JANET HAGGERTY, Fordham University


Henri de Lubac employs paradox in the majority of his works as a channel by which to understand the natural-supernatural relationship. The thesis first establishes the centrality of paradox through de Lubac's formulation of a natural, though inefficacious, desire for supernatural beatitude. This formula, and its implications for a conception of nature and man's relation with God, is then used in reaction against the sixteenth century hypothesis of pure nature. From the natural unity of mankind, based on the image of God in man, the natural desire for the supernatural, and the potency-act dynamism in free, peccable creatures, the thesis approaches the supernatural unity of man and God in the Church. The unity in diversity of the finite and the infinite in man finds parallels in the divine and human structure of the Church. Previous to the paradoxes in the Church, however, is Christ Himself as the principal paradox--to concrete universal. De Lubac's works on nature, grace and the Church are the primary sources used in the thesis' investigation of the role of paradox. Secondary literature chiefly includes articles which support the pure nature hypothesis against de Lubac's theory of a natural desire for supernatural beatitude. The thesis, however, favors this natural though inefficacious desire over the possibility of a purely natural order of man. The thesis approaches the issue of paradox in de Lubac's work first in terms of the natural unity of mankind and the relation between nature and grace, moving then to the supernatural union of man and God in the Church, including de Lubac's use of imagery with regard to the Church and the Mother of God. The concluding chapter explores the basis of the tensions marking man and the Church, focusing on the juncture of God and man as the initial mystery leading to the theological paradox. De Lubac's own lack of metaphysics to support his work is aided by a corroborating metaphysics built on the structures of love and reason, which carries the relation of the finite and the infinite beyond the frontiers de Lubac has opened.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

HAGGERTY, JANET, "THE CENTRALITY OF PARADOX IN THE WORK OF HENRI DE LUBAC, S.J." (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8727845.