The Modernist as Philosopher
Selected Writings of Marcel Hébert
Roman Catholic Modernism, in France, was prominently represented by scholars whose interests were, in significant measure, historical. Notable examples are Louis Duchesne, Alfred Loisy, and Albert Houtin. Where philosophy was concerned, Maurice Blondel, together with his collaborator Lucien Laberthonnière, grappled with the legacy of Kant and the problem of the subjectivity of human knowing. Marcel Hébert (1851 -- 1916) stands at the confluence of these two tendencies.
Hébert's appreciation of the exegesis of scripture and its subsequent development in church tradition was importantly shaped by both Loisy and Duchesne. And like Blondel and Laberthonnière, he felt the insufficiency of scholasticism to speak to minds formed by modernity, to formulate an adequate response to the philosophical legacy of Kant. He acknowledged his debt to Duchesne and Loisy in history, but regarded himself, though an autodidact, their superior in philosophy. As Loisy may represent a case study of how modern historical consciousness impacted a mind formed by the traditional Catholic theology and piety, so Hébert may serve as a case study in the impact of modern philosophical consciousness on one also formed by traditional Catholicism.
This volume, the first to be published in English about Hébert, is essential for a full understanding of Catholic Modernism. The articles translated in this volume show Hébert's early attempt to find common ground between Aquinas and Kant, the impact of Kant on a symbolist reading of dogma intended to "save" dogma for Catholics coming to terms with modern exegesis and modern philosophy, the radical lengths to which he took that symbolist reading, and his eventual break with Catholicism when the Church failed to be receptive to this program.
Included here are selected articles, the entire second of edition of Pragmatisme, William James's review of the first edition and Hébert's response to it, and a review by Eugène Ménégoz.
ABOUT THE EDITOR AND TRANSLATORS:
C. J. T. Talar is professor of systematic theology at the University of Saint Thomas. He has served as co-convener of the Roman Catholic Modernism Seminar and has worked on John Henry Newman and modern French Catholicism. He is coauthor of By Those Who Knew Them: French Modernists Left, Right, and Center, and editor of Modernists and Mystics, both published by the Catholic University of America Press. The work is co-translated by Elizabeth Emery of Montclair State University.
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