Editors: Gabriel Flynn and Paul D. Murray, with Patricia Kelly
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In his great work Catholicism Henri de Lubac had to make this statement to explain why he quoted the early Fathers so much: ‘I seek only to understand them, and to listen to what they have to tell us, since they are our fathers in the faith…’ For most of us, patristic references are the mark of a good lecture and a good essay – it seems almost beyond belief that he should have need to explain himself so, as recently as 1937, and that he was viewed with suspicion because of this. Basically Ressourcement is an explanation of what all that was about and the influence De Lubac and others have had on the life of today’s Church – the history too, of how a man whose books were removed from Jesuit libraries in the early 50s ended his life as an honoured cardinal, as did most of the other leading figures in this movement. The quotation above is from a chapter in the study by John Webster which examines the relationship between the Ressourcement method and contemporary Protestantism, and Karl Barth in particular.
Going back to original sources and authors, particularly the early Fathers: this was the key method of the theologians studied here, principally de Lubac, Yves Congar, Jean Daniélou, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Henri Brouillard, Louis Bouyer and Hans Urs von Balthasar.