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The Survival of DullesReflections on a Second Century of Influence$
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Michael M. Canaris

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780823294909

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823294909.001.0001

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Avery Dulles, Theology, and the Twentieth Century

Avery Dulles, Theology, and the Twentieth Century

(p.14) 3 Avery Dulles, Theology, and the Twentieth Century
The Survival of Dulles

Joseph T. Lienhard S.J.

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines how Avery Dulles's life and career are, in many ways, a microcosm of the history and development of Catholic theology in the twentieth century. It has two parts: history, the events and institutions that Dulles was, in some way, part of, and theology, his own thought, as it developed in parallel with the history. The history can be divided into three eras. The first extends from the middle of the nineteenth century (even though Dulles was born in 1918) up to about 1960; Dulles was active toward the end of that era. The second is the era marked by the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and its aftermath. The third, the least clearly defined, began — for Dulles, at least — about twenty-five years after the Council. The era roughly from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth has been called the Pian century. The characteristics of that century are easy to enumerate: neo-scholastic theology, taught in Latin in Rome and in most seminaries; resistance to, and anxiety about, modern culture, exemplified in the condemnation of rationalism and modernism; and fear of post-Kantian historicism, especially when applied to the Bible.

Keywords:   Avery Dulles, Catholic theology, Second Vatican Council, Pian century, neo-scholastic theology, modern culture, rationalism, modernism, post-Kantian historicism

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