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In the decades leading up to the Second Vatican Council, the movement of nouvelle theologie caused great controversy in the Catholic Church and remains a subject of vigorous scholarly debate today. In Nouvelle theologie and Sacramental Ontology Hans Boersma argues that a return to mystery wasthe movement's deepest motivation. Countering the modern intellectualism of the neo-Thomist establishment, the nouvelle theologians were convinced that a ressourcement of the Church Fathers and of medieval theology would point the way to a sacramental reintegration of nature and the supernatural. In the context of the loss sufferedby both Catholics and Protestants in the de-sacramentalizing of modernity, Boersma shows how the sacramental ontology of nouvelle theologie offers a solid entry-point into ecumenical dialogue.The volume begins by setting the historical context for nouvelle theologie with discussions of the influence of significant theologians and philosophers like Mohler, Blondel, Marechal, and Rousselot. The exposition then moves to the writings of key thinkers of the ressourcement movement including deLubac, Bouillard, Balthasar, Chenu, Danielou, Charlier, and Congar. Boersma analyses the most characteristic elements of the movement: its reintegration of nature and the supernatural, its reintroduction of the spiritual interpretation of Scripture, its approach to Tradition as organicallydeveloping in history, and its communion ecclesiology that regarded the Church as sacrament of Christ. In each of these areas, Boersma demonstrates how the nouvelle theologians advocated a return to mystery by means of a sacramental ontology.
Hans Boersma holds the J.I. Packer Chair of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. Before coming to Regent in 2005, he taught for six years at Trinity Western University in nearby Langley. Boersma holds a doctorate from the University of Utrecht. His articles have appeared in numerous journals. His publications include Violence, Hospitality, and the Cross: Reappropriating the Atonement Tradition (Baker Academic), which won the 2005 Christianity Today best theological book of the year award; Nouvelle Theologie and Sacramental Ontology: A Return to Mystery (OUP, 2009); and Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry (Eerdmans, 2011).