1st Edition

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

By Sjoerd Mulder Copyright 2022
    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.



    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



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

    The ideal rides ahead of the real, renewing beyond it, perishing in it – unreachable, surely, but made new over and over again just by hope and by the passage of time; what has not yet failed remains possible. And the ideal, remaining undiminished and perfect, out of reach, makes possible a judgement of failure, and a just grief and sympathy.

    Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth, 72.

    Sans me l'avouer à moi-même, ce que je rêve involontairement, c'est quelque chose de très simple et très peu nombreux, ressemblant à ces premières communautés des premiers temps de l'Église... Quelques âmes réunies pour mener la vie de Nazareth, vivre de leur travail comme la Sainte Famille, en pratiquant les vertus de Nazareth dans la contemplation de Jésus... petite famille, petit foyer monastique, tout petit, tout simple.

    Charles de Foucauld, lettre à l’abbé Huvelin du 22 octobre 1898