The 2015 Hart/Feingold Debate

Moderator: How do you understand the legacy of De Lubac?

Feingold: He ignited a debate that had been going on for seven centuries. It began with St. Thomas Aquinas, who held that perfect happiness is the fulfillment of all our natural desires. The desire to see God is the highest natural desire, yet it is a natural desire that nothing natural can satisfy. Aquinas draws from St. Paul (1 Cor 2:9) to show that the vision of God’s face is above all natural desire and above our innate inclinations. He does not, however, resolve the tension between natural desire and its “super-natural” fulfillment in God. Later on, theological divisions emerge between various interpretations of the natural/supernatural question.

Hart: De Lubac’s first intuition was that the terms “natural” and “supernatural” are too tidy. Though convenient, they distort the revelation of God in Christ and in Creation. Although there is no way to get a satisfactory answer from Aquinas on this question, I believe that de Lubac reinvigorated Aquinas by reading him as an inheritor of Patristic tradition.

Read the transcript of the highlights of the debate.

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1 Response to The 2015 Hart/Feingold Debate

  1. DBH says:

    A warning: Ben Winter’s “transcript” (actually a useful and impressively adept summary) still suffers from some large errors. Where you see the word “metempsychosis” in the transcript, the actual phrase should be “metabasis eis allo genos”.

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