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The Suspended Middle: Henri De Lubac And The Debate Concerning The Supernatural [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   117
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.64" Width: 5.42" Height: 0.34"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2005
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  080282899X  
EAN  9780802828996  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
French Jesuit Henri de Lubac (1896-1991) was arguably the most revolutionary theologian of the twentieth century. He proposed that Western theology since the early modern period had lost sight of the key to integrating faith and reason - the truth that all human beings are naturally oriented toward the supernatural. In this vital book John Milbank defends de Lubac's claim and pushes it to a more radical extreme. The Suspended Middle shows how such a claim entails a 'non-ontology' suspended between rational philosophy and revealed theology, interweaving the two while denying them any pure autonomy from each other. As de Lubac's writings on the supernatural implicitly dismantled the reigning Catholic (and perhaps Protestant) assumptions about Christian intellectual reflection, he met with opposition and even papal censure. Milbank's sophisticated account of de Lubac delineates the French theologian's relations with other proponents of the nouvelle theologie, such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, and clarifies the subtle but crucial divisions within recent Roman Catholic theology. The most substantial treatment in English of de Lubac's as yet untranslated Surnaturel and the subsequent debate, Milbank's Suspended Middle lays down an energetic challenge that every serious student of theology and Christian philosophy will want to engage.

Publishers Description

French Jesuit Henri de Lubac (1896-1991) was arguably the most revolutionary theologian of the twentieth century. He proposed that Western theology since the early modern period had lost sight of the key to integrating faith and reason -- the truth that all human beings are naturally oriented toward the supernatural.

In this vital book John Milbank defends de Lubac?'s claim and pushes it to a more radical extreme. "The Suspended Middle" shows how such a claim entails a non-ontology suspended between rational philosophy and revealed theology, interweaving the two while denying them any pure autonomy from each other.

As de Lubac?'s writings on the supernatural implicitly dismantled the reigning Catholic (and perhaps Protestant) assumptions about Christian intellectual reflection, he met with opposition and even papal censure. Milbank?'s sophisticated account of de Lubac delineates the French theologian?'s relations with other proponents of the "nouvelle th ologie," such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, and clarifies the subtle but crucial divisions within recent Roman Catholic theology.

The most substantial treatment in English of de Lubac?'s as yet untranslated "Surnaturel" and the subsequent debate, Milbank?'s "Suspended Middle" lays down an energetic challenge that every serious student of theology and Christian philosophy will want to engage.

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More About John Milbank

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Milbank is Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham and one of the most influential contemporary theologians. He is also the author of The Word Made Strange: Theology, Language, Culture (Blackwell, 1996).

John Milbank has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK University of Nottingham, UK.

John Milbank has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Rockwell Lectures (Trinity Paperback)


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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Almost there  Feb 26, 2006
John Milbank has his own imprint at Routledge and yet he published this book, The Suspended Middle, with Eerdmans, an American publishing house with decidedly evangelic ties and desires, though increasingly academic in production (e.g. The Beauty of the Infinite). This fact made me come to the book with an unfortunately critical eye and his insult to Balthasar did not help the case.

I have a lot of issues with the book, not the least of which include its size. It is making a very large argument that needs many pages, many notations, possibly many volumes, and yet it only fills a small 108 pages. Whenever something needs to be cited or expanded and the intuitive is expounded incessantly.

Another issue is the continuing claim that Surnaturel is 'arguably' the most important theological text of the 20th Century. That is the argument of the book. Why are you qualifying the statement (multiple times) that summarizes the task you are attempting?

Milbank seems to commit the greatest sin of interpretation: eisegesis. De Lubac is so important because he makes an argument in one small text that Milbank agrees with and so he reads it into the rest of de Lubac's ouevre and the rest of intellectual history. If this book is so important, so influential, why does it take a British theologian to publish a gloss of a French Jesuit that doesn't do grace to either?

My criticisms aside, he makes some compelling statements of theology that I could agree with but it just leaves one wanting more, a tighter argument, an extended elaboration, an honest address of the author's personal stake in the argument. If de Lubac is not how Milbank reads him, I fear that Milbank's entire current project concerning the gift falls a part.
 

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