Yves Congar (1904-1995) was one of the chief architects of a remarkable renewal in Roman Catholic ecclesiology in the twentieth century. His vision for ecclesial renewal led to a profound transformation of the Roman Catholic Church, its relationship with other churches and the world. This book considers the contribution made by Congar to that transformation. Situating Congar’s ecclesiology in the context of his whole theology, the book presents for the first time a comprehensive study of two related aspects of Congar's thought - unbelief and the notion of 'total ecclesiology'. Dr Flynn shows how unbelief provides the common inspiration for Congar's thought on the Church and constitutes the raison d’Ãªtre for his entire programme of ecclesial reform at the Second Vatican Council. This study demonstrates how Congar's 'total ecclesiology' contributes to the restoration of unity and helps to redress unbelief. Congar's vision for the future and his programme for ecclesial renewal, centering on a church committed both to the preservation of its heritage and an openness to true reform, is shown to be still pertinent to the churches in the third millennium, a point accented by Pierre-Marie Gy, OP in his Preface to the work.
'I know of no other study in English which has investigated this important subject at such depth' the late Edward Yarnold, SJ, Campion Hall, University of Oxford 'An important book about an important topic. All of us admire Congar’s attention to the present world and to the breadth of history and Tradition. These two qualities, together with his readiness to help and his love of the Church, so well described by Dr Flynn, help us to understand how important Congar’s work has been during the Second Vatican Council'. Pierre-Marie Gy, O.P, Le Saulchoir, Paris ’This is a work that is indispensable to anyone who wants an introduction to the work of Congar. It is comprehensive in its breadth, thorough in its analysis and evenhanded in its assessments. The layout of the book is also to be commended, not least the fact that it uses footnotes rather than endnotes, making it easier for the reader to check references or see the clarifications that the author is adding to the main text as he progresses his argument. Overall, this is a book that can be highly recommended to anybody wishing to deepen his or her knowledge of twentieth century ecclesiology or who may wish to find a template for a respectful critique of contemporary ecclesial problems.’ Doctrine and Life 'In addition to its organization and clarity, this book is noteworthy for its integration of an impressive array of secondary sources.' The Furrow '… a readable, balanced, and carefully nuanced exploration of the writings of one of the key figures of twentieth century ecclesiology.' Milltown Studies ’… Flynn's book will advance Congar studies by leaps and bounds. He has located a decidedly fruitful avenue for understanding the theologian's key interests and successfully establishes how these influence the overall project of a life's work.’ Catholic Books Review
Contents: Preface, Pierre-Marie Gy, OP; Author's preface; Introduction; The vision of the Church in Congar's theology; The shape of the Church in Congar's theology; Reform and tradition in Congar's ecclesiology; Epilogue; Afterword; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.