] The term was first used by Garrigou-Lagrange in his inflammatory and polemical essay, “La nouvelle théologie, où va-t-elle?”, Angelicum (1949): 126-45.

[7] De Lubac was joined by another theologian whose work was likewise suspect during the pontificate of Pius XII, Yves Congar. After the Second Vatican Council, both de Lubac and Congar would speak of the contempt and alienation they experienced prior to the Council’s proceedings due to the Neo-Scholastic dominated preparatory commission.

[8] The impact of Ressourcement is most acutely evidenced in the conciliar documents Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation), Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) and Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions).

[9] This is not to suggest that these thinkers comprised a monolithic trend in Catholic theology. Under the single banner of “pluralism” these thinkers followed a number of different paths in theology.

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  • SMB

    ‘On the contrary, Ressourcement was a spirit …’

    Well, there’s the rub. There is no doubt that Ressourcement scholarship has made a lasting contribution to the intellectual life of the Church. Unfortunately, a kind of Ressourcement triumphalism has replaced that of the Neo-scholastics, and I’m afraid your summary is a good example of what I mean. The result is that the baby has been thrown out with the bath water. In the long run, though, I think we will see a more fruitful integration of historical and systematic approaches. These things take time to shake down.

  • SMB

    ‘On the contrary, Ressourcement was a spirit …’

    Well, there’s the rub. There is no doubt that Ressourcement scholarship has made a lasting contribution to the intellectual life of the Church. Unfortunately, a kind of Ressourcement triumphalism has replaced that of the Neo-scholastics, and I’m afraid your summary is a good example of what I mean. The result is that the baby has been thrown out with the bath water. In the long run, though, I think we will see a more fruitful integration of historical and systematic approaches. These things take time to shake down.

  • Policraticus

    The result is that the baby has been thrown out with the bath water. In the long run, though, I think we will see a more fruitful integration of historical and systematic approaches.

    This is a bit vague. Perhaps you can clarify what you signify as “the baby” and “the bathwater,” as well as the lack of integration of “historical and systematic approaches” you imply. It seems this latter point would be the precise problem with Neo-Scholasticism: it ignored both hermeneutics and history, doing theology in a vacuum. Hence, the importance Ressourcement placed on re-discovering both the authentic Thomas Aquinas and the Fathers.

  • Policraticus

    The result is that the baby has been thrown out with the bath water. In the long run, though, I think we will see a more fruitful integration of historical and systematic approaches.

    This is a bit vague. Perhaps you can clarify what you signify as “the baby” and “the bathwater,” as well as the lack of integration of “historical and systematic approaches” you imply. It seems this latter point would be the precise problem with Neo-Scholasticism: it ignored both hermeneutics and history, doing theology in a vacuum. Hence, the importance Ressourcement placed on re-discovering both the authentic Thomas Aquinas and the Fathers.

  • SMB

    Poli, the ‘baby’ would be the positive contributions of the commentary and manual traditions, which are the villains of your piece. I don’t think I am alone in contending that something was lost when the neo-scholastic method, as well as its ideas, suddenly went out of fashion.

  • SMB

    Poli, the ‘baby’ would be the positive contributions of the commentary and manual traditions, which are the villains of your piece. I don’t think I am alone in contending that something was lost when the neo-scholastic method, as well as its ideas, suddenly went out of fashion.

  • Policraticus

    I don’t think I am alone in contending that something was lost when the neo-scholastic method, as well as its ideas, suddenly went out of fashion.

    What exactly was lost that was not given in a more exemplary fashion by the historical and existential Thomism of Gilson, Owens, Chenu and their theological/philosophical heirs?

  • Policraticus

    I don’t think I am alone in contending that something was lost when the neo-scholastic method, as well as its ideas, suddenly went out of fashion.

    What exactly was lost that was not given in a more exemplary fashion by the historical and existential Thomism of Gilson, Owens, Chenu and their theological/philosophical heirs?

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    Policraticus,

    I think what SMB is referring to is a methodological issue raised by Reinhard Hutter in the Feingold/Milbank issue of Nova et Vetera: that is, what is the best way to approach the ‘historical’ Thomas, by entering a living tradition and a “discursive mimesis” of its proper mode of discourse, or though a “historical-hermeneutical” framework with its attended (sometimes unexamined) philosophical presuppositions? Neither method would seem to be a perfect way of receiving Aquinas’ thought; with the former’s inevitable accretions nor the latter’s inevitable methodological flaws (the history of biblical exegesis, with its practitioners looking down the well of history and seeing their own reflection, should be ample evidence of the potential drawbacks of this method). I would guess that SMB’s point is that, given that each method can only give us a partial view, why not pay attention to what both can tell us, rather than simply writing one of them off completely? Hutter points out that JP II’s seems to point the way toward such a two-pronged approach, one which would avoid both historicism and a naïve ahistorical metaphysics. He notes for instance:

    “This prompts the question of how one can reconcile the absoluteness and the universality of truth with the unavoidable historical and cultural conditioning of the formulas which express that truth. The claims of historicism, I noted earlier, are untenable; but the use of a hermeneutic open to the appeal of metaphysics can show how it is possible to move from the historical and contingent circumstances in which the texts developed to the truth which they express, a truth transcending those circumstances.” (para. 95)

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    Policraticus,

    I think what SMB is referring to is a methodological issue raised by Reinhard Hutter in the Feingold/Milbank issue of Nova et Vetera: that is, what is the best way to approach the ‘historical’ Thomas, by entering a living tradition and a “discursive mimesis” of its proper mode of discourse, or though a “historical-hermeneutical” framework with its attended (sometimes unexamined) philosophical presuppositions? Neither method would seem to be a perfect way of receiving Aquinas’ thought; with the former’s inevitable accretions nor the latter’s inevitable methodological flaws (the history of biblical exegesis, with its practitioners looking down the well of history and seeing their own reflection, should be ample evidence of the potential drawbacks of this method). I would guess that SMB’s point is that, given that each method can only give us a partial view, why not pay attention to what both can tell us, rather than simply writing one of them off completely? Hutter points out that JP II’s seems to point the way toward such a two-pronged approach, one which would avoid both historicism and a naïve ahistorical metaphysics. He notes for instance:

    “This prompts the question of how one can reconcile the absoluteness and the universality of truth with the unavoidable historical and cultural conditioning of the formulas which express that truth. The claims of historicism, I noted earlier, are untenable; but the use of a hermeneutic open to the appeal of metaphysics can show how it is possible to move from the historical and contingent circumstances in which the texts developed to the truth which they express, a truth transcending those circumstances.” (para. 95)

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    ‘nor’ should be ‘and’ in the last post.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    ‘nor’ should be ‘and’ in the last post.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    …also, the ‘He’ refered to as the subject of the last quoation is JP II, not Hutter. Sorry, writing in a hurry.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    …also, the ‘He’ refered to as the subject of the last quoation is JP II, not Hutter. Sorry, writing in a hurry.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    …and the quote is from Fides et Ratio. Arg!

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    …and the quote is from Fides et Ratio. Arg!

  • SMB

    ‘I would guess that SMB’s point is that, given that each method can only give us a partial view, why not pay attention to what both can tell us, rather than simply writing one of them off completely?’

    Thanks, Bro! That about says it.

  • SMB

    ‘I would guess that SMB’s point is that, given that each method can only give us a partial view, why not pay attention to what both can tell us, rather than simply writing one of them off completely?’

    Thanks, Bro! That about says it.

  • Policraticus

    That is the question, not yet the answer.

  • Policraticus

    That is the question, not yet the answer.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    Poli,

    Are you refering to the JPII qoute? If so, then yes, it is a question, but a question which implicity sets the boundaries for potential answers. (ie., the answer must acknowledge negotiate the time-bound nature of theological and doctrinal discourse while also preserving a metaphysic which allows truth to transcend that discourse.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    Poli,

    Are you refering to the JPII qoute? If so, then yes, it is a question, but a question which implicity sets the boundaries for potential answers. (ie., the answer must acknowledge negotiate the time-bound nature of theological and doctrinal discourse while also preserving a metaphysic which allows truth to transcend that discourse.

  • Policraticus:

    While finishing the piece with reference to Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) was of course right and proper, you did pass over completely the twenty-seven year reign of Pope John Paul II who while not the ressourcement theologian that Ratzinger was (he was first of all a philosopher) nonetheless was a key bridge between the old neo-scholastics (under whom he obtained his doctorates in theology and philosophy) and the ressourcement theologians.

  • Policraticus:

    While finishing the piece with reference to Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) was of course right and proper, you did pass over completely the twenty-seven year reign of Pope John Paul II who while not the ressourcement theologian that Ratzinger was (he was first of all a philosopher) nonetheless was a key bridge between the old neo-scholastics (under whom he obtained his doctorates in theology and philosophy) and the ressourcement theologians.

  • While I fully agree with JPII about the importance of metaphysics, I don’t think that quotation is on point in relation to the dispute between G-L and de L. De L was no historicist. He was very much interested in the (non-historically-contingent) truths of metaphysics. He appeals to metaphysical considerations. The question, rather, would be something along the following lines: What is the role of Aquinas’ real views in guiding our thoughts about metaphysics? Frankly, what you have in the G-L “reading” of Aquinas on nature-grace is going to end up being either of two things: Either a projecting of a metaphysics other than Aquinas’ into his writings, or an attempt to teach him metaphysics (or both). I don’t think either of those is the way to go – especially when we’re (allegedly) doing exegesis/commentary. (As I said in a comment on an earlier post here on de L, I don’t, unfortunately, have the time to “pop in” often – someone had emailed me and let me know about these particular discussions; and I don’t know when/if I’ll have time to check these comboxes again – so if anyone wants to pursue these conversations further with me, I can be emailed via my blog, linked through my name.)

    PS – ISMcE’s point about JPII is a good one. It’s worth noting – based on Weigel’s bio of JPII – that there seems to have been a disagreement between G-L and Wojtyla (when the latter was doing his dissertation under the former, on John of the Cross) that mirrored the one between G-L and de L, though not necessarily concerning the reading of Aquinas (but rather concerning the metaphysical reality of our relationship with God).

  • While I fully agree with JPII about the importance of metaphysics, I don’t think that quotation is on point in relation to the dispute between G-L and de L. De L was no historicist. He was very much interested in the (non-historically-contingent) truths of metaphysics. He appeals to metaphysical considerations. The question, rather, would be something along the following lines: What is the role of Aquinas’ real views in guiding our thoughts about metaphysics? Frankly, what you have in the G-L “reading” of Aquinas on nature-grace is going to end up being either of two things: Either a projecting of a metaphysics other than Aquinas’ into his writings, or an attempt to teach him metaphysics (or both). I don’t think either of those is the way to go – especially when we’re (allegedly) doing exegesis/commentary. (As I said in a comment on an earlier post here on de L, I don’t, unfortunately, have the time to “pop in” often – someone had emailed me and let me know about these particular discussions; and I don’t know when/if I’ll have time to check these comboxes again – so if anyone wants to pursue these conversations further with me, I can be emailed via my blog, linked through my name.)

    PS – ISMcE’s point about JPII is a good one. It’s worth noting – based on Weigel’s bio of JPII – that there seems to have been a disagreement between G-L and Wojtyla (when the latter was doing his dissertation under the former, on John of the Cross) that mirrored the one between G-L and de L, though not necessarily concerning the reading of Aquinas (but rather concerning the metaphysical reality of our relationship with God).

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    Dr. Miller,

    Yes I agree that de Lubac was not a historicist, though neither was G-L completely oblivious to historical considerations. Both fell somewhere on a spectrum. However, I think both, in a general way, represented a particular way of recieving the authentic thought of Aquinas. Do we encounter Thomas’ thought through entering, on its own terms, an ongoing discourse within the scholastic tradition of which Aquinas is a part (though a crucial part), or do we regard this tradition with suspicion and put his thought into the acid bath of historical-hermeneutical methodology? My point is that both ways have their drawbacks and advantages. Insofar as I’ve been able to access the work of Feingold, I think he has demonstrated how, in one instance at least, the historical-hermeneutical approach, ironically, got the historical Thomas wrong. Again, the question is how do we recieve Thomas, through a tradition or a reconstruction via methodology? I think de Lubac himself, in his writings on Medieval exegesis, showed how entering into a certain tradition of interpretation and discourse can reveal aspects of a text that are otherwise unavailable to the critic.

  • Br. Matthew Augustine, OP

    Dr. Miller,

    Yes I agree that de Lubac was not a historicist, though neither was G-L completely oblivious to historical considerations. Both fell somewhere on a spectrum. However, I think both, in a general way, represented a particular way of recieving the authentic thought of Aquinas. Do we encounter Thomas’ thought through entering, on its own terms, an ongoing discourse within the scholastic tradition of which Aquinas is a part (though a crucial part), or do we regard this tradition with suspicion and put his thought into the acid bath of historical-hermeneutical methodology? My point is that both ways have their drawbacks and advantages. Insofar as I’ve been able to access the work of Feingold, I think he has demonstrated how, in one instance at least, the historical-hermeneutical approach, ironically, got the historical Thomas wrong. Again, the question is how do we recieve Thomas, through a tradition or a reconstruction via methodology? I think de Lubac himself, in his writings on Medieval exegesis, showed how entering into a certain tradition of interpretation and discourse can reveal aspects of a text that are otherwise unavailable to the critic.