Origen (185-ca. 254), one of the most prolific and influential of the early Church Fathers, is best known to us for his Scripture exegesis. Henri de Lubacs History and Spirit is a landmark study of Origens understanding of Scripture and his exegetical methods. In exploring Origens efforts to interpret the four different senses of Scripture, de Lubac leads the reader through an immense and varied work to its center: Christ the Word.
As Hans Urs von Balthasar said in discussing this seminal work: The theory of the senses of Scripture is not a curiosity of the history of theology but an instrument for seeking out the most profound articulations of salvation history... (From the book The Theology of Henri de Lubac.)
What the reader finds on this journey is not only, then, a fascinating view of the mind and spirit of an important Father of the Church, but an essential key to a more profound understanding of the way in which Christ speaks to us through Scripture.
Henri De Lubac
Henri De Lubac, S.J., was considered as one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century. Together with other towering modern theologians (and his close friends) like Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) and Hans Urs Von Balthasar, the writings of Henri De Lubac stand out as crucial theological works of 20th century Catholicism. Among his most famous works include Catholicism: Christ & The Common Destiny Of Man, The Splendor Of The Church, The Christian Faith, The Drama Of Atheist Humanism and Motherhood Of The Church.
In todays general audience Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis to Origen of Alexandria, a third century historian and "one of the greatest writers" of Church history. Origen, said the Pope, "took up the legacy of Clement and carried it towards the future in such an innovative way as to effect an irreversible turn in the development of Christian thought. He was a true master ... and an exemplary witness of the doctrine he transmitted." The "irreversible turn" effected by Origen, said the Pope, substantially involved "grounding theology in the explanation of Scripture, in other words, the perfect symbiosis between theology and exegesis. Indeed, the characteristic of Origens doctrine seems to lie in the constant invitation to pass from the reading to the spirit of Scripture in order to progress in knowledge of God.
- VATICAN CITY, APR 25, 2007 (VIS)