Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: À mes amis qui croient et à ceux qui croient ne pas croire : natural knowledge of God and the propulsion of reason in Henri de Lubac : a re-assessment
Author: Moller, Philip James
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 5516
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 31 Mar 2023
Access from Institution:
This study is a reconsideration of the place and significance of the natural light of human reason in attaining knowledge of God according to the thought of Henri de Lubac. In the Anglophone theological literature of the later twentieth century, a notable consensus has emerged that de Lubac’s celebrated text, Surnaturel (1946) implicitly disallows any status for natural knowledge of God in advance of the activity of created grace. The present thesis is concerned with the way in which de Lubac’s clarification of the ‘pure nature’ debate was related to an even more pervasive concern with ‘natural theology’; and that—given de Lubac’s central theological vision and the actual evidences within his total œuvre—the seeming consensus on the implications of Surnaturel may not stand. This study seeks to clarify and reconceive the natural theology task which de Lubac undertook, arguing that it was this project, even beyond his interest in the nature-grace relation, which was his abiding life’s interest; the metaphysical attitude displayed here organizes the interior of his wider theological œuvre. De Lubac’s natural theology has been profoundly misunderstood since the time of its release, and moreover, this misunderstanding may be seen to be the most proximate reason for de Lubac’s censure by the Jesuits in 1950, which in turn perpetuated the continuing misconception. The present work of clarification proceeds by close analysis and re-assessment of de Lubac early writings, and his works on natural knowledge of God (Connaissance and Chemins), as well by reference to the hitherto unseen historical archive of the Jesuits in Rome, in order to chart the full trajectory of de Lubac’s thought, to show that he may not be said to collapse the classical Thomist distinction between natural theology and revelation. The study concludes with an assessment of the success of de Lubac’s thought in view of contemporary philosophy of religion debates, and questions the extent to which his natural theology might be relevant today.
Supervisor: Davison, Andrew ; Coakley, Sarah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Philosophy of Religion ; Natural Theology ; Henri de Lubac ; Epistemology ; Proofs for the Existence of God ; Ressourcement ; Jesuits