Articles in peer-reviewed journals by David Grumett

‘Practical Theology: the Past, Present and Future of a Concept’, Theology in Scotland 22, 2 (2015), 5–26.

‘De Lubac, Grace, and the Pure Nature Debate’, Modern Theology 31, 1 (2015), 123–46.

(with Thomas Plant) ‘De Lubac, Pure Land Buddhism, and Roman Catholicism’, The Journal of Religion 92, 1 (2012), 58–83.

'Animals in Christian Theology’, Religion Compass 5, 10 (2011), 579–88.

'Eat Less Meat: A New Ecological Imperative for Christian Ethics?', The Expository Times 123, 2 (2011), 54–62.

(with Luke Bretherton and Stephen R. Holmes) ‘Fast Food: A Critical Theological Perspective’, Food, Culture & Society 14, 3 (2011), 375–92.

'Radical Orthodoxy', The Expository Times 122, 6 (2011), 261–70.

'Blondel, the Philosophy of Action and Liberation Theology', Political Theology 11, 4 (2010), 502–24.

'Teilhard at Ore Place, Hastings, 1908–1912', New Blackfriars 90, 1030 (2009), 687–700.

'Eucharist, Matter and the Supernatural: Why de Lubac Needs Teilhard', International Journal of Systematic Theology 10, 2 (2008), 165–78.

'De Lubac, Christ and the Buddha', New Blackfriars 89, 1020 (2008), 217–30.

'Vegetarian or Franciscan? Flexible Dietary Choices Past and Present', Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 1, 4 (2007), 450–67.

'Blondel, Modern Catholic Theology and the Leibnizian Eucharistic Bond', Modern Theology 23, 4 (2007), 561–77.

'Yves de Montcheuil: Action, Justice and the Kingdom in Spiritual Resistance to Nazism', Theological Studies 68, 3 (2007), 618–41.

'Teilhard de Chardin's Evolutionary Natural Theology', Zygon 42, 2 (2007), 519–34.

'The Eucharistic Cosmology of Teilhard de Chardin', Theology 110, 853 (2007), 22–30.

'Give Us This Day our Supersubstantial Bread', Studia Liturgica 36, 2 (2006), 201–11.

'Action and/or Contemplation? Allegory and Liturgy in the Reception of Luke 10:38-42', Scottish Journal of Theology 59, 2 (2006), 125–39.

'The Enlightenment of the Magi: Faith and Reason in Matthew 2:1-12', Philosophy and Theology 17, 1/2 (2005), 3–16.

'Church, World and Christ in Teilhard de Chardin', Ecclesiology 1, 1 (2004), 87–103.

'Arendt, Augustine and Evil', The Heythrop Journal 41, 2 (2000), 154–69.

Abstracts

‘Practical Theology: the Past, Present and Future of a Concept’, Theology in Scotland 22, 2 (2015), 5–26.
Following the pattern set by Friedrich Schleiermacher, the concept of practical theology became well-established in Britain during the twentieth century as the subject was taught, with a clear ecclesial and pastoral focus, in the Scottish universities. In the present day, however, if practical theology is to be sustainable in the academy it needs to engage more closely with scripture, doctrine and tradition and in so doing to address, through mutually-generative and mutually-accountable interaction, the whole of material life. The university setting indeed provides opportunities for such wider engagements and research. When practical theology moves outside an ecclesial context, practice cannot be conceived as self-validating but must always remain subject to external theological critique.

‘De Lubac, Grace, and the Pure Nature Debate’, Modern Theology 31, 1 (2015), 123–46.
Henri de Lubac’s doctrine of grace and nature emerged out of the pastoral and sacramental context of confession. Although recent critics have assumed a Thomist setting, a close reading shows that the doctrine is rooted in de Lubac’s critical engagement with Augustinianism. In the form of Jansenism and drawing especially on Augustine’s late, anti-Pelagian writings, this sensibility pervaded modern French theology. Notwithstanding its distorted conceptions of grace’s mode of operation and of human nature, Jansenism provoked de Lubac into developing new understandings of the relation between belief and knowledge, and of theological anthropology. In advocating for the continuity of Augustine’s theology, de Lubac made an important contribution to Augustine scholarship. His resulting doctrine of grace and nature, in which the person of Adam is central, has wider, abiding theological salience.

(with Thomas Plant) ‘De Lubac, Pure Land Buddhism, and Roman Catholicism’, The Journal of Religion 92, 1 (2012), 58–83.
In his extensive study of Buddhism, Henri de Lubac indirectly pursues topics in Roman Catholic theology. The Pure Land Buddhism on which he focuses is the variety of Buddhism most conducive to Catholic theology, due not least to its personalism. Parallels may be identified between de Lubac’s discussions of Cajetan and Jansenius, and Hōnen and Shinran, on the grace–nature relation and human corruption. Nevertheless, he finds the doctrine of birth into the Pure Land ultimately incompatible with Christian incarnation and eschatology. Moreover, the negative way that Buddhism offers is challenged by christology, despite parallels in some mystical theology. For the Catholic, although Pure Land Buddhism cannot be regarded as itself a way to salvation, the virtues and disciplines it inculcates might contribute to the salvation of practitioners. This is because humanity in Christ is collective, and its salvation will therefore ultimately be universal.

'Animals in Christian Theology’, Religion Compass 5, 10 (2011), 579–88.
Animals appear to have been pushed to the margins of Christian theology. Andrew Linzey’s pioneering animal theology remedied this but now requires further development. Deeper readings are needed of historical theologians like Thomas Aquinas and Augustine on the topics of reason, rights and analogy. Physiologus and later Christian bestiaries must be mined in order to show how animals and other sentient beings, both real and mythical, image Christ and Christian virtues. Furthermore, present-day forms of animal–human relationality, including pet ownership and meat-eating, need to be appraised theologically. The result, achieved via close textual reading, constructive synthesis and interdisciplinary engagement, will be a theological re-evaluation of animals and other sentient beings as moral agents and theological sources.

'Eat Less Meat: A New Ecological Imperative for Christian Ethics?', The Expository Times 123, 2 (2011), 54–62.
Awareness of the large contribution made by livestock production to global warming is growing rapidly. In response, John Barclay has developed an important Pauline call for greatly reducing meat consumption. The case from scripture can be strengthened by attending to the rich history of weekly, seasonal and occasional meat abstention in secular Christian society, which was grounded in a collective literal reading of both Testaments and a desire to enter into the life of Christ. In monasteries, moreover, red meat was prohibited. In the present-day context, these traditions of lived biblical interpretation need to be recovered and rearticulated.

(with Luke Bretherton and Stephen R. Holmes) ‘Fast Food: A Critical Theological Perspective’, Food, Culture & Society 14, 3 (2011), 375–92.
Mass fast food pervades modern society. We here offer a critical theological appraisal of fast food and of the nexus of social values of which it is part. We assess its production and consumption within the doctrinal contexts of creation, fall and redemption, and identify tensions between fast food culture and theologically-formed approaches to food and eating. The continual availability of fast food, its homogeneity, and its dislocation from locally-shaped eating practices can all be seen as aspects of humankind’s fallen state, and ultimately as signs of misdirected appetite. They contrast with the inculturated and social character of faithful eating, including with some other historic and present-day takeaway cultures.

'Radical Orthodoxy', The Expository Times 122, 6 (2011), 261–70.
Radical Orthodoxy was launched in 1999 by Cambridge theologians John Milbank, Catherine Pickstock and Graham Ward. It sought to contest secular culture and the sidelining of theology from academic and public discourse by demonstrating the insufficiency of any account of reality that purported to exclude religion or theology. Key themes have included culture, participation, gift, liturgy, erotic desire and the body. This introductory article identifies overarching features and developments but also highlights the diversity of Radical Orthodoxy even among its best-known representatives. Notwithstanding faults identified by various critics, Radical Orthodoxy remains an important new theological sensibility and phenomenon and its interpretive power needs to be grasped alongside possible weaknesses. Radical Orthodoxy can be embraced or rejected, but not ignored.

'Blondel, the Philosophy of Action and Liberation Theology', Political Theology 11, 4 (2010), 502–24.
Maurice Blondel's philosophy of action and concrete political theology provide foundations for modern theologies of action. By commencing with the reflective subject, Blondel compensates the deficiencies of collectivist Marxist social analysis. He did not live to complete his account of the social, political and economic implications of his philosophy, but they are realized in the work and witness of others: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Yves de Montcheuil, Henri de Lubac and John McNeill. Liberation theologians of diverse persuasions need especially to acknowledge their debt to Blondel in an era when, in Western societies, the fundamental context of action is no longer material but intellectual, spiritual and interpersonal. The abstract nature of his thought means that he frequently opens suggestive paths into further reflection rather than prescribing complete solutions to specific practical questions.

'Teilhard at Ore Place, Hastings, 1908–1912', New Blackfriars 90, 1030 (2009), 687–700.
The crucial role of the French Jesuit theologate in exile at Ore Place, Hastings (1906–26) in the development of la nouvelle théologie has been greatly overlooked in favour of Lyons and Fourvière. In fact, Ore Place played a key early role in the ressourcement of twentieth century French catholic theology through constituting a unified and sympathetic scholarly community during an era of theological and political turmoil. One of the theologate's best-known students was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1908–12), while other teachers and students included Pierre Charles, Joseph Huby, Henri de Lubac, Ferdinand Prat, Pierre Rousselot, and Auguste Valensin. Within this congenial scholarly community, Teilhard developed some key theological foundations of his thought on topics including grace and nature (miracles, anthropology, and evolution) and christology, and was ordained. The full importance of theological formation at Ore Place for the thought of Teilhard and other French Jesuits of his generation has rarely been recognized.

'Eucharist, Matter and the Supernatural: Why de Lubac Needs Teilhard', International Journal of Systematic Theology 10, 2 (2008), 165–78.
Henri de Lubac intended to found his theology on a revaluation of nature achieved by reasserting its dependence on divine action. He usually identifies nature with human nature however, and therefore fails to demonstrate that the entire natural order depends on God for its creation, preservation and redemption. In his extensive engagement with the oeuvre of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, de Lubac nevertheless begins to revise this reduction of nature to human nature, although does not fully incoprorate these insights into his theology. Teilhard’s fundamentally eucharistic understanding of materiality provides suggestive possibilities for the successful completion of de Lubac’s abolition of the theory of pure nature.

'De Lubac, Christ and the Buddha', New Blackfriars 89, 1020 (2008), 217–30.
Cardinal Henri de Lubac (1896–1991) considered Buddhism to be, after Christianity, the greatest spiritual fact of history. His groundbreaking studies of Buddhism have nevertheless received little previous scholarly attention. De Lubac focuses on Amidism, also known as Pure Land Buddhism, because he regards it as the form of Buddhism possessing greatest affinity with Christian faith, particularly in its conceptions of charity and divine personality. Religion cannot be considered in isolation from culture, however. De Lubac argues that Christian-Buddhist encounter is, wherever it occurs, necessarily also an encounter between Western culture and Buddhism, in the course of which boundaries between religions and cultures are continually defined, dissolved and redefined, especially in the understanding of human personhood. He nevertheless defends the universality of faith in Christ, the Word made flesh, in whom the desire of nature for God characteristic of the whole of humanity is fully expressed and realized.

'Vegetarian or Franciscan? Flexible Dietary Choices Past and Present', Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 1, 4 (2007), 450–67.
Francis of Assisi is often understood, both by modern commentators and his contemporaries, to have been vegetarian. Textual evidence contradicts this supposition and shows that he sometimes ate meat. As a guest, Francis would not refuse meat if offered it, and when he himself received guests, normal dietary practices were sometimes disrupted. Sickness was a second reason for exemptions from normal dining practices. Moreover, as the Franciscan Rule developed, Francis opposed agitation for more rigorist discipline. This was because rigid abstention might have created boundaries that hindered the spread of the Gospel, and have identified the nascent Franciscan order with heretical sects. Francis’s dietary practices should be seen in light of his hierarchical view of creation, according to which every living being praises God but is also available for human use and consumption as food, at least in the present age. This retrieval of a more accurate picture of Francis than the one dominant in modern popular imagination aids understanding of modern vegetarianisms by both scholars and the wider public.

'Blondel, Modern Catholic Theology and the Leibnizian Eucharistic Bond', Modern Theology 23, 4 (2007), 561–77.
The category of substance is fundamental in Leibniz’s philosophy, and conceived in specifically theological terms in his late correspondence with Bartholomaeus des Bosses. The exchange develops as a discussion of the bond of substance (vinculum substantiale) in the transubstantiated eucharistic host, but the bond also provides the basis for a general theory of universal substance. This eucharistic vision of the substance of the world is appropriated by Maurice Blondel as the basis of his philosophy of action, in which divine transforming activity is necessarily implied, and which he describes as a form of transubstantiation of both the subject of action and its material object. This Leibnizian-Blondelian theology of the divine transformation of the substance of the world provides eucharistic foundations for modern catholic social teaching.

'Yves de Montcheuil: Action, Justice and the Kingdom in Spiritual Resistance to Nazism', Theological Studies 68, 3 (2007), 618–41.
The few extant studies of Jesuit martyr and theologian Yves de Montcheuil focus on his life and theology. This article combines these considerations with philosophical and political ones by examining how Montcheuil’s spiritual resistance to Nazism emerges from his study of action and justice in the thought of Nicolas Malebranche and Maurice Blondel. Montcheuil’s oeuvre culminates in a lived theology of sacrifice, and shows how the French war experience contributed to doctrinal development in areas such as faith and action, liberation theology, church–state relations, and lay ecclesiology.

'Teilhard de Chardin's Evolutionary Natural Theology', Zygon 42, 2 (2007), 519–34.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin develops, as is well known, a model of evolution as a convergent progression from primordial multiplicity through increasing degrees of complexity toward a final Omega point of spiritual consummation. I explore how Teilhard fuses Darwinian and Lamarckian theories of evolution in developing his own, and in particular his defense of the view that Lamarckism is fundamental to a proper understanding of evolution’s human phase. Teilhard’s scientific interpretation of evolution is inspired by Christian cosmological insights derived from patristic theology and contemporary Pauline scholarship and cannot be separated from them. His integration of science and theology provides the basis for a renewed evolutionary natural theology that supplants the traditional static models developed by William Paley and others. Teilhard’s natural theology also provides a framework for theological ethical reflection on how humanity should act in its capacity as created co-creator with God. In later work, he considers the implications of his evolutionary theology for the wider universe. Teilhard thus presents an invigorated natural theology grounded in evolution that confirms and completes a dynamic and teleological view of the cosmos.

'The Eucharistic Cosmology of Teilhard de Chardin', Theology 110, 1 (2007), 22–30.
A creative renewal of metaphysical conceptions of eucharistic consecration in the face of dominant models based on ecclesial community has the potential to make a valuable contribution to mission and spirituality by relating the eucharist to the active lives of lay people within the church and outside it. This is a possibility for many churches and not just those with a catholic liturgical tradition. The Jesuit theologian and palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin develops a suggestive eucharistic theology as part of a cosmological vision in which the whole of creation is ultimately dependent on the transforming power of the eucharist. The antecedents of this theology are to be found in the philosophy of Gottfried Leibniz and Maurice Blondel, and it has clear affinities with Gregory of Nyssa’s eucharistic imagery. Fundamental to it are the notions of sacred space, incarnation and transfiguration.

'Give Us This Day our Supersubstantial Bread', Studia Liturgica 36, 2 (2006), 201–211.
Different Latin adjectives are used to describe the bread in the two Vulgate versions of the Lord’s Prayer: supersubstantialem, or 'supersubstantial', in Matthew 6.11, and cotidianum, or 'daily', in Luke 11.3. Modern English translations have preferred to render the problematic term 'epiousion' as 'daily' but with insufficient justification. 'Supersubstantial' makes equally good sense however in the related contexts of Temple liturgy and eucharistic theology, particularly in light of the recent undermining of exegetical arguments in favour of 'daily' previously regarded as sound.

'Action and/or Contemplation? Allegory and Liturgy in the Reception of Luke 10:38-42', Scottish Journal of Theology 59, 2 (2006), 125–39.
The brief account of the hospitality offered by Martha and Mary to Jesus has been interpreted allegorically in at least three different ways. The majority tradition has identified the figure of Mary with contemplation, and considered this to be the ‘one thing necessary’ to Christian life. Meister Eckhart suggests, however, that Martha, representing action, has chosen the better part, and Aelred of Rievaulx that action and contemplation are both commended. Feminist and other recent interpretations continue, sometimes unconsciously, to draw on this allegorical tradition. The theological importance and significance of the passage has been due largely to its use as the gospel reading for the feast of the Assumption of Mary the mother of Jesus.

'The Enlightenment of the Magi: Faith and Reason in Matthew 2:1-12', Philosophy and Theology 17, 1/2 (2005), 3–16.
Matthew’s account of the journey of the magi to Jesus has been employed in historical theology to articulate the relation between reason and faith in four different ways: i) reason and faith forming a unity; ii) reason co-operating with faith; iii) reason being the tool of faith; iv) reason being superseded by faith. The paper considers each of these categories in turn, and thus progressively separates the two terms. It demonstrates that 'faith' and 'reason' are equivocal concepts, and that their relationship is itself a key determinant of their nature. A plurality of forms of reasoning enables the journey to be completed, with each form providing a distinct contribution to a shared faith.

'Church, World and Christ in Teilhard de Chardin', Ecclesiology 1, 1 (2004), 87–103.
In the cosmology and theology of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the Church has not often been considered to possess any significant function. In fact, Teilhard devotes considerable attention to several key ecclesiological questions. Fundamental to the Christian mission of the conversion of the world to Christ is an incarnational theology of the conversion of the Church to the world. This requires the Church to accept the modern world as currently and contingently constituted. The Church spiritually transforms the materiality of the world in its sacraments and through the practical works of its members. It provides the physical means of the convergence of the world towards its final unity, and for this reason calls its members to obedience, despite its imperfections. Catholicism has the potential to bring all Christians to unity in a self-transforming ecumenism that could also encompass other faiths.

'Arendt, Augustine and Evil', The Heythrop Journal 41, 2 (2000), 154–69.
The publication of Hannah Arendt's doctoral these Love and Saint Augustine forces reappraisal of the view that Arendt's concept of evil originates in her experience of totalitarianism and coverage of the Eichmann trial. Augustine's account of the original nature of evil in the contexts of ontology, society and divine providence in fact provides the basis for Arendt's analysis of the banality of evil in the individual, the social, and the political spheres. Augustine's internal and external mental triads moreover contribute to Arendt's own thinking-willing-judging triad and allow a clearer understanding of its dynamics. The fact that Arendt's analysis derives much of its power from her appropriation of Augustinian theological concepts suggests a need for the increased diffusion of theological concepts in political thought.



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