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- Published on Amazon.com
For anyone interested in the ecumenical movement of the 20th century, or in the shift in ecclesiological expression in the Roman Catholic tradition at the time of Vatican II, this book is essential reading. Why? Because Yves Congar was one of the most articulate proponents and driving forces behind a reappropriation of the patristic perspective (along with Henri de Lubac, Georges Florovsky and others) as it applies to the life of the Church, the Bride of Christ. A French Dominican friar, Congar's application of the patristic mindset and witness of the Apostolic Tradition to the questions that are posed to the Church today, East and West, have left a lasting mark on the theological perspective of Roman Church.
Aiden Nichols is perfectly suited for the task of writing a biography of this nature, as he is himself a theologian and historian of dogma and one of the most reliable sources on the type of ecumenism that Congar espoused: don't sell the farm, but don't circle the wagons. And you can do this if you are strongly rooted in the scriptural and patristic witness of the worshipping Church.
The book is first a general survey of Congar's work since 1967. As they unfold, the chapters consider: Congar's theological perspectives on the Church and general approach to ecumenism, the Holy Spirit, and history of doctrine. A large portion of the book also deals with his struggle to help reform the Church and the Church's final acceptance of his views as not only original, but faithful to the voice of the Fathers.
Very much worth reading. You may also find useful Georges Florovsky Russian Intellectual & Orthodox Churchman: Russian Intellectual and Orthodox Churchman, Saraband: The Memoirs of E.L. Mascall, Light from the East and, The Melody of Theology: A Philosophical Dictionary.
Lastly, Congar reflected on Chrsitian disunity in relation to Israel's disunity Commenting on 1-2 Kings, recalling that Israel was reunited only after the exile. "One is tempted to ask what trials or deportations will perhaps be necessary before Christians find themselves united once more. . . . One begins to wonder what price we shall perhaps have to pay for the grace of reunion."
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