Saturday, December 13, 2008

Avery Dulles SJ, R.I.P.

Avery Dulles has passed away at age 90

Brilliant man. The only American theologian who was made a cardinal without ever having been a bishop.


Online Archive

Video Lecture: When to Forgive


cowboyangel said...

Have you read much of his work? Anything on the archive you would recommend?

crystal said...

Wow, he's written a lot! I've only read one thing by him, as he seems kind of conservative - an article at First Things on Hans Urs von Balthasar's idea that maybe no one goes to hell. Good article, though I didn't agree with him :)
- The Population of Hell.

Oh and just read Love, The Pope and C.S. Lewis - that one was good too.

Jeff said...

Hi guys,


His best known work was probably Models of the Church, which is sort of inside-baseball, but it's a pretty good layout of what the "Church" has actually represented throughout history, and also after Vatican II. The Church as the Perfect Society? Body of Christ? People of God? Etc, etc...

I haven't read his books, but as Crystal points out, he's written a ton of articles and was interviewed on all sorts of topics. He was one of the guys most looked to on how to interpret and implement the Council.

Interesting pedigree, too. Son of Johh Foster Dulles and nephew of Allen Dulles, pillars of the Yankee establishment. Luckily, he was less venal than both of those guys. :-) He converted while he was at Harvard, and it's kind of interesting, because he was sort of tied up with the whole Father Feeney thing while he was there. Father Feeney was excommunicated for disobedience in what was called "The Boston Heresy Case." Feeney was accusing the Jesuits at Boston College of heresy for refusing to affirm that "there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church." Rome told him that his view was extreme and that he should obey his Jesuit superiors and back off on it. He didn't. Dulles was involved in Feeney's early work with students over at Harvard (Feeney was very dynamic and popular at one time), but none of this stuff ever stuck to him.


Thansk for the links. Yes, he was pretty conservative, but he was a charitable man. My Jesuit brother-in-law told me that whenever the US Bishops got together and got stuck on some theological point of doctrine or another, they'd call up Dulles on the phone and have them explain it to them.

He had a way of explaining complex things so that most people could understand them. An example would be his explanation of the Joint Lutheran-Catholic Statement on Justification.