The Legacy of Cardinal Dulles

Readers may want to put on their radar a volume (really an extended bibliography) that attempts to catalogue the complete written works of Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ. Titled The Legacy of Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.: His Words and His Witness, the compendium has recently been released by Fordham University Press.

As noted in the Preface, the late cardinal remains a figure who simply “must be included in any objective conversation of the most influential and prolific theologians in American history.” Indeed, in terms of twentieth century American Catholic thinkers, Dulles is a near-solitary figure (the only other real competitor for his stature being John Courtney Murray).

A former Naval officer and son of a respected Secretary of State, Dulles had a conversion experience while a student at Harvard University, and subsequently entered the Jesuits. In his introduction to this new volume, retired Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick notes that he always felt a certain distance from Dulles, but that this distance was a byproduct of reverence rather than aloofness. It is just the sort of segue readers less familiar with with work of Dulles may need to spur further investigation into this bookish, respected, and ‘dynamically orthodox’ thinker.

The volume itself will doubtlessly prove extraordinarily useful to future researchers, whether they are undergraduates finishing term papers or professional biographers conducting a major survey of the man’s life, as it will save countless hours that might be spent compiling obscure reference information and parsing through old newspapers, magazines, and publishing catalogues. [more]


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