Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hinze, Bradford E.

Second Advisor

Hills, Julian V.

Third Advisor

Firer Hinze, Christine


This dissertation analyzes Schillebeeckx's development of an experiential soteriology in order to elicit the underlying anthropology that emerges from his enterprise: "A particular experience stands at the beginning of Christianity. It began with an encounter." This study advances the claim that the contour of Schillebeeckx's anthropology is best traced in relation to his soteriology which is located at the cross-section of the Legitimate claims of a secular world, the bedeviling cries of human suffering and the perplexing plurality of competing cultural and religious claims. Chapter One provides a brief overview of Schillebeeckx's theological career highlighting a number of defining features that have evolved over the course of that career and that serve to structure his soteriological anthropology. Chapter Two analyzes Schillebeeckx's treatment of salvation in a secular world. Chapter Three discusses his rendition of salvation in a suffering world. Chapter Four addresses Schillebeeckx's presentation of salvation in a pluralistic world. Having analyzed Schillebeeckx's soteriology in light of the intersection of a secular, suffering, pluralistic world, Chapter Five focuses upon the anthropological insights that inform his project. For Schillebeeckx, the humanum --human life lived in the fullness of the gift of salvation--remains an open-ended, eschatological reality that nonetheless remains embedded in history. As an eschatological reality, the humanum can only be experienced historically through the engagement of a praxis that seeks to secure a more humane wand by healing the suffering that plagues human lives and securing a more just set of structures by which humanity continues to build the world and make human history. This historical experience of the humanum is ordered by anthropological constants that result from the structure of mediated immediacy, and stands under an eschatological proviso that holds the human adventure open to further development and fulfillment. In the final analysis, the humanum is a theological reality--the gift of the living G-D who creates and saves. This examination of Schillebeeckx's use of the category of salvation and its underlying anthropological tenets is meant to highlight the relevance of Schillebeeckx's theological project amid the pluralistic theological landscape that characterizes this first decade of the twenty-first century.



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