Jean Daniélou’s Doxological Humanism
Trinitarian Contemplation and Humanity’s True Vocation
By Marc Nicholas
Due for release: 25/07/2013
The Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar noted that, “in the whole of Catholic theology there is hardly anything that is less noticed, yet more deserving of notice, than the fact that, since the great period of Scholasticism, there have been few theologians who were saints”. The great people of the early church were known equally as both pastors and theologians, but since the rise of Scholasticism a distinction has appeared between the material traditions of the human Christian church and the practice of theology as abstract truth discussed in places of learning. Jean Daniélou’s Doxological Humanism aims to reacquaint academic theology with real, human spirituality.
According to Daniélou, the doxological nature of a unified human person is essential. Participation in the adoration, worship and contemplation involved in the life of prayer helps a person attain the fullest expression of humanity. The humanist movement of the twentieth century attempted to show that one had no need of God in order to do good; that people are not inherently tempted to do evil and can achieve greatness without God. Daniélou opposed this belief, instead asserting that humanity can only find its true happiness and realize its full potential by connecting with the divine. In this volume, Marc Nicholas evaluates Daniélou’s writings on prayer, trinity, mission, spirituality and the crisis of interiority, eventually building them all into a clear explanation of Daniélou’s doxological humanism.
Daniélou argued that the idea of the existence of a human aspect which is completely separate to the divine aspect of life is incorrect and in no way corresponds to the Biblical concept of humanity. This work forms an intriguing study into the history of the rise of Scholasticism and Daniélou’s many reasons for renouncing the split between theology and spirituality it started. Clergy, theology students, and anyone interested in reclaiming theology as part of spiritual life with find this a worthwhile and rewarding work.
About the Author: Marc Nicholas is an instructor in religion in the Philosophy department at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas.
About the publisher: James Clarke and Co Ltd is a long-established British academic publisher specialising in historical and theological books and also in reference material. It has been associated with the Lutterworth Press since 1984.