English Summary – M.-D. Chenu: the Council Forerunner 4/2014

Christian Bauer
Changing the Place of Theology?
Significance of M.-D. Chenu for Practical Theology
The introductory essay of the issue dedicated to M.-D. Chenu highlights the personality features of the important theologian and historian, and presents him as a representative of “practical theology” which draws its specific creativity from a permanent exchange of location between discursive archives of past and domain of current practice. The text also shows how this attitude is reflected in documents of Vatican II, and in the theological orientation of the Church thereafter.

Janette Gray RSM
M.-D. Chenu and Le Saulchoir:
A Stream of Catholic Renewal
The study of the English historian and theologian discusses the life and theological influence of M.-D. Chenu. The author describes an ideological conflict between Chenu and his teacher Garrigou-Lagrange about the understanding of historicity in the Church; she is dealing with Chenu’s teaching activities at Le Saulchoir and his conception of reforming the baroque scholasticism towards its renewal on the basis of critical studies of its roots; she depicts the circumstances of his conflict with the Magisterium. The conclusion is devoted to Chenu’s understanding of the “return to the sources”, which included the renewed gospel “awakening” and acceptance of the reality of the “incarnational presence” of the Gospel in the world.

I Had Faith in God’s Word
Interview with M.-D. Chenu
The collage made of an interview with M.-D. Chenu led by Jacques Duquesne presents his views on the main areas of his theological interest and influence, such as the role of the theologian in the world, significance of the school Le Saulchoir, his attitude to historicity, historical method in the theology, the experience of being disciplined, and his view on development after the Council.

Claude Geffré OP
Theology of the Incarnation and Theology of Sign of the Times in Thinking of Father Chenu
The study presents M.-D. Chenu as the pioneer of a new perspective on the history of the Church, the one without which the adoption of the main innovations of Second Vatican Council on the field of relations between faith and history and on the field of the dialogue between the Church and the world wouldn’t happen the way it did. Chenu is depicted as a theologian of more than seven decades of the intellectual creativity. There is however a solid consistency between young Chenu-medievalist and late Chenu-theologian of “sign of the times”, and this continuity is established through his understanding of the Incarnation, which constitutes an essential concept of his thinking.

M.-D. Chenu, Theologian of the Council
Interview with Albert Melloni
Interviewed with the Professor of History of Christianity was led by the theologian Petr Štica, and concerns Chenu’s effect on Vatican II. Forms of Chenu’s participation are discussed, his reflection of the Council according to his diary, his role in the formation of the Constitution Gaudium et Spes or in the work of the Council Commission “the Church of the poor”. The interview deals with Chenu’s perception of post-conciliar events and with significance of Chenu’s work today.

Petr Štica
M.-D. Chenu’s Stimuli for the Method in Catholic Social Ethics
Although the theological work of M.-D. Chenu is not focused primarily socio-ethically, yet his theological approach which could be characterized as a “sign of the times” theology, and his theological thinking which had an impact on the design of the Pastoral Constitution of the Second Vatican Council. His work projected itself on to the structure of social doctrine of the Church, and to the debate about method in Christian social ethics. The article presents selected aspects of Chenu’s theology and summarizes the basic stimuli and the contribution of his thinking to the post-conciliar Christian social ethics.

Martin Vaňáč
In the Footsteps of M.-D. Chenu in Bohemia
The study of the Czech historian of theology monitors modest footprints of M.-D. Chenu in Bohemia. He deals primarily with Chenu’s translated texts, among which is in Bohemia probably the best known, most widely spread, and the only work separately issued before 1989 the Czech translation of his opening speech on the ecumenical conference held in Rome in October 1967 in connection with the ongoing first session of the newly established Synod of Bishops. Then the author inspects personalities of Czech theology, in who’s work could possibly be traced the knowledge and influence of M.-D. Chenu: S. M. Braito OP and P. Kužela OP who studied at Le Saulchoir, and M. Habáň OP who met Chenu in Rome. Generally the author states rather small reception of Chenu’s thought, when compared with other countries (Poland), caused also by the language barrier.

Norbert Schmidt
During the All Souls’ weekend, at Saturday, November 1 at 15:00 pm in the Gallery “Na shledanou” (Farewell) at the cemetery Malsička in Volyň which regularly represents leading contemporary Czech art, was opened an architectural intervention ÜBERRAUM. The extensive installation puts the question how is today possible to find relation to things radically transcendent through contemporary architecture and art. The author of the installation, Norbert Schmidt, is an architect and a director of the Centre for Theology and Arts at KTF UK.