Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

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Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
Garrigou1.jpeg
Pére Garrigou-Lagrange as a young priest
Born (1877-02-21)February 21, 1877
France Auch, France
Died February 15, 1964(1964-02-15)
Holy See Vatican City
Other names Gontran-Marie Garrigou-Lagrange
Education University of Bordeaux (medicine), Sorbonne (philosophy)
Ordained Dominican
Writings see below

Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877–1964) was a French Catholic theologian. He has been considered a leading neo-Thomist of the 20th century, along with Jacobus Ramírez, and Édouard Hugon.[1] He taught at the Dominican Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome from 1909 to 1960.

Life[edit]

Born February 21, 1877, in Auch, France, Garrigou-Lagrange experienced a conversion, while a medical student, though reading work by Ernest Hello (1828–85), a Breton writer. He joined the French Dominicans, studied and taught at Le Saulchoir, before moving to Rome, where he lectured at the Angelicum from 1909 until his retirement in 1960. In 1917 a special professorship in ascetical and mystical theology was created for him at the Angelicum, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

Thought[edit]

He is best known for his spiritual theology. His magnum opus in the field is The Three Ages of the Interior Life, in which he propounded the thesis that infused contemplation and the resulting mystical life are in the normal way of holiness of Christian perfection. This influenced the section entitled "Chapter V: The Universal Call to Holiness in the Church" in the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.[2]

His great achievement was to synthesise the highly abstract writings of St Thomas Aquinas with the experiential writings of St John of the Cross, showing how they are in perfect harmony with each other.[3]

Father Garrigou-Lagrange, the leading proponent of "strict observance Thomism", attracted wider attention when in 1946 he wrote against the Nouvelle Théologie theological movement, criticising it as Modernist.[4] He is also said to be the drafter of Pope Pius XII's 1950 encyclical Humani Generis, subtitled "Concerning Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine".[5]

Influence[edit]

The Osservatore Romano, Dec. 9-10, 1950 lists Garrigou-Lagrange among the names of the preparatory commission for the definition of the Assumption of Mary.[6]

Garrigou-Lagrange taught many eminent Catholic theologians during his academic career at the Angelicum.

Garrigou-Lagrange also supervised the doctoral research of Marie-Dominique Chenu, who being ordained in 1919, completed his doctorate in theology in 1920 with a dissertation entitled De contemplatione.[7] In the period between World War II and the Cold War Garrigou-Lagrange was the "torchbearer of orthodox Thomism" against Modernism.[8] In 1926 he served as the definitive consulter to Pope Pius XI in declaring John of the Cross a doctor of the church.[9]

He is commonly held to have influenced the decision in 1942 to place the privately circulated book Une école de théologie: le Saulchoir (Étiolles 1937) by Marie-Dominique Chenu O.P. on the Vatican's "Index of Forbidden Books" as the culmination of a polemic within the Dominican Order between the Angelicum supporters of a speculative scholasticism and the French revival Thomists who were more attentive to historical hermeneutics.[10]

Garrigou-Lagrange gave the retreat in Paris which attracted Yves Congar to leave the diocesan seminary in order to join the Dominicans.[11] Later, Congar's methodology was suspected of Modernism because it seemed to derive more from religious experience than from syllogistic analysis.[12]

Garrigou-Lagrange also supervised the doctoral research of Maurice Zundel who completed his dissertation in 1927 with a dissertation entitled L'Influence du nominalisme sur la pensée chrétienne.[13]

Perhaps the most famous of his students was the future Pope John Paul II, who was supervised by Garrigou-Lagrange for his doctoral research in the mid-1940s at the Angelicum, and whose encyclical Fides et Ratio is attributed to his training under the learned Dominican.

He died February 15, 1964 in Rome.

Works[edit]

He produced 28 books and hundreds of articles. Among the most famous works are:

Commentaries on the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas
Theological Works
  • Christian Perfection and Contemplation according to St Thomas Aquinas and St John of the Cross (1923)
  • God, His Existence and Nature: A Thomistic Solution of Certain Agnostic Antinomies (1914)
Marian Works
  • The Mother of the Saviour and our Interior Life (1948)
Philosophical Works
Works in Latin (originals)
  • De Revelatione per Ecclesiam Catholicam proposita – Theologia Fundamentalis secundum S. Thomae Doctrinam (Volume I & Volume II)
Works in Spanish (translated)

Works by or about Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange in libraries (WorldCat catalog)

Complete bibliography

Nearly all his works in Latin, English, French, Italian, and Spanish are downloadable here.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carrasquillo, Francisco J. Romero (2007-06-16). "Maritain's Thought and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange". Ite ad Thomam: "Go to Thomas!". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  2. ^ Mullady, Brian, O.P.. "Rehabilitation of Garrigou-Lagrange". Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  3. ^ "A saint in Heaven", by Fr. Thomas Crean, http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/thomas-crean/saint-in-heaven.htm Accessed 4-10-2012
  4. ^ See “Where is the New Theology Leading Us?.” See also his later article "The structure of the encyclical Humani Generis" and
  5. ^ Carrasquillo, Francisco J. Romero (2010-10-23). "Maritain's Thought and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange". Ite ad Thomam: "Go to Thomas!". Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  6. ^ http://www.ts.mu.edu/readers/content/pdf/12/12.4/12.4.4.pdf Accessed 2-6-2013
  7. ^ Praeambula Fidei: Thomism And the God of the Philosophers, Ralph McInerny, 2006, http://books.google.com/books?id=3FY1gtVu37sC&pg=PA108 Accessed May 24, 2012; Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology: A Return to Mystery, Hans Boersma, 2009, 136 http://books.google.com/books?id=514HmFl5y9AC&pg=PA136#v=onepage&q&f=false Accessed May 24, 2012
  8. ^ http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/le-eredita-2-i-postumi-della-crisi-modernista_(Cristiani-d'Italia)/ Accessed 10 September 2013
  9. ^ http://www.avvenire.it/Cultura/Pagine/il-tomista-assalto.aspx Accessed 17 Feb., 2014
  10. ^ http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/le-eredita-2-i-postumi-della-crisi-modernista_(Cristiani-d'Italia)/ Accessed 10 September 2013; Y. Congar, Chrétiens désunis. Principes d’un œcuménisme catholique, Paris 1937; The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, 304, http://books.google.com/books?id=7DmZB8fy_wcC&pg=PA303#v=onepage&q&f=false Accessed November 13, 2012; http://books.google.com/books?id=3FY1gtVu37sC&pg=PA38#v=onepage&q&f=false Accessed 10 September 2013
  11. ^ Fergus Kerr, Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians, (Blackwell, 2007), p10.
  12. ^ http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/le-eredita-2-i-postumi-della-crisi-modernista_(Cristiani-d'Italia)/ Accessed 10 September 2013; Y. Congar, Chrétiens désunis. Principes d’un œcuménisme catholique, Paris 1937; The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, 304, http://books.google.com/books?id=7DmZB8fy_wcC&pg=PA303#v=onepage&q&f=false Accessed November 13, 2012
  13. ^ http://www.annesigier.qc.ca/zundel/biographie.html Accessed 26 August 2013
  14. ^ The server is not always on, so if the link times out, try again later.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]