Fortress Press

eBook-Recognizing the Gift: Toward a Renewed Theology of Nature and Grace

eBook-Recognizing the Gift: Toward a Renewed Theology of Nature and Grace

Recognizing the Gift puts twentieth-century Catholic theological conversations on nature and grace, particularly those of de Lubac and Rahner, into dialogue with Continental philosophy, notably the thought of Marion and Ricoeur. It argues that a renewed theology of nature and grace must build on the accomplishments of the recent past while acknowledging that an engagement with the political is unavoidable for theology. In making this argument, it analyzes several forms of political theology (or supposedly apolitical in the case of von Balthasar), as well as liberation theology, and integrates their insights. Ultimately, the aim is to revive and broaden discussion of nature and grace by drawing together the insights of contemporary theologians and Continental philosophers. Too often these areas of inquiry remain quite separate, in part due to differing priorities. This work tries to open that conversation, in part by critically pointing out, in dialogue with Ricoeur, the need in Marion’s work for an acknowledgment of recognition, reciprocity, and the political. It thus argues for a theology of nature and grace in terms of recognition of the gift, drawing out the reciprocal and political nature of gift and givenness in opposition to those, including Marion, who would seek to avoid politics and reciprocity as a proper avenue of inquiry for theology.

  • eBook
  • Format eBook
  • ISBN 9781506409085
  • Publication Date June 3, 2016


"There is an exciting discussion occurring these days at the intersection of Catholic theology and Continental philosophy, and Dan Rober's work makes a striking contribution. He tackles one of the most fundamental and difficult of theological issues, the relationship of nature and grace, and cracks it open by aligning its history and development with the current philosophical discussion of the gift. All the major figures are here—Blondel, de Lubac, Rahner, von Balthasar, Marion, and Ricoeur. Rober’s insightful analysis of their contributions, along with his own constructive reflections spanning theory and practice, provide a rich resource for anyone wrestling with how to make God's grace more readily apparent in our contemporary context."

Anthony J. Godzieba | Villanova University

"Rober's learned and timely study revisits the problem of nature and grace in dialogue not only with de Lubac and Rahner but also with Marion and Ricoeur, Tanner and Milbank.  Through the lens of contemporary philosophies of gift and recognition, he takes a new look at classic questions, turning them in political directions. Rober's fresh, evenhanded approach succeeds in renewing the set of questions surrounding nature and grace, opening up new paths in such areas as interreligious dialogue and inculturation."

William L. Portier | University of Dayton