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706 BOOK REVIEWS struments of redemption for others. Mary is the primary exemplar of receiving her Son's redeeming love in freedom and of wholeheartedly mediating his graces to all he has redeemed. The final essay, "Mary and Modernity," is most timely for American Christians and ecumenists. It is a very worthwhile attempt to compare and contrast the secular triad of virtues, liberty, equality, and fraternity with the Christian triad of theological virtues, faith, hope, and love, especially as they are exemplified in Mary. Although this approach perceives Mary more as a " sign of contradiction " to our secularistic culture, she will help us to avoid the extremes of confusing true freedom with licence, genuine equality with egalitarianism, and authentic fraternity with collectivism by helping inspire in us the really liberating values of her Son's Gospel. Everyone can benefit immensely from the intelligent reading of this book. Mt. St. Mary's Seminary Emmitsburg, Maryland FREDERICK M. JELLY, O.P. Dieu et l'etre d'apres Thomas d'Aquin et Hegel. By EMILIO BRITO. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1991. Pp. 422. 245 francs. Sprung from premature fears of post-modernity or from an ignorant nostalgia for a monoform Catholicism which never existed, universal dismissals of " modernity " still appear occasionally in Catholic j ournals . They recall ,the neo-scholastic te:xitbooks prior to Vatican II in whose pages the " moderni " (among whom were numbered not only "Kantiani" but "Hegeliani ") were dismissed by authors who, having read a few pages, were incapable of grasping the basic directions of philosophy from Herder to Heidegger. Emilio Brito, S.J., however, follows in the line of the French and German Jesuits: through this century they have sustained a varied dialogue, in philosophy and theology, between Thomas Aquinas and the important figures of modern philosophy. His two works on Hegel's Christology, and a third large study of God and creation in Schelling are now followed by this comparative work. The theology of Aquinas and the philosophy of Hegel are like two galaxies. Do they move past each other at a distance, or do they move through each other guarding a proper identity with similar forces and shared motifs? Brito has chosen one theme within these two vast realms of thought: his topic (and the book's title can mislead) is God; 'being' BOOK REVIEWS 707 is present as a stimulus to our reflection about God. After an introduction on recent interpretations of Hegel, particularly by Catholics, pages which should be read by all interested in contemporary theology, there are three sections: " the knowledge and naming of God," " the divine substance and the cycle of its attributes," and " the operations of absolute spirit." The chapters in each of the three areas present Aquinas's and then Hegel's thought, and sometimes a section of further comparison. At the end of the work Brito offers a conclusion ("God's Goodness") and a postlude ("God's Beauty"). Finally there is a "Resume." According to Brito, Aquinas's thought is clear (his Aristotelian logic is readily understandable) , and his emphasis lies with the divine transcendence. Despite the process-format of the Summa theologiae and the traces of history in the headship of Christ, the diversity of sacraments, and the theologies of faith and natural law, his modest description of movement in God and in God's world of beings stands in contrast to the unleashed and unresolved development penetrating Hegel's Geist. The concluding " Resume " of nine pages is particularly valuable as it brings together the author's synthetic insights into Aquinas and Hegel (one might hope that at least it would appear in translation) . The following excerpt displays its balance and clarity. The God of the Summa tends to stay back from mediation, letting itself exist in a certain exteriority, while the Hegelian absolute " raises out" the determinations it posits only by also absorbing them negatively. In the same vein, the Hegelian parousia of the negative abolishes absolutely the distance maintained by the inexpressible in language. In an opposite direction, the originating positivity of the God of Thomas grounds the irreducible presence of a reality represented in discourse. If he is a stranger to this approach and more...


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