Nature and the Supernatural in La Nouvelle Théologie: The Recovery of a Sacramental Mindset
New Blackfriars, 93 no 1043 Jan 2012, p 34-46
A sacramental ontology, informed by a ressourcement of the Church Fathers, informs the theology of the mid-twentieth-century Catholic movement of nouvelle théologie. Rejecting the neo-Thomist separation between nature and the supernatural, the nouvelle theologians focused on the sacramental presence of supernatural grace in natural realities. To be sure, differences among these ressourcement theologians cannot be denied: de Lubac and Bouillard emphasized the a-scending character of human participation in divine grace, while Balthasar and Chenu stressed the de-scent of the Incarnation into the created realities of time and space. Nonetheless, the four theologians shared a deep appreciation for the Greek Fathers, which enabled them to counter the neo-scholastic separation between nature and the supernatural with a sacramental ontology.