Ontology, exegesis, and culture in the thought of Henri de Lubac.
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Hollon, Bryan C.
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This dissertation examines the continuity between Henri de Lubac's retrieval of patristic and medieval exegesis and his treatment of the ontological relationship between nature and grace. I argue that, for de Lubac, the spiritual exegesis of Scripture, which is best exemplified in the work of patristic and medieval theologians, is constitutive for the church in its engagement with secular culture and in the ultimate extension of, what John Milbank calls, a "Christianised ontology." While embracing many of Milbank's insights on the relationship between Christology and ecclesiology, I argue that his relative silence concerning the role of biblical exegesis in the church's engagement with culture stems from an insufficient consideration of Scripture's function in mediating Christ to the church and through the Church to a fallen world. This dissertation argues that de Lubac's theological appropriation of the philosophy of history and participatory ontology of ancient Christian exegesis can advance and offer a correction to the work of recent postliberal theologians such as Hans Frei and George Lindbeck as well as radical orthodoxy theologians such as Milbank, Catherine Pickstock, and Graham Ward.