Saturday, November 27, 2010

Successful Garrigou-Lagrange Colloquium in Oxford

I couldn't attend the Server Training Day in Teading today, organised by the Society of St Tarcisius, because I was at a colloquium in Oxford held to discuss the theologian Garrigou-Lagrange.

It was organised by the Aquinas Institute, which is based at the Oxford Blackfriars; that's where the Colloquium took place. G-L was one of the most prominent orthodox theologians of the era leading up to the Second Vatican Council (he died in the 1950s), a period best known for it's dissidend theologians, some of whom sprang to prominence and influence during the Council itself. For this reason he has been unjustly neglected, and deserves a reappraisal.

He was renowned as a Thomist who combined his work on metaphysics with a large body of work on spirituality.

The Colloquium was a great success; the Aula at Blackfriars was packed; it was good to see about a dozen Dominicans there to discuss their confrere, including Br Lawrence Lew, Fr Aidan Nichols, and Fr Thomas Crean. There were lots of theology students from the University, and it was remarked how a serene discussion of G-L's merits was possible now, but would not have been twenty years ago. The instinctive and irrational barriers to the rehabilitation of a pre-Conciliar conservative theologian have, to a large extent, melted away.

Before I left I bought a copy of Aidan Nichols' 'Criticising the Critics', his recent work of apologetics, from the stall from St Philip's Books. I read the opening chapter, on Modernism, on the bus home and I recommend it highly as a short and clear introduction to Modernism as condemned by Pius X and as revived after the Second Vatican Council.

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