Nineteenth-Century Scholasticism: The Search for a Unitary Method

Nineteenth-Century Scholasticism: The Search for a Unitary Method

Nineteenth-Century Scholasticism: The Search for a Unitary Method

Nineteenth-Century Scholasticism: The Search for a Unitary Method

Synopsis

'The publication of this book is an event for Catholic theology because it marks the appearance of a major study in English on Roman Catholic theology in Europe in the 19th century. McCool's book offers much material on this century and a systematic approach to it.'

Excerpt

On 22 April 1870 the Apostolic Constitution on Faith, Dei Filius, was solemnly approved by the assembled fathers of the First Vatican Council. On 4 August 1879 the encyclical Aeterni Patris was issued by the Roman pontiff Leo xiii. These two dates are significant in the history of Roman Catholic theology.

Separated by almost ten years, in one of the most momentous and troubled decades in the Church's history, the two documents differed significantly in both their doctrinal content and in the weight of their authority. Dei Filius was an apostolic constitution, approved unanimously by an ecumenical council. It defined and clarified the Church's dogmatic teaching about the freedom and supernatural character of faith and the relation between supernatural faith and natural reason. Aeterni Patris, on the other hand, was a purely disciplinary document, resting upon the juridical authority of the reigning pontiff, Leo xiii. Its scope was limited to the method of philosophical instruction approved for the education of future priests in seminary and Catholic faculties. When linked together, however, in the minds of the Roman authorities and of the theologians influenced by these two documents, as in fact they were, Dei Filius and Aeterni Patris amounted to a profoundly significant concrete decision by the highest authorities of the Catholic Church.

It was a decision which profoundly influenced the history of Catholic theology. Indeed it determined the course of its development for almost a century. It also fixed the pattern of Catholic theology's understanding of its own history from the beginning of the Catholic reaction to the Enlightenment in the early nineteenth century until the publication of Aeterni Patris. Finally it determined the method according to which Catholic positive and speculative theology endeavored to retrieve the heritage of its own Catholic doctrinal tradition and to present that tradition to the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.