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Christian Theologies of the SacramentsA Comparative Introduction$
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Justin S. Holcomb and David A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724323

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724323.001.0001

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Edward Schillebeeckx and Louis-Marie Chauvet

Edward Schillebeeckx and Louis-Marie Chauvet

(p.333) 18 Edward Schillebeeckx and Louis-Marie Chauvet
Christian Theologies of the Sacraments

Joseph C. Mudd

NYU Press

This chapter argues that Edward Schillebeeckx and Louis-Marie Chauvet formulate their theologies of sacraments to intentionally counter the negative influences of Neo-Scholasticism, which created too much separation between the natural and supernatural, between theology and life. Schillebeeckx, building on his interpretation of Thomas Aquinas, emphasized that sacraments are instances of personal encounter grounded in the saving work of God in the incarnation and therefore proper to a distinctly human world. Throughout his work on the topic, Schillebeeckx reorients sacramental theology in order to take the human world of history and subjectivity seriously. Chauvet describes this theology as “objectivist.” It was a theology concerned with the objective effects of sacraments in terms of the production of grace in the individual recipient. He proposes a sacramental theology grounded in contemporary explorations into the nature of language and culture. Schillebeeckx and Chauvet are two of the most innovative, and controversial, voices in Catholic sacramental theology in the past fifty years. They share a common concern that contemporary sacramental theologies take the concrete historicity of human subjects seriously rather than rely on abstract philosophical categories.

Keywords:   sacrament, baptism, grace, Edward Schillebeeckx, Louis-Marie Chauvet, Neo-Scholasticism

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