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This title offers an introduction to the most influential movement in Catholic theology in the 20th century which prepared the ground for the Second Vatican Council. La nouvelle theologie - New Theology - was the name of one of the most dynamic and fascinating movements within Catholic theology in the 20th century. Although first condemned by Pope Pius XII. in 1946 and later in his encyclical Humani generis in 1950, it became influential in the preparation of the Second Vatican Council. The movement was instigated by French Dominican Yves Congar with his Dominican confreres Marie-Dominique Chenu and Louis Charlier and linked with the Dominican academy at Le Saulchouir (Tournai), but soon taken over by Jesuits of the same generation of theologians: Henri de Lubac, Jean Danielou, Henri Bouillard and Yves de Montcheuil. They laid strong emphasis on the supernatural, the further implementation of historical method within theology, the ressourcement (back to Scripture, liturgy and Fathers), and the connection between life, faith and theology. Many of them were participating as periti in the Second Vatican Council, which finally accepted the striving of the new theology.
Hence, the original perception of the New Theology as novitas would become an auctoritas in the field of Catholic theology. On the basis of research of archives and literature Jurgen Mettepenningen shows in his book the different theological positions of both Dominican and Jesuit protagonists, the development of their ideas in close relationship with the theological view and the sanctions of the Roman Catholic Church, and the great importance of the generation of the discussed Dominican and Jesuit theologians and their New Theology. He proves that the protagonists of both the first and the second phase of the nouvelle theologie constituted together the generation of theologians necessary to implement the striving of the modernist era within the Church at the time of Vatican II.
Dr Jurgen Mettepenningen is a research fellow in the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.