Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Briefly Noted

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Briefly Noted

Article excerpt

BRIEFLY NOTED

August 2017

On the Road to Vatican II: German Catholic Enlightenment and Reform of the Church BY ULRICH L. LEHNER FORTRESS, 414 PAGES, $49

On the Road to Vatican II focuses on German and Austrian theological debates in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as examples of the Catholic Enlightenment. Historians and theologians will be grateful for Ulrich Lehner's careful, dispassionate treatment of under-studied figures. His work is primarily historical. Lehner argues that Catholic Enlightenment theology offers lessons in how to go about engaging with modernity, not answers to contemporary questions.

Patristic and medieval theology is popular in part because it clearly comes from an age so different from our own. By contrast, Enlightenment theologians' concerns, interests, and exegetical inclinations are our own. …

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