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The title may be a distraction since this deals with Teilhard de Chardin's concept of the Feminine, not only as the ""unitive aspect"" of the real but also as expressed in Roman Catholic teaching with respect to the Virgin Mary. Father De Lubac shows that Teilhard's writings about the Virgin accord with the central doctrines of the Church. Readers without this Roman Catholic orientation may not assign this theme as high a place in Teilhard's whole body of writing as this essay apparently does. The second part of the book is a more explicit attempt to show that a true understanding of Teilhard's thought, far from contradicting Church teaching, actually provides a ""prophylactic"" against some of the tendencies that have produced crisis in the Church in our time. The ""new approach"" initiated by the recent Vatican Councils shows Teilhard as being, perhaps, a generation ahead of his time; but on such primary matters as God, Christ, the Church, and the place of tradition and obedience, he is seen as being firmly in accord with what is essential. The resulting apologia may be reassuring to those who have been fearful of the impact of Teilhard upon the teachings of the Church; on the other hand, it may not satisfy those committed to a stricter dogmatic position, or to those who have seen Teilhard as a radical revisionist of Church doctrine. Father De Lubac's writing is clear, scholarly, and balanced, and well supported by a command of Teilhard's writings.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1971
Publisher: Harper & Row