If the reader of John, then, is left uncertain of Pilate's real complicity in the death of Christ, unclear of his place on the spectrum of good and evil, he or she has gained at least a taste of the truth of the cross. Among other projects, he edits a set of reflections on contemplative spirituality called "At Once Good and Imperfect" at goodandimperfect. Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor.
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Briefly noted | Catholic Herald
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Historically, some Catholic readers have been suspicious of Kierkegaard, viewing him as an irrational Protestant irreconcilably at odds with Catholic thought.
I set this backdrop by investigating the wider evidence of a Catholic reception of Kierkegaard in the early twentieth century—looking specifically at influential figures like Theodor Haecker, Romano Guardini, Erich Przywara, and other Roman Catholic thinkers that are typically associated with ressourcement. A thesis could be written on any one of these figures, and space does not permit an exhaustive index of Catholic engagement with Kierkegaard.
As an original contribution, I introduce for the first time in English a necessary supplement to the Catholic reception of Kierkegaard in the underexplored writings of the Italian Thomist, Cornelio Fabro. He is concerned with the actual Kierkegaardian tradition within Catholic theology 7. By this he means the decisive though sometimes hidden ways Kierkegaard actually shaped pre- and post-conciliar theology because of his existential approach to Christian life and revelation that becomes central to the spirit of ressourcement. Furnal is certainly right to critique this as too heavy a background assumption since Kierkegaard was no uncritical Lutheran.
The latter portion of this chapter discusses Philosophical Fragments and its criticism of any secondhand following of Christ.
Catholic Theology after Kierkegaard
Part of it is helpful for what follows, but I will not say it is easy going. Chapter Two provides a helpful romp through the eight figures listed in the series above.
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The next three chapters concern de Lubac, von Balthasar, and Fabro. For my money, the chapter on de Lubac is the gem of the bunch. While this can hardly come as a surprise to anyone familiar with von Balthasar, the chapter devoted to his reception of Kierkegaard is, I think, especially hard going.
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