Now available in the INTERVENTIONS series: Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ, by Aaron Riches, with a foreword by Rowan Williams (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2016; 301pp+).
Interacting with theologians throughout the ages, Riches narrates the development of the church’s doctrine of Christ as an increasingly profound realization that the depth of the difference between the human being and God is realized, in fact, only in the perfect union of divinity and humanity in the one Christ. He sets the apostolic proclamation in its historical, theological, philosophical, and mystical context, showing that, as the starting point of “orthodoxy,” it forecloses every theological attempt to divide or reduce the “one Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ fulfills a need for a readable, philosophically well-informed Christology. Perceiving that the great temptation of modern Christians is to imagine Jesus as so very nice that he was just about God, Riches shows how the Christian tradition has envisaged Jesus as so profoundly divine that he was able to enter human nature and transform it. . . . With his learned reinterpretation of the tradition, Riches is creating a new paradigm for Christology. This book is a milestone for Christology in the twenty-first century.” — Francesca Murphy, University of Notre Dame
“This book, in a way that is all too rare today, unites genuinely historical and theological study. Contemporary scholarship tends to separate the man Jesus from the divine Word and, consequently, to banish the divine from the created realm. Aaron Riches shows us, instead, how to understand — boldly, coherently, and consistently — the paradox of the one Lord Jesus Christ. . . . An insightful, stimulating, and often provocative presentation of the person of Christ for today.” — John Behr, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, New York
“Aaron Riches has here produced by far the most novel, scholarly, and consequent contribution to Christology of recent times. He exposes the dominant semi-Nestorianism of modern theology, traces its ultimate roots in the difficult reception of the conciliar tradition from Ephesus to Constantinople II in the Latin West, and the resurgence of homo assumptus Christology in the Middle Ages and then, more powerfully, among Scotists; against this perennial semi-Nestorianism he argues instead for the more radical orthodoxy of the Cyrillian position, recovered in the Middle Ages by Thomas Aquinas, and expressed for Riches in a mystical key by the seventeenth-century French Dominican writer Louis Chardon.” — John Milbank, University of Nottingham
“A remarkable achievement. This book brings to life the great Christological themes of the later Patristic period, which are often buried under the weight of their technical terminology. Aaron Riches shows how the tradition shaped by Cyril of Alexandria, received in East and West, sheds light on the theological conversation today and leads us to a fuller and richer understanding of the mystery of Christ than do many modern approaches.” — Uwe Michael Lang, Heythrop College, University of London
“A highly significant contribution to the field of Christology. Aaron Riches argues that the Christology sanctioned by the great ecumenical councils of the first millennium was not about finding some middle line that balanced out excessive and mutually competitive emphases on Jesus’ divinity or humanity. Rather, it was animated by an existential and liturgical encounter with the one Lord Jesus Christ, whose integral duality is recognizable only to the extent that his absolute singularity is maintained.” — Tracey Rowland, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Melbourne
“Pondering the confession of the ‘one Lord Jesus Christ’ that is the basis of the Nicene faith, Riches demonstrates what is at stake in recognizing that Christianity reaches into the most intimate depths of the human being.” — David L. Schindler, Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family
Forthcoming in May: A Theology of Grace in Six Controversies, by Edward T. Oakes, S.J., with a foreword by Bishop Robert Baron (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. Be. Eerdmans, 2016; 270pp+).
Few topics in theology are as complex and multifaceted as grace: over the course of centuries, many seemingly arbitrary distinctions and arcane debates have arisen around it. Edward Oakes, however, argues that all of these distinctions and debates are ultimately motivated by one central question: What are God’s intentions for the world?
In A Theology of Grace in Six Controversies Oakes examines issues relating to grace and points them back to that central question, illuminating and explaining what is really at stake in these debates. Maintaining that controversies clarify issues, especially those as convoluted as that of grace, Oakes works through six central debates on the topic, including sin and justification, evolution and original sin, and free will and predestination.
“Deeply cultured, brilliant, and witty, Edward Oakes was an irreplaceable theologian. Reading Oakes, I always think that this is what it would have been like had Chesterton written the works of von Balthasar. One finds here a master of Christian apologetics drawing upon the full spectrum of the Christian tradition’s resources and delivering highly intellectual arguments in wonderfully accessible prose. Specialists and nonspecialists alike will relish this fitting last testament to grace from the pen of one of America’s greatest Jesuits.” — Matthew Levering, author of Proofs of God: Classical Arguments from Tertullian to Barth
“Fr. Edward Oakes will be remembered as one of the finest American Catholic theologians of his generation. With A Theology of Grace in Six Controversies, he has given the church and contemporary theology a final offering — a work as daring as it is faithful, as provocative as it is irenic, as creative as it is traditional. This book promises to change the terms of the question concerning the relation of nature and grace. A must-read for anyone interested in contemporary theology.” — Aaron Riches, author of Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ