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The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review

Hans Boersma. None the less, from the perspective of communion ecclesiology, both neo-Thomists and evangelical Protestants tend to separate the sacrament and its reality though the former focus on the sacrament and the latter on the reality. In short, spiritual interpretation, reintegration of Scripture and Tradition, and communion ecclesiology are among the most urgently required means to advance the unity of the Church.

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Christopher R. He is now working on a book for Zondervan Academic provisionally titled Understanding Natural Theology, and an additional edited volume for Routledge. His current research has mostly to do with questions at the intersection of theology, philosophy, and contemporary visual art, but also includes Anglican ecumenism. Your email address will not be published. For me, it provided an excellent introduction to several of these theologians, with whom I was less familiar. Boersma makes his aim clear in his introduction and conclusion—he recommends a sacramental ontology as a corrective for evangelicals.

A recovery of sacramental ontology would help them escape the dangers of the enlightenment and even late-medieval nominalism.


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A sacramental ontology for Boersma, then, could provide the basis for ecumenical dialogue between Protestants and Catholics. I found much to appreciate in these theologians.

Nouvelle Theologie and Sacramental Ontology: A Return to Mystery

The focus on the intellect as an inclination by Rousselot warmed my Edwardsian heart. That this is an interpretation of Aquinas is icing on the cake. There is a helpful contrast here to the neo-Thomist privileging of abstract reasoning.

Boersma also shows how the nouvelle theologians stood against historicism or immanentism, which fails to look beyond concrete particulars as the realization of eschatological realities. So far so good. And how do they do this? Paul calls marriage something like a sacrament—a display of eternal realities in creaturely form.

This might not be a bad thing. That we would expect to find divine mystery in creaturely reality may direct us to Christ. But in that case, it would seem to limit the value of the term sacrament as a special instance. It is one thing to say that all created realities participate in the transcendent, but quite another to spell out the implications for this.

Particularly in regard to the church as a sacrament, I wonder, is there a way for Protestants to call the church a sacrament? This provides the foundation for these catholic theologians to maintain both something like a priesthood of all believers and still emphasize the primacy of the priesthood and the magisterium though Congar, at least, held that the outward form was contingent.

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Review: Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology - Transpositions

On the maximalist side, if we grant that all creaturely realities participate in the divine, and that the church is a particularly clear instance of this participation, then are we forced to sanction some form of historically continuous, outward manifestation of the Church?

The need to ground all of the created order in a transcendent reality is necessary, but I too am not sure that the sacramental model is the right way to do it. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.


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