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Title: Edward Schillebeeckx & de actuele theologie
Subtitle: Een reflectie ‘in medias res’
Author(s): BOEVE, Lieven
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Theologie
Volume: 50    Issue: 1   Date: 2010   
Pages: 26-50
DOI: 10.2143/TVT.50.1.3203425

Abstract :
In this article the author asks how two theologians, in this case Erik Borgman and the present author, could reach such different theological orientations when the same master’s thinking shaped and challenged the two of them. The hypothesis is that the different reception of E. Schillebeeckx’s work probably rests on a two-fold given in his own theology, i.e. first, the roots of this theology in creation theology and, secondly, the increasing importance of a hermeneutical approach in theology. The intuition that Schillebeeckx derived from creation theology forms the ontological premise beneath the assertion that history and salvation history are one. Originally this intuition is pre- modern, but in responding to the dynamics of secularisation Schillebeeckx incorporated it in a universal religious anthropology that starts from experiences of contingency and desire for wholeness. The ‘hermeneutical Schillebeeckx’ underwent a hermeneutical change when he discussed church and tradition and progressively developed a less essentialist hermeneutic. A contextual updating of Christianity can retain modern credibility only when it starts from the interplay of experience and interpretation. While this two-fold characterisation is typical of Schillebeeckx’s theology, it does have its snags. The author seeks to uncover this two-fold aspect and to develop it as interpretive key. It is intended to help understand Schillebeeckx’s own position, but also its reception in Borgman’s and his own work so that, in the end, it will give impetus to the discussion on the lasting significance of Schillebeeckx’s work. After all, as long as the situation of church and modern society continue to support the link between the two theological presuppositions, this two-fold theological underpinning works very well and results in the inspiring and challenging late modern theology that Schillebeeckx fully delineated in the 1970s and 1980s. The tension between these two presuppositions in his approach only rises to the surface and encounters its limits when the link between them loses its credibility.

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