George Tyrrell and Catholic modernism

Oliver P. Rafferty SJ, editor

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-236-0
May 2010. 188pp.

‘Enormously valuable … Oliver Rafferty is to be highly commended for this timely volume (commemorating the centenary of Tyrrell’s death), which casts light on a hugely important Irish-born theologian whose writings raise questions which sound eerily contemporary in our early twenty-first century', Salvador Ryan, The Furrow (March 2011).

‘The essays are intelligently conceived and well written. This valuable collection belongs in every academic library', David G. Schultenover, Catholic Historical Review.

‘Just as one man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist, so it is that one Catholic’s groundbreaking theologian is another’s heretic. George Tyrrell and Catholic Modernism, a collection of essays to mark the centenary of the death of its subject, gives further proof to the old maxim. As the editor, Oliver Rafferty SJ outlines in his tidy contributions, Tyrrell divided opinion wherever he went … This intelligent and provocative collection wonderfully contextualises the ongoing struggles to interpret the Church’s relationship to the world. Even if one is out of sympathy with Tyrrell’s arguments, it does not stop this collection being stimulating reading from not only an historical but also a contemporary viewpoint', James Kelly, The Catholic Times (June 2010).

‘Tyrrell, whose death occurred 100 years ago, was something of an oddity, even a renegade, in the Catholic church in the late 19th century. A Jesuit, he was excommunicated for expounding his radical ideas, although he never gave up his Christianity. What got Tyrrell into trouble was his attend to reconcile the teachings of the church with new findings in science and new ideas about society. A century later these conflicts still exists, although in a different form, and the contributors to the book, both Jesuits and lay academics, re-evaluate Tyrrell’s ideas in modern terms as they address various aspects of his life and works such as his relationship with Cardinal Newman, the whole idea of Catholic modernism, his time as a Jesuit and so on. The writers all have an eye on today’s world and the current battle between faith and reason', Books Ireland (September 2010).

'Oliver Rafferty contributes two pieces giving the historical background to Tyrrell … both of them are admirable in setting the scene; this book could find a place in any academic library on the basis of these two pieces alone … I am in no doubt that this volume is indeed the fitting tribute to Tyrrell’s memory that the editor hoped it would be', Michael McGuckian, SJ, Studies (Autumn 2010).

‘The overall standard [of the essays] is high … sometimes, as with the editor’s excellent discussion of Tyrell’s relationship to the English Jesuits, there are some surprising details … the book should help place a complex thinker in his historical context and invite further work on a turbulent period in Roman Catholic history', Mark Chapman, The Journal of Theological Studies (2011).

‘This significant collection, gathered to commemorate one of the key Anglo-Irish figures of Catholic Modernism, George Tyrrell, explores this recurrent problem for Catholic theology and his peculiar attempts to address the critical challenges of his day. All the essays collected here are excellent quality while preserving substantial variety of voice and perspective on their subject … this collection is a most recommendable study of the range of issues raised by Tyrrell and the Catholic Modernism he came to represent. It also presents a fascinating historical mirror to so many ecclesiological conflicts unresolved today', Janette Gray RSM, Recusant History (2011).

‘This timely collection of essays, published just a year after the centenary of Tyrrell’s death, is a significant re-evaluation of his life and thought … There is much material in this collection that will be of interest ecumenically, drawing from Tyrrell’s writings which were well ahead of their time. Futher studies of Tyrrell of this calibre will surely be welcomed', Mervyn Davies, One in Christ (2011).