Monday, 31 May 2010

De Lubac, Rahner and all that

I’m still traipsing through Lawrence Feingold’s book. I’m in chapter fifteen at the moment where Feingold focuses on whether de Lubac is consistent with the teaching of St. Thomas. The overall thrust here seems to be that where de Lubac is consistent he is incorrect, and where he is (possibly) correct, he is inconsistent. In particular, as his system developed (perhaps under pressure from Humani generis) it appeared to lapse into incoherence (or perhaps utter inconsistency with the metaphysical framework that it presumed).

I may at some stage put up a summary review here, but for the moment, this struck me as a particularly on-the-money quote:

In conclusion, de Lubac is in perfect harmony with St. Thomas and with the Catholic tradition in denying that our nature itself, as it actually exists, has the slightest supernatural element. However, this cannot ultimately be reconciled with his interpretation of the natural desire to see God as the expression of a supernatural finality imprinted on our nature in creation itself, prior to the reception of grace, determining us to an inevitable supernatural end. A choice must be made. Either the supernatural finality imprinted on our being must be recognised to flow from a supernatural element given with our constitution itself, as Karl Rahner seems to affirm with his “supernatural existential,” or one must reject altogether the thesis that a supernatural finality has been imprinted on our nature prior to grace, and maintain instead that an ordination to our supernatural end is impressed on our being first by sanctifying grace itself. Clearly the principles of St. Thomas and the Christian tradition demand the latter option.

(N.B. The emphases are in the text itself.)

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