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324 BOOK REVIEWS instrument of grace. Orders are fittingly given to a person who evokes that humanity, a male humanity. And as to "fittingness" itself, Narcisse reminds us that all St. Thomas claims for the priesthood of Christ is that it is "fitting" for Christ to be a priest. To find the fittingness of one of the arrangements of the economy is to find an intelligibility determined by the divine mind. Narcisse closes his article with a reminder of the fittingness of finding new roles for women in the Church today. Finally, C. Morerod and M.-B. Borde contribute studies on the reception of St. Thomas's teaching, the first in Cajetan and the second in the Salmanticenses. S. Bonino's contribution considers priesthood as a natural religious institution. Saint Meinrad School ofTheology St. Meinrad, Indiana GUY MANSINI, 0.S.B. Mystical Theology. By MARK A. MCINTOSH. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998. Pp. 246. $26.95 (paper). ISBN 1-55786-907-3. In a previous book (Christology from Within: Spirituality andthe Incarnation in Hans Urs von Balthasar [Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1996]), Mark Mcintosh probed the integral relationship between spirituality and theology in the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar and suggested its paradigmatic necessity for theology as a whole. In the present book he undertakes a full-scale treatment of the thesis and leaves the reader with a wellconsidered charge for anybody undertaking the task of theology. By an explicit turn to mysticism and mystical theology (as the title suggests) Mcintosh achieves a retrieval of that discipline so often marginalized by systematicians. As is clear from his weighty first chapter much needs to be negotiated along the way with pitfalls to be avoided by practitioners of each discipline. In doing so he sets up a standard for both spirituality and theology which he himself must meet. Suffice to say that Mcintosh is clearly successful in his endeavor. Spirituality is a minefield in and of itself-mysticism as well! Much passes under this bridge which has little to do with established religious traditions, not to mention theology. A significant strain of modern Protestant dogmatics from Albrecht Ritschl to Karl Barth considered mysticism as almost inimical to evangelical faith while Catholic dogmatics has (certainly with less hostility) simply sidelined it to specific subordinated disciplines (ascetical, mystical, or spiritual theology) with little consequence for systematic theology. Mcintosh does not simply accuse theology for the regrettable divorce between the two BOOK REVIEWS 325 disciplines (with ill effects for both). Spirituality bears its responsibility as well, beginning with no less a figure as Bernard of Clairvaux. Bernard's opening to his third sermon on the Song of Songs as in part quoted by Mclntosh-"Today the text we are to study is the book of our own experience [in libro experientiae]"-is the linchpin for the misreading of mystical texts within the spiritual tradition and for the distortion of spirituality which separates it from theology. Needless to say this distortion, which Mcintosh identifies as "experientialism" with the help of Denys Turner (see The Darkness of God: Negativity in Christian Mysticism [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995]) is endorsed by a good number of moderns, only adding to the problem which the book is seeking to overcome. Mcintosh's strategy, both critical and constructive, is threefold. First, he must identify methodologically his manner of proceeding. Early on in the book Mcintosh critically reviews various takes on the academic discipline of spirituality studies. To the extent that an anthropological approach dominates in this field, whether based on psychological states or even a self-transcendence oriented to ultimacy, it tends "to render God peripheral" (21). For Mcintosh this is no light matter. His definition of spirituality, which situates "the discovery of the true 'self' precisely in encountering the divine and human other" (5), demands attention to the reality of God revealed and communicated, the active presence of God which engenders and empowers spirituality. The real question concerns the interpretation of mystical and spiritual texts in this regard. This baseline cannot be forfeited if the theological connection is to be affirmed. Second, theology as the expression of encounter with God in speech and understanding is also integral...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 324-328
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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