THOMISM IN AN AGE OF RENEWAL by Ralph McInerny

THOMISM IN AN AGE OF RENEWAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Catholics have not been doing well philosophically and they have been out of contact with their contemporaries,"" states Professor McInerny in an essay ostensibly written as a vade mecum for a renewal of Thomistic thinking vis a vis modern problems, but which, alas, merely underscores the above quotation. The title, for instance, is almost totally misleading, since there is in these rambling pages neither an exposition of the teachings of the ""Angelic Doctor,"" nor of the adversary claims regarding positivism, phenomenology, and existentialism, or even a discussion of the partisan responses of Maritain or (on a different level) of Marcel. It is a very parochial work, oscillating between ingratiating chatter (academic ""wit"" re Professor Pumpernickel or Neurotic State) and a kind of white paper proposal ""for a change of style and a new look at substance, a new look at Aquinas, a timely way of being Thomistic"" in the Church, the seminary, and the Catholic college, and thus ""to strike the difficult balance between old and new...surely the profoundest sense of renewal, of aggiornamento."" But surely these sentiments are merely asserted rather than deeply examined, and the book, despite its ancillary comments about Kierkegaard or Leo XIII or Scholasticism, really amounts to an amorphous exhortation, a pedagogical pep talk to get a moribund curriculum moving, hopefully allowing for pluralistic pursuits under the Thomist lodestar. An all too earnest first endeavor.

Publisher: Doubleday