Quick Review of Twentieth Century Catholic Theologians (Fergus Kerr)

Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians by Fergus Kerr is a great primer on contemporary Catholic theology, with the focus being on the Nouvelle Theologie movement and the theologians who were influential in shaping Vatican II (De Lubac, Congar, Balthasar, Rahner).

It begins with a look at the Thomism and neoscholasticism that was prevalent in pre-Vatican II times. Those were the days when Aquinas’ Summa was seen as the panacea to the disease of modernism. Next come chapters on ten theologians. Apart from the theologians listed earlier, others that have chapters devoted to them are the usual suspects: Chenu, Schillebeeckx, Küng, Lonergan (the only non-European of the bunch), and two Popes – Wojtyla (John Paul II) and Ratzinger (Benedict XVI). The book finishes with a look at post-Vatican II theology.

The only downside to this book is its limited scope. Because of its focus on European Catholic theology, you will not find chapters on influential Catholic liberation theologians in Latin America such as Gutiérrez. Also, for as often as Garrigou-Lagrange is mentioned throughout the book, it is odd he didn’t merit his own chapter. He was, after all, arguably the greatest Thomist since Aquinas himself.

One response

  1. I think the catholic theologian Herbert McCabe would be of
    interest to you. He was a Wittgensteinian – Thomist so he has
    something of a post-metaphysical interpretation of Aquinas , and He
    was a socialist who was heavily influenced by Karl Marx. Check him
    out!

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