The Anthropological Turn, Christian Humanism, and Vatican II: Louvain Theologians Preparing the Path for 'Gaudium et spes' (1942-1965) D Bosschaert Au
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Quid est autem homo? What is the human person? This question, raised in paragraph twelve of Gaudium et spes, was addressed by both bishops and theologians throughout the redaction process of the Second Vatican Council's Pastoral Constitution. This had been an open and contested question for many years before Vatican II was convened, and no definitive answer had been found by the time the council closed. This volume investigates how this question haunted theologians in the mid-twentieth century, and it focuses especially on Louvain theology. More particularly, its first chapter discusses the anthropological turn that occurred in twentieth-century theology and which was shaped by aspects of Christian humanism, the theology of history, theology of earthly realities, theology of society, and theology of the laity. The following four chapters sketch the intellectual itineraries of Albert Dondeyne, Gerard Philips, Gustave Thils, and Charles Moeller. These four Louvain theologians respectively developed a universal Christian humanism, an ecclesiology ad extra, an integrated Christian anthropology, and a humanism of the Beatitudes. The last three chapters analyze the reception of their thinking at the Second Vatican Council, focusing especially on the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes. The text of Malines, a draft text written in 1963, is presented as a cornerstone of Louvain's contribution to this anthropological turn.

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