August 13, 2021
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v2.1 Reference

A Thomistic Christocentrism

Recovering the Carmelites of Salamanca on the Logic of the Incarnation

Saint Thomas Aquinas famously held the opinion that, in God's actual plan for the world, the Word would not have become flesh except to redeem us from sin. Conversely, Blessed John Duns Scotus argued that God intended Christ first, such that Christ would have come even if there had been no sin. While Aquinas and Scotus were far from the first to consider this question, they became emblematic of two seemingly irreconcilable approaches. In this book, Father Dylan Schrader recovers the thought of the Salmanticenses, the Discalced Carmelites writing at the University of Salamanca in the seventeenth century. The Salmanticenses argue that Christ is primary in God's intention precisely as redeemer, so that it is true both that God has made everything else for the sake of Christ and that Christ's coming is essentially redemptive, connected with sin. In this way, the Salmanticenses offer a Thomistic Christocentrism.

This book summarizes the historical background to the Salmanticenses, from the time of Anselm up through the early-modern period. Next, it presents and defends the Salmanticenses' argument for the primacy of Christ the redeemer. A Thomistic Christocentrism then turns to two key post-conciliar figures, Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Rahner sees Christ as the culmination of the world's opening up to God. Balthasar sees Christ as the reconciler of divine and human freedom through his cross, descent, and resurrection. Both Christocentric approaches have good aspirations but suffer from serious flaws. In its final chapters, this book applies the Salamanca theory to Rahner and Balthasar, showing its enduring value for post-conciliar Christocentrism.

About the Author

Fr. Dylan Schrader is the translator of The Salmanticenses (The Discalced Carmelites of the University of Salamanca), On the Motive of the Incarnation (CUA Press), and pastor of St. Brendan Church in Mexico, Missouri.


"Significant both for bringing into play the theology of Salamanca and for showing how well it serves to clarify and criticize the enormously influential but complex theologies of Rahner and Balthasar...I don't know of anything quite like this book, or anything that would compete with it."—Guy Mansini, OSB, Ave Maria University

9780813234083 : a-thomistic-christocentrism-schrader
August 13, 2021
$65.00 USD

Other Titles by Dylan Schrader

On the Motive of the Incarnation

The Salmanticenses (Discalced Carmelites of Salamanca)
Aug 2019 - The Catholic University of America Press
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