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Title: The Auguste Valensin Controversy and the Historiography of Nouvelle Théologie
Author(s): HEDRICK-MOSER, Erick H.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 90    Issue: 1   Date: 2014   
Pages: 41-70
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.90.1.3025878

Abstract :
Recent histories have located the emergence of nouvelle théologie in the 1930s and have thereby neglected the role of the 1910s debate concerning Auguste Valensin’s challenge to the monolithic neo-scholastic method taught in Jesuit seminaries. Due to this controversy, Valensin lost his tenure as professor at the Maison Saint-Louis, the Jesuit scholasticate exiled to the British soil of the Isle of Jersey. A former student of Blondel, Valensin’s writings on the 'method of immanence' sparked a new chapter in the Catholic reception of Blondel’s thought, when neo-scholastics on Jersey and in Europe condemned Valensin and Blondel of Kantian immanentism. In addition to this theological debate, Jesuit authorities critiqued Valensin for departing in method and content from the standards of Jesuit education, codified in the Ratio Studiorum. The impact that this tense atmosphere at the Maison Saint-Louis had on young Jesuit students such as Henri de Lubac has been largely overlooked, but due to its connections to this cadre of Jesuits the Valensin controversy should be considered an important early phase for nouvelle théologie.

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