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Bellarmine theology professor Joseph Flipper publishes book about Jesuit theologian Henri de Lubac

Jun 02, 2015


A new book by Dr. Joseph Flipper, a faculty member in Bellarmine University's theology department, sheds new light on the writings of 20th century Jesuit theologian Henri de Lubac.

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While many recent works about de Lubac discuss the controversies of his writings on the supernatural, Flipper's debut book, "Between Apocalypse and Eschaton: History and Eternity in Henri de Lubac," brings de de Lubac's writings on eschatology to the forefront.

Flipper explores de Lubac’s postwar body of work, teachings, and associations with the nouvelle théologie (new theology) movement, a group of scholars committed to reviving the ideas of the early church for the modern world.

Henri de Lubac was a Jesuit priest who served in the French military in World War I. He is well-known for being involved in controversies with the nouvelle théologie, and being temporarily banned from teaching after publishing his book, "Surnaturel" ("The Supernatural").

During the teaching ban, he wrote several more books, including works on Buddhism and the church, and began a four-volume study on ancient biblical interpretation entitled "Medieval Exegesis." After his ban was lifted, de Lubac was added to the preparatory commission for the Second Vatican Council and was made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II.

"Henri de Lubac contributed directly to the Second Vatican Council and the Catholicism that emerged from it," said Flipper. "His work remains significant for understanding the relationship between the church and the secular world, the sacraments, and the spiritual interpretation of the Bible."

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Dr. Joseph Flipper

Flipper received a Doctor of Philosophy in religious studies from Marquette University. His research bridges systematic theology and cultural history. Flipper joined Bellarmine from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he taught and conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow. His interests include apocalypticism and eschatology, Christian constructive theology, modern mysticism, and religion and literature.

"'Between Apocalypse and Eschaton' is an important contribution to our knowledge of Henri de Lubac’s theology and the movement known as the nouvelle théologie," said Dr. Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, professor of Roman Catholic theological studies at the Harvard Divinity School. "It illumines the relationship between his spiritual interpretation of Scripture and his understanding of the meaning of history. Clearly written and well-informed, this book situates de Lubac's theology within the social, political, and theological struggles of his age. Any future study of de Lubac will have to take this book into account."

Flipper’s "Between Apocalypse and Eschaton" is available for online purchase through fortresspress.com.

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