cover of book

Catholic Dogmatic Theology: A Synthesis: Book 1, On the Trinitarian Mystery of God
by Jean Herve Nicolas, OP
Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Allen Vigneron
Catholic University of America Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-8132-3440-3 | Paper: 978-0-8132-3439-7
Library of Congress Classification BX1751.3
Dewey Decimal Classification 230.2

Every discipline, including theology, requires a synthetic overview of its acquisitions and open questions, a kind of “topography” to guide the new student and refresh the gaze of specialists. In his Synthèse dogmatique, Fr. Jean-Hervé Nicolas, OP (1910-2001) presents just such a map of Thomistic theology, focusing on the central topics of Dogmatic Theology: The One and Triune God, Christology, Mariology, Ecclesiology, the Sacraments, and the Last Things. Drawing on decades of research and teaching, Fr. Nicolas synthetically presents these topics from a faithfully Thomistic perspective. While broadly and genially engaging the theological literature of the 20th century, he nonetheless remains deeply indebted to the Thomistic school that would have formed him in his youth as a theologian. This provides the reader with an unparalleled theological vision, masterfully bringing forth, at once, what is new and what is classical.

Catholic Theology: A Dogmatic Synthesis will be published in English as a multi-volume work. In this volume, Fr. Nicolas discusses the nature of theological science and the mystery of the Triune God. At once historically-informed and speculatively-detailed, this volume carefully introduces the reader to classical Thomistic positions concerning the theological articulation of the Trinitarian mystery, including the topic of the divine missions, that is, the sending of the Son and the Spirit in the economy of salvation, thereby providing an important connection between the dogmatic portion of theology and its spiritual / moral concerns. Given the central luminosity of the Trinitarian mystery in the life of faith and in theology, this volume is a pivotal chapter in theological reflection. Indeed, objectively speaking, it is the most important discussion in all of theology.

Serving as a professor for decades, including at the University of Fribourg, Fr. Nicolas was at once a profound scholar and a masterful pedagogue. Gathering the work of a lifetime into a single pedagogical narrative, Fr. Nicolas’s Catholic Theology: A Dogmatic Synthesis provides a resource for students and scholars alike. In view of the hyper-specialization of theology today, this series of volumes provides readers with a synthetic and sapiential overview of the fundamentals of dogmatic theology from a robust and profound Thomistic perspective.

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