THE ECCLESIOLOGY OF YVES CONGAR: FOUNDATIONAL THEMES
This dissertation presents a systematic interpretation and evaluation of Yves Congar's ecclesiology by means of a dialectic of structure and life which attempts to show the unity in difference between the church as mystery and the church as an historical reality. Such a study is important in view of the significant role Congar played in the ecclesiological developments of Vatican II and his impact on Roman Catholic ecclesiology since the 1930's. This study analyzes how the dialectic of structure and life is operative in Congar's approach to several major themes: reform in the church, the role of the lay person in the church, the relationship of church and world, and his understanding of the church as a communio. I show how Congar used a dialectic of structure and life as a framework within which he studied these major themes and through this effort contributed to the ongoing recovery of Roman Catholic ecclesiology from the stratifications of the neo-scholastic de ecclesia treatises. This occurred within the context of a ressourcement, a return to the sources, characteristic of la nouvelle theologie in French theology beginning in the 1930's, in which Yves Congar recovered elements from the traditions of the church as a basis for ongoing practical and theoretical reforms of ecclesiology. In Congar's thought structure represents the unchanging, constitutive elements of the church in its sacraments, teaching and governing, whereas life is understood as the graced response of Christians to the divine initiatives as expressed in scripture and the tradition. I seek to show a progress in Congar's use of the dialectic and to suggest that a more foundational understanding of it enhances its usefulness for ecclesiology. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of school.) UMI
TIMOTHY IGNATIUS MACDONALD,
"THE ECCLESIOLOGY OF YVES CONGAR: FOUNDATIONAL THEMES"
(January 1, 1981).
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