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Vatican II in Ireland, Fifty Years On

Essays in Honour of Pádraic Conway

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Edited By Dermot A. Lane

This book commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, which concluded in 1965. A selection of essays by distinguished Irish theologians offers an objective assessment of the historical reception and pastoral implementation of Vatican II in Ireland with the benefit of half a century’s hindsight. The authors discuss from a variety of different perspectives the theological significance of the Council for the self-understanding and reform of the Catholic church, both in the past and for the future.
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4 Ressourcement and Vatican II: Reform and Renewal

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GABRIEL FLYNN

4 Ressourcement and Vatican II: Reform and Renewal1

Introduction

The renowned generation of French ressourcement theologians, whose influence pervaded French theology and society in the period 1930 to 1960, and beyond, inspired a renaissance in twentieth-century Catholic theology and initiated a movement for renewal that made a decisive contribution to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965).2 The foremost exponents of ressourcement were principally, though not exclusively, leading ← 57 | 58 → French Dominicans and Jesuits of the faculties of Le Saulchoir (Paris) and Lyon-Fourvière, respectively. They included the Dominicans Marie-Dominique Chenu (1895–1990), Yves Congar (1904–1995), Dominique Dubarle (1907–1987), and Henri-Marie Féret (1904–1992), and the Jesuits Jean Daniélou (1905–1974), Henri de Lubac (1896–1991), Henri Bouillard (1908–1981), and Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) who, under the influence of Adrienne von Speyr (1902–1967), left the Society of Jesus in 1950 in order to found a “secular institute” for lay people.3 The movement ← 58 | 59 → also encompassed Belgium and Germany.4 De Lubac’s description of the methodology of ressourcement is apposite:

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