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BOOK REVIEWS355 point, historians inclined to classify the Catholic Reformation as "patriarchal" may need to revise such a label. Thomas Worcester, SJ. College ofthe Holy Cross An Irish Theologian in Enlightenment France: LukeJoseph Hooke 1714-96. By Thomas O'Connor. (Portland, Oregon: Four Courts Press. 1995. Pp. 218. $39.50.) Readers of R. R. Palmer's Catholics and Unbelievers in Eighteenth Century France wiU recognize the name. Luke Joseph Hooke, a Parisian doctor, professor at the Sorbonne,was directly associated with the two major confrontations between the Faculty of Theology of Paris and the French Enlightenment: the theses ofAbbé de Prades and the censure ofJ. J. Rousseau's Emile. He wrote influential theological treatises that had him catalogued as a CathoUc apologist. In this work, that appears to be adapted from a doctoral dissertation, Thomas O'Connor attempts to reconsider this judgment by looking at the context as weU as the content ofHooke's theological vision. The book could be divided accordingly into two parts, the first presenting the background, famiUal and educational ,foUowed by the divine's major achievements in the Faculty; the second one being an analysis and evaluation of Hooke's opus magnum, Principia religionis naturalis et revelatœ (1752). A last chapter forms the conclusions. The first part is informative and useful, as very little has been written on the history of the Faculty of Theology of Paris in the eighteenth century. When Hooke entered the Faculty, in 1734, the Jansenist party had been decimated (more than 200 doctors were expelled) but a remnant survived, stiU influential by the support they received from Parlement, that clashed repeatedly with another group, the "Independents," who sought to defend the traditional authority and autonomy of the body. A third party, smaUer in size, comprized the "Modernizers" (a term borrowed from Palmer) who attempted to come to terms with the issues raised by the Enlightenment. Hooke was clearly a member ofthis circle, but he got in trouble when one of his disciples,the Abbé M. de Prades, defended in 1751 theses of major ordinaria that displayed the influence of the Encyclopédie. He was able, nevertheless, to regain his influence and successfuUy arranged the censure of Rousseau's Emile (1762). He never regained his chair in Theology but in 1766, he was able to obtain the recently endowed chair of Hebrew at the Sorbonne and was elected in 1778 librarian of the Mazarine Library. He refused to take the oath to the Civil Constitution and died in retirement in a home for miUtary veterans at St. Cloud. The second part intends to be a new and much more positive evaluation of Hooke's contribution as a theologian. O'Connor shows that the Irish doctor's originality goes much further than simple apologetics, because of his desire to take seriously the criticism of the Philosophes and to respond with an Enlight- 356BOOK REVIEWS enment theology. This Hooke attempted by a "revitalized theology of reUgion" that distinguished him both from the conservative apologists and the antichristian Deists or Atheists. His major importance and contribution lay therefore in the domain oftheological method, its problematics, its typology. In the author's eyes this approach deserves to be taken seriously, despite the fact that the "Modernizer ways" Hooke opened were not followed in the aftermath of the French Revolution that destroyed the world in which they were developed. An important study, therefore, that might have been more forceful in its original state with a scholarly apparatus. The first part, particularly, suffers from a number of approximations, minor errors, and lack of references that, at times, make it difficult to grasp the nuances of an admittedly complex historical and intellectual context. Some of the judgments and interpretations could be disputed , as they must have been during the defense of the dissertation. A few recent works have been overlooked, among them Philippe Lefebvre's important Les Pouvoirs de laparole. L'Église etRousseau 1762-1848 (Paris, 1992). Jacques M. Gres-Gayer The Catholic University ofAmerica Late Modem European As One Sent. Peter Kenney SJ., 1 779-1841. His Mission in Ireland and North America. By Thomas Morrissey, SJ. (Washington, D.C: The CathoUc University of America Press; Blackrock, Co...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 355-356
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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