Thursday, September 4, 2008

Avery Cardinal Dulles turns 90

Avery Cardinal Dulles celebrated his 90th birthday the other week, and Ignatius Insight offers some coverage of the event. The cardinal is becoming increasingly frail these days because of post-polio complications. He is now in a wheelchair and cannot speak, which has led him to cancel a number of engagements of late (including a paper for a conference at Wheaton College that would have been given this fall semester). That said, he remains quite active and an inspiration for many. His latest publication, Church and Society, offers in print the Laurence J. McGinley lectures, which he has given twice each year since 1988.


  1. Given my rather myopic ecclesial vision, whenever I hear of Dulles in the news it amazes me: "He's still alive?"

    Any thoughts as to where on the paradigmatic spectrum his Church and Society can be located?

  2. I haven't read the new compilation, although I've read one or two of the essays. here is a link to video of some of the lectures. I think I'm also seen a few in fulltext online, and I'll post those here if I find them.

    I really don't know exactly where Dulles would be coming from, especially in the more societal questions. From the ecclesiology that I do know of him, he will sound a lot like the people at Ignatius Press- a good, Ratzingeresque focus on a robust catholicity, although with a bit more ecumenical focus coming from Dulles, I think. "The Population of Hell" is an interesting lecture where Dulles deals with a lot of recent thought on the matter; most important here is his interaction with Balthasar's Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved? (this book has been very influential for me, so I don't follow all of Dulles' criticisms).

    Some of his work has been published in First Things as well, to give you a sense of what flavor these lectures will have.