Translated by David L. Schindler, JrIn what is one of the greatest Catholic poetic works of our century, Péguy offers a comprehensive theology ordered around the often-neglected second virtue which is incarnated inhis celebrated image of the little girl Hope'.
It is rare for a thinker of Charles Péguy's considerable stature and influence to be so neglected in Anglophone scholarship. The neglect may be in part because so much about Péguy is contestable and paradoxical. He strongly opposed the modern historicist drive to reduce writers to their times, yet he was very much a product of philosophical currents swirling through French intellectual life at the turn of the twentieth century. He was a passionate Dreyfusard who converted to Catholicism but was a consistent anticlerical. He was a socialist and an anti-Marxist, and at once a poet, journalist, and philosopher. Péguy (1873-1914) rose from a modest childhood in provincial France to a position of remarkable prominence in European intellectual life. Before his death in battle in World War I, he founded his own journal in order to publish what he thought most honestly, and urgently, needed to be said about politics, history, philosophy, literature, art, and religion. His writing and life were animated by such questions as: Is it possible to affirm universal human rights and individual freedom and find meaning in a national identity? How should different philosophies and religions relate to one another? What does it mean to be modern? A voice like Péguy's, according to Matthew Maguire, reveals the power of the individual to work creatively with the diverse possibilities of a given historical moment. Carnal Spirit expertly delineates the historical origins of Péguy's thinking, its unique trajectory, and its unusual position in his own time, and shows the ways in which Péguy anticipated the divisions that continue to trouble us.
Written with both passion and precision, God's Spies is a work that will be welcomed by anyone interested in the vital interplay between poetry and religion. The authors represented, including poets such as Michelangelo, St Francis of Assisi, Charles Péguy, Dante and Shakespeare, all possess one great and surprising quality in common: audacity. All of them in their work offer fresh and unforeseen perspectives on life and literature. Some of these authors are religious in the strict meaning of the word, their work indicating a devout turning away from the distractions of the world to focus on God. Others, in contrast, are poets whose work is distinguished by a remarkable visionary focus on the many small and great dramas of life, attending with bright, imaginative genius to what Shakespeare calls 'the mystery of things'.
Philosophy, Christianity, and Modernity in Contestation
Author: Charles Peguy
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Charles Péguy (1873–1914) was a French religious poet, philosophical essayist, publisher, social activist, Dreyfusard, and Catholic convert. There has recently been a renewed recognition of Péguy in France as a thinker of unique significance, a reconsideration inspired in large part by Gilles Deleuze’s Différence et répétition, which ranked him with Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. In the English-speaking world, however, access to Péguy has been hindered by a scarcity of translations of his work. This first complete translation of one of his most important prose works, with accompanying interpretive introduction and notes, will introduce English-speaking readers to a new voice, which speaks in a powerful and original way to a modern West in a condition of cultural and spiritual crisis. The immediate circumstance of the writing of this last prose essay, unfinished at the time of Péguy’s early death, was the placing of Henri Bergson’s philosophical works on the Catholic Index, and Péguy’s undertaking to defend his former teacher from his critics, both Catholic and secular. But the subject of Bergson is also a springboard for the exploration of the perennial themes—philosophical, theological, and literary—most central to Péguy’s thought.
Priesthood, Celibacy, and the Crisis of the Catholic Church
Author: Pope Benedict XVI
Publisher: Ignatius Press
"The priesthood is going through a dark time", according to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah. "Wounded by the revelation of so many scandals, disconcerted by the constant questioning of their consecrated celibacy, many priests are tempted by the thought of giving up and abandoning everything." In this book, the pope emeritus and the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments give their brother priests, and the whole Church, a message of hope. They honestly address the spiritual challenges faced by priests today, while pointing to deeper conversion to Jesus Christ as the key to faithful and fruitful priestly ministry and genuine reform. Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah "fraternally offer these reflections to the people of God and, of course, in a spirit of filial obedience, to Pope Francis", who has said, "I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church. . . . I don't agree with allowing optional celibacy, no." Responding to calls for refashioning the priesthood, including proposals from participants in the Amazonian Synod, two wise, spiritually astute pastors explain the importance of priestly celibacy for the good of the whole Church. Drawing on Vatican II, they present celibacy as not just "a mere precept of ecclesiastical law", but as a sharing in Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross and his identity as Bridegroom of the Church.
Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the preeminent theologians of Roman Catholic theology in the modern era, constructed a theological world suffused by the literary, a vision carried across over 16 volumes of his magnum opus. A Generous Symphony offers a balanced appraisal of Balthasar’s literary achievement and explicates Balthasar’s literary criticism as a distinctive theology of revelation, which offers possibilities for understanding how divine presence may be manifested outside the canonical boundaries of Christian tradition. The structure of A Generous Symphony is a chronological presentation of the Balthasarian canon of imaginative literature, which allows readers to see how social and historical interests guide Balthasar’s readings in the pre-Christian, medieval, and modern eras. While other books have examined the systematic theology of Balthasar, this book will examine the important question of how students of literature, like Balthasar, can be transformed into theologians by attending to the implicit presence of Christ in what Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “As kingfishers catch fire . . .” called “the ten thousand places.” Balthasar’s deep investment in the uniqueness of Christian revelation is underlined, while, at the same time, his aesthetic sympathies cause him to invest literature with ‘quasi-sacramental’ status.
Translated by Michelle K. Borras The idea of love pervades our society, yet it is nearly impossible to answer the question What is love? especially as we witness the divorce of love from sexuality and of sexuality from procreation. Aware that many people today are skeptical about marriage, Angelo Cardinal Scola nevertheless suggests that only in the category of nuptial mystery do we find a way to adequately describe the phenomenon of love. A bright new leader in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Scola argues that the male-female relationship lies near the heart of what it means to bear the image of God. Scola's book explores the essential sexual differences that both separate and unite men and women, and it shows how men and women can realize their purpose in marriage or celibacy. Conversant with papal teaching and Catholic writers from Aquinas to von Balthasar, Cardinal Scola writes with a deep regard for marriage and the family. His Nuptial Mystery will leave readers with a thoroughly Christian appreciation for incarnate love.
How can one believe in a God of love amid all the evil and suffering found in the world? How does one do theology 'after Auschwitz', while vast numbers of people still have to endure violent oppression every day? This book seeks to address such questions from a standpoint informed by life in Africa, which in the face of extraordinary difficulties bears witness to Gospel hope by demonstrating forgiveness in action and promoting reconciliation. The work unfolds in two parts. In the first part, a description of the misery that characterises much of life in Africa in the recent past opens up to a theological consideration of the underlying causes and of God's response to them. In the second part, the joy which is so characteristic of life in Africa even in places of immense suffering sets the scene for detailed reflections on liturgy, memory, forgiveness and hope.
Children of God uncovers the significant, but largely unnoticed, place of the child as a prototype of human flourishing in the work of four authors spanning the modern period. Shedding new light on the role of the child figure in modernity, and in theological responses to it, the book makes an important contribution to the disciplines of historical theology, theology and literature and ecumenical theology. Through a careful exploration of the continuities and differences in the work of Thomas Traherne, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Schleiermacher and Charles Péguy, it traces the ways in which their distinctive responses to human childhood structured the broader pattern of their theology, showing how they reached beyond the confines of academic theology and exercised a lasting influence on their literary and cultural context.
Christian Tradition Amid Modernity and Postmodernity
Author: Miroslav Volf
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Over the last three decades a major cultural shift has taken place in the attitudes of Western societies toward the future. Modernitybs eclipse by postmodernity is characterized in large part by the loss of hope for a future substantially better than the present. Old optimism about human progress has given way to uncertainty and fear. In this book scholars from various disciplines -- theology, the social sciences, and the humanities -- explore the move from a bculture of optimismb to a bculture of ambiguity, b and they seek to infuse todaybs jaded language of hope with a new vitality. "The Future of Hope" offers a powerful critique of todaybs stifling cultural climate and shows why the vision of hope central to Christian faith must be a basic component of any flourishing society. The first section of the book sets the context with telling cultural criticism of modernity. The second section focuses on affinities between premodern Christian visions of hope and twentieth-century thought. The final section of the book examines the relationship between postmodern thought, Christian tradition, and biblical hope, addressing how Christians in a postmodern world can best articulate their faith. Written by truly profound thinkers, these chapters are diverse in their content, methodologies, and temperament, yet they are united by a deep engagement with both the Christian tradition and the larger cultural and intellectual climate in which we live and work. "The Future of Hope" can thus be read not just as an attempt at retrieval of hope for today but as itself one small act of hope in an age when people too seldom take time to think critically and hopefully. Contributors: DavidBillings Robert Paul Doede Kevin L. Hughes Paul Edward Hughes Daniel Johnson William Katerberg John Milbank Jurgen Moltmann James K. A. Smith Miroslav Volf Nicholas Wolterstorff
For our very survival and sanity, we need God. We need virtue. We need character. The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil thing out of an evil treasure (Matthew 12:35). Godly people make all the difference in the world by striving to match the politics of the earth with the politics of the kingdom of God. By talking about uncovering the healing power of faith, hope, love, and prayer, this book uncovers at the same time the secret of sanitythe sanity that runs our lives at the individual level, as well as at the national and international levels. Sanity requires the rejection of the gods weve created by learning to focus on the God in whose image weve been created. Billions of dollars are spent every year on the pursuit of physical perfection. People do anything to become richer, more powerful, or more prestigiouswith improved appearances and more pleasing makeup in all domains as if the only value that really counts is the most attractive picture we are able to show. In this very expensive race for the outside perfect masks, the pursuit of inner beauty can often be pushed aside when this inner beauty is by far more important than the outer beauty. Dont we know that the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7)? In this book, Heal Your Life: Awakening to the Power of FaithHopeLovePrayer, Dr. Maalouf masterly invites us to reject the double lifestyle we are living and to genuinely consider living by the truth of the permeation and integration of theology and politics. Politics, Pope Paul VI declared, is the highest form of charity. And we can add that charity is the highest form of political sanity as well. Indeed, real politics takes action and contemplation. All our crises are rooted in our spiritual crisis first. For our sanity and survival, God is needed. For our sanity and survival, the politics of the earth should match the politics of the kingdom of God, as this book explains.
One of the most significant trends in academic theology today, which emerges within Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox points of view, is the growing interest in theologies of retrieval. This mode of thinking puts a special stress upon subjecting classic theological texts to a close reading, with a view toward using the resources that they provide to understand and address contemporary theological issues. This volume offers an understanding of what theologies of retrieval are, what their rationale is, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. The contributions provided by a distinguished team of theologians answer the important questions that existing work has raised, expand on suggestions that have not yet been fully developed, summarize ideas to highlight themes that are relevant to the topics of this volume, and air new critiques that will spur further debate.
The discourse between nature and grace finds its linguistic and existential podium in the political condition of human beings. As Caitlin Smith Gilson shows, it is in this arena that the perennial territorial struggle of faith and reason, God and man, man and state, take place; and it is here that the understanding of the personal-as-political, as well as the political-as-personal, finds its meaning. And it is here, too, that the divine finds or is refused a home. Any discussion of “post-secular society” has its origins in this political dialogue between nature and grace, the resolution of which might determine not only a future post-secular society but one in which awe is re-united to affection, solidarity and fraternity. Smith Gilson questions whether the idea of pure nature antecedently disregards the fact that grace enters existence and that this accomplishes a conversion in the metaphysical/existential region of man's action and being. This conversion alters how man acts as an affective, moral, intellectual, social, political and spiritual being. State of nature theories, transformed yet retained in the broader metaphysical and existential implications of the Hegelian Weltgeist, are shown to be indebted to the ideological restrictedness of pure nature (natura pura) as providing the foremost adversary to any meaningful type of divine presence within the polis, as well as inhibiting the phenomenological facticity of man as an open nature.
How the saints, the sacraments, and psychiatry can help you break depression's grip and find happiness again Countless Christians—including scores of saints—have suffered profound, pervasive sorrow that modern psychiatrists call “depression.” Then, as now, great faith and even fervent spiritual practices have generally failed to ease this wearying desolation of soul. In these pages, Catholic psychiatrist Aaron Kheriaty reviews the effective ways that have recently been devised to deal with this grave and sometimes deadly affliction — ways that are not only consistent with the teachings of the Church, but even rooted in many of those teachings. Extensive clinical experience treating patients with depression has shown Dr. Kheriaty that the confessional can’t cure neuroses, nor can the couch forgive sin. Healing comes only when we integrate the legitimate discoveries of modern psychology and pharmacology with spiritual direction and the Sacraments, giving particular attention to the wisdom of the Church Fathers and the saints. Here, with the expert help of Dr. Kheriaty, you’ll learn how to distinguish depression from similarlooking but fundamentally different mental states such as guilt, sloth, the darkness of sin, and the sublime desolation called “dark night of the soul” that is, in fact, a privileged spiritual trial sent to good souls as a special gift from God. You’ll come to know how to identify the various types of depression and come to understand the interplay of their often manifold causes, biological, psychological, behavioral, cultural, and, yes, moral. Then you’ll learn about exciting breakthroughs in pharmacological and other medical treatments, the benefits and limitations of psychotherapy, the critical place that spiritual direction must have in your healing, and the vital role that hope — Christian hope — can play in driving out depression.
What is the Point of Being a Christian? has been awarded the prestigious Michael Ramsey prize for the best in theological writing. For more information please visit: www.michaelramseyprize.org.uk What is the Point of being a Christian? One is pointed to God, who is the point of everything. If one thinks of religion as just 'useful' then one has reduced it to another consumer product. But if we are pointed to God, then this should make a difference to how we live. This is not a moral superiority. Christians are usually no better than anyone else. But the lives of Christians should be marked by some form of hope, freedom, happiness and courage. If they are not then why should anyone believe a word they say? In this new book, Timothy Radcliffe is at his best, writing with a prophetic edge. His argument for Christian belief is profoundly Catholic and profoundly human. But what is just as remarkable, Radcliffe's argument for and interpretation of Christian Gospel is couched in a deep understanding of human nature and the problems and anxieties of modern men and women. Radcliffe is far distant from the theologian's ivory tower and yet his understanding of the Gospel is profoundly theological. The frame of reference for this book is wide, and it is based amongst other things on Fr Radcliffe's pastoral experience of dealing with people with problematic marriages, those struggling with celibacy, those trying to understand the nature of religious authority and those trying to remain loyal to the Church which finds their sexual orientation 'irregular'.
Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World
Author: Charles J. Chaput
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
A vivid critique of American life today and a guide to how Christians—and particularly Catholics--can live their faith vigorously, and even with hope, in a post-Christian public square. From Charles J. Chaput, author of Living the Catholic Faith and Render unto Caesar comes Strangers in a Strange Land, a fresh, urgent, and ultimately hopeful treatise on the state of Catholicism and Christianity in the United States. America today is different in kind, not just in degree, from the past. And this new reality is unlikely to be reversed. The reasons include, but aren't limited to, economic changes that widen the gulf between rich and poor; problems in the content and execution of the education system; the decline of traditional religious belief among young people; the shift from organized religion among adults to unbelief or individualized spiritualities; changes in legal theory and erosion in respect for civil and natural law; significant demographic shifts; profound new patterns in sexual behavior and identity; the growth of federal power and its disregard for religious rights; the growing isolation and elitism of the leadership classes; and the decline of a sustaining sense of family and community.
The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century
Author: Robert Royal
Publisher: Ignatius Press
In this wide-ranging and ambitious volume, Robert Royal, a prominent participant for many years in debates about religion and contemporary life, offers a comprehensive and balanced appraisal of the Catholic intellectual tradition in the twentieth century. The Catholic Church values both Faith and Reason, and Catholicism has given risen to extraordinary ideas and whole schools of remarkable thought, not just in the distant past but throughout the troubled decades of the twentieth century. Royal presents in a single volume a sweeping but readable account of how Catholic thinking developed in philosophy, theology, Scripture studies, culture, literature, and much more in the twentieth century. This involves great figures, recognized as such both inside and outside the Church, such as Jacques Maritain, Bernard Lonergan, Joseph Pieper, Edith Stein, Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, Romano Guardini, Karl Rahner, Henri du Lubac, Karol Wojtyla, Joseph Ratzinger, Hans Urs von Balthasar,Charles Peguy, Paul Claudel, George Bernanos, Francois Mauriac, G. K. Chesterton, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christopher Dawson, Graham Greene, Sigrid Undset, J. R. R. Tolkien, Czeslaw Milosz, and many more. Royal argues that without rigorous thought, Catholicism – however welcoming and nourishing it might be – would become something like a doctor with a good bedside manner, but who knows little medicine. It has always been the aspiration of the Catholic tradition to unite emotion and intellect, action and contemplation. But unless we know what the tradition has already produced – especially in the work of the great figures of the recent past – we will not be able to answer the challenges that the modern world poses, or even properly recognize the true questions we face. This is a reflective, non-polemical work that brings together various strands of Catholic thought in the twentieth century. A comprehensive guide to the recent past - and the future.