The Turn to The Church in The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries : A Promising Ecclesiology book cover
1st Edition

The Turn to The Church in The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
A Promising Ecclesiology

ISBN 9781032052854
Published April 21, 2022 by Routledge
276 Pages

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Book Description

This book investigates the recent renewed theological focus on ecclesiology and the practices of the church. In light of the diminishing role of the church in Western society over the last century, it considers how theologians have come to view church life as essential to faith and theological thinking. The chapters analyze key works by John Milbank, Stanley Hauerwas and Nicholas Healy, and bring them into conversation with an earlier phase in church history. The historical comparison focuses on the renewal of ecclesiology in Roman Catholic theology in the early twentieth century, represented by Romano Guardini, Odo Casel, and Henri de Lubac. Outlining how the present ‘turn to the church’ can be seen as promising, the volume provides readers with a sketch of how a church-centred theology might assist the church in inhabiting an increasingly ‘post-Christian’ world.

Table of Contents



Part I The Contemporary Turn to the Church

1 John Milbank and the Church as the Imagination of the City of God

2 Stanley Hauerwas and the Witness of the Church

3 Nicholas M. Healy and the Dangers of Ecclesiocentrism

4 The Contemporary Turn to the Church

Part II The Early Twentieth-Century Turn to the Church

5 Romano Guardini and the Awakening of the Church

6 Odo Casel and the Church as Mystery

7 Henri de Lubac and the Spiritual Intelligence of the Church

8 The Early-Twentieth Century Turn to the Church

Part III Two Turns

9 A Comparison of the Two Turns to the Church

10 Conclusion


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Sjoerd Mulder is a lecturer at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Tilburg University, the Netherlands.