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.
"The fruit of more than 30 years of teaching...metaphysically astute, and brings the same philosophical tools to the theological understanding of all the topics across the board. The scholarship is massive and trustworthy."~Guy Mansini, OSB, Ave Maria University
"This modern classic of Catholic systematic theology is to be warmly welcomed in the English-speaking world. At a time of considerable intellectual, theological, and spiritual disorientation and deracination, this deep but accessible synthesis of Catholic theology is a timely exercise in theological sanity and clarity and as such a resource for the sound integration of a profound theology with a deep spirituality. If the new evangelization is to have a proper theological grounding and a contemplative core that roots it in the identity and saving action of the Triune God, then this volume and its sequels are an indispensable part of it--required reading for bishops, priests, seminarians, and theologically interested laity"~Reinhard Hütter, author of Bound for Beatitude: A Thomistic Study in Eschatology and Ethics and Aquinas on Transubstantiation: The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
"The treasures of twentieth-century Dominican Thomism are finally being retrieved--an extraordinarily hopeful sign for the future of dogmatic theology in the English-speaking world. In Matthew Minerd's masterly translation, Jean-Hervé Nicolas's presentation of the mystery of the Triune God demands the attention of all who aspire to be Catholic theologians today. His contributions are too numerous to name here, but surely include his stellar critiques of de Regnon and Rahner, his patristic range and depth, his theocentric vision, and his richly nuanced use of Scripture within a Thomistic dogmatics. A work to savor!"~Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
"This work represents one of the most ambitious works of dogmatic theology since the Second Vatican Council: an attempt to render a modern articulation of the Catholic theological tradition in one overarching synthesis. Fr. Nicolas's work is fundamentally Thomistic, grounded in metaphysical reflection, and characterized by deep engagement with modern theological debates. In his treatment of the most sublime and central themes of Christian faith: Trinity, Christology, Creation, the Church, and Sacraments, he ponders the teaching of the Catholic tradition with theological depth and conceptual clarity. This book functions as an essential reference work for those pursuing Catholic theological formation and as an inspiration for those interested in the ongoing renewal of Thomistic theology."~Thomas Joseph White, OP, University Rector, Angelicum, Rome