Work of Love: A Theological Reconstruction of the Communion of Saints

University of Notre Dame Pess
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The saints are good company. They are the heroes of the faith who blazed new and creative paths to holiness; they are the witnesses whose testimonies echo throughout the ages in the memory of the Church. Most Christians, and particularly Catholics, are likely to have their own favorite saints, those who inspire and “speak” to believers as they pray and struggle through the challenges of their own lives. Leonard DeLorenzo’s book addresses the idea of the communion of saints, rather than individual saints, with the conviction that what makes the saints holy and what forms them into a communion is one and the same. Work of Love investigates the issue of communication within the communio sanctorum and the fullness of Christian hope in the face of the meaning—or meaninglessness—of death. In an effort to revitalize a theological topic that for much of Catholic history has been an indelible part of the Catholic imaginary, DeLorenzo invokes the ideas of not only many theological figures (Rahner, Ratzinger, Balathasar, and de Lubac, among others) but also historians, philosophers (notably Heidegger and Nietzsche), and literary figures (Rilke and Dante) to create a rich tableau. By working across several disciplines, DeLorenzo argues for a vigorous renewal in the Christian imagination of the theological concept of the communion of saints. He concludes that the embodied witness of the saints themselves, as well as the liturgical and devotional movements of the Church at prayer, testifies to the central importance of the communion of saints as the eschatological hope and fulfillment of the promises of Christ.
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About the author

Leonard J. DeLorenzo is associate professional specialist and Director of Notre Dame Vision in the McGrath Institute for Church Life, and he also teaches in the Department of Theology at Notre Dame.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Notre Dame Pess
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Published on
Feb 2, 2017
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Pages
392
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ISBN
9780268100964
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christian Theology / History
Religion / Christianity / Catholic
Religion / Theology
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John C. Cavadini
The Blessed Virgin Mary is uniquely associated with Catholicism, and the century preceding the Second Vatican Council was arguably the most fertile era for Catholic Marian studies. In 1964, Pope Paul VI published the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, or Lumen Gentium (LG), the eighth chapter of which presents the most comprehensive magisterial teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary. As part of its Marian Initiative, the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame invited scholars to a conference held at Notre Dame in October 2013 to reflect the rich Marian legacy on the eve of the Second Vatican Council.

This volume, which is dedicated to Fr. Edward D. O’Connor, C.S.C., contains essays highlighting the historical development of Mariology during the “Marian century,” by major ressourcement theologians, whose reflections decisively influenced the development of the Lumen Gentium, as well as Marian modalities emerging in the Catholic Church of that time. It concludes with a pastoral reflection and impulse to recover the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the nexus mysteriorum (Benedict XVI), uniting within herself and re-echoing the greatest mysteries and teachings of the faith (Cf. LG, 65). The essays unanimously stress that the Blessed Virgin Mary is not merely a peripheral figure in Christian faith and in the panorama of theology. More than fifty years after Lumen Gentium, students of theology as well as Marian devotees take their bearings from this document in order to promote the person of Mary and the study of Mariology, as well as grow in authentic Marian piety. This book will have great appeal to students and scholars of Catholic theology and history, particularly those interested in Mariology.

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Danielle M. Peters is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. ns, Angelo Falcón, Juan Flores, Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Ramona Hernández, Luz Yadira Herrera, Gilbert Marzán, Ed Morales, Pedro A. Noguera, Rosalía Reyes, Clara E. Rodríguez, José Ramón Sánchez, Walker Simon, Robert Courtney Smith, Andrés Torres, and Silvio Torres-Saillant.

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