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"Beyond The Suspended Middle: An Evaluation of John Milbank's View of the Theology of Henri de Lubac"

Earl Allyson Valdez (Philippines)

Master of Arts, major in Theological Studies with field of specialization in Systematic Theology.
Adviser: Fr. Antonio de Castro, S.J., S.T.L., E.H.D.


The study critiques John Milbank’s interpretation of Henri de Lubac’s surnaturel thesis as articulated in Milbank’s work “The Suspended Middle: Henri de Lubac and the Debate Concerning the Supernatural”, coming from two specific perspectives: historical and systematic. First, historically considered, the study debunks Milbank’s view of de Lubac as a theologian traumatized by Church authority by pointing out that this view was shaped by polemics hurled against de Lubac and the nouvelle théologie movement. Second, systematically, the study contests Milbank’s view that de Lubac modified his surnaturel experience due to this traumatic experience, showing that de Lubac holds a consistent view of the surnaturel thesis as shown in the way he refines and re-articulates it in time. With these in mind, the study concludes that de Lubac is consistent with his understanding of the relationship between nature and grace before and after the publication of the encyclical Humani Generis, which, as Milbank claims, became a traumatizing experience for de Lubac. Through this, the study questions Milbank’s view that Radical Orthodoxy, the theological movement of which he is part, is the legitimate successor of de Lubac, considering his more “original” surnaturel thesis that affirms the authority of grace over and against human nature.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: April 8, 2019 (Monday)

Board of Examiners: Fr. Oliver Dy, S.J., S.T.L., Ph.D. (Principal Examiner), Dr. Joaquin Yap, Jr., S.W., and Fr. Rowan Rebustillo, Ph.D.

Proposal Defense:

April 29, 2016 (Friday), 2:00 pm, Tipanan ni San Ignacio, 2nd Floor of LST

Board of Examiners:Fr. Antonio De Castro, S.J., E.H.D. (Adviser), Joaquin Yap, Jr., S.W., D.Phil., Fr. Jose Mario Francisco, S.J., S.T.L., Ph.D.

Home » Academic Programs » Theses and Dissertations » Earl Allyson Valdez (Philippines)
Loyola School of Theology