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Chalice of God: A Systematic Theology in Outline Hardcover – 1 Apr 2012


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Review

By his numerous publications, English Dominican Aidan Nichols has contributed mightily to the theological education of the Christian world. In Chalice of God, Nichols serves up classic ressourcement at its best.
Romanus Cessario, O.P., Saint John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts


In Chalice of God, Father Aidan Nichols, OP, makes an important contribution to systematic theology. He provides a high-level overview of Catholic theology that will be helpful to those looking for a concise and comprehensive vision of the faith as an organic whole. Anyone looking for a well written and theologically penetrating overview of Catholic theology will find it here. Chalice of God attempts successfully the daring effort to present a coordinated view of theology itself.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl Archbishop of Washington


Aidan Nichols' Chalice of God: A Systematic Theology in Outline is a distillation of his lifetime of theological speculation, providing readers with a simultaneously tightly structured and aesthetically poetic summary of Catholic, Christian faith according to Nichols. The book's outline format follows a series of interlocking theses, each one building on the other and organized within the broader themes of the six chapters. . . . These themes are combined under the governing metaphor of the world as God's chalice, an image that accounts for the giftedness of created being through which the eternal, triune God of mutual self-offering expresses divine love for the finite order.
Danielle Nussberger, Marquette University, Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society

About the Author

Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., of Blackfriars, Cambridge, is a lecturer at Cambridge University. He was awarded the title Sacrae Theologiae Magister by the Dominican order in 2003. His many important works include The Shape of Catholic Theology: An Introduction to its Sources, Principles and History; Epiphany: A Theological Introduction to Catholicism; Lovely, like Jerusalem: The Fulfillment of the Old Testament in Christ and the Church; The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI: An Introduction to the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger; and, most recently, Lost in Wonder: Essays on Liturgy and the Arts.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8ecdc074) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ecde1c8) out of 5 stars Intellectually and Aesthetically Compelling 12 Aug. 2012
By Joseph Torres - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book was really quite amazing. There are not many people who are up to the challenge of harmonizing Thomist thought with Balthasarian thought, but if anyone could do it, it's definitely Fr. Aidan Nichols; and if it happens anywhere, it happens in this intellectually and aesthetically compelling manifesto. His system (in which he attempts to remain faithful to the Magisterium, the Liturgy, the Fathers, Byzantine iconography, St. Thomas, and - oddly enough - Hans Urs von Balthasar) is centered around the image of the "chalice of God" which is necessarily twofold: (1) the chalice, and (2) God, who fills the chalice with Himself.

(1) The Chalice: Fr. Aidan Nichols gives to his system two principles of order, a philosophical and a theological. The philosophical principle is embodied in the image of "the chalice" and can be most simply stated by the following proposition: "Being is the most beautiful receptacle." (cf. Chalice of God, 2.1) Nichols expounds upon this principle and sheds light on it in a profound ontology which he develops in the second chapter.

(2) God, the Filler of the Chalice: After discussing his ontology and the fonts of divine revelation (Scripture and Tradition), Nichols unveils his theology, based on the theological principle of order given in the first chapter which can be simply stated as the following: "The heart of Christian revelation is found in the outpouring of plenitude on the world through the self-emptying of the Holy Trinity in Jesus Christ whereby a reconciling and deifying share in divine life is accorded us." (cf. 1.4.1)

Speaking as one who is typically influenced theologically by the Thomist tradition embodied, most especially, in St. Thomas's great 20th century disciple: Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, I do not consider praise given to one who claims to follow both St. Thomas and von Balthasar to be given lightly. However, I cannot but think that this work is both beautifully written, intellectually compelling, not to mention profoundly impacting the way I view theology.

[Disclaimer: I am a theological amateur, and as such I do not claim special expertise in this exalted science.]
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ecde348) out of 5 stars ECSTATIC PLENITUDE 19 Oct. 2014
By miasarx - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I love Fr. Nichols and read so much of his stuff. I underlined this book profusely. Here is a sample: "I select a theological principle of order which finds the heart of Christian revelation in the outpouring of plenitude on the world, through the self-emptying of the Holy Trinity in Jesus Christ whereby a reconciling and deifying share in divine life is accorded us". (p.8) And "A theological ontology is concerned with "plenary outpouring", filling up the chalice of the world in human persons and their environments". (25-26) Some more. . . "The perfect acceptance of God's extravagant libation is heaven. . . ."
Read the book. Love God. Love His Holy Bride, the Church. Get yourself some plenitude!
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