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The Meaning of Tradition Paperback – November 30, 2004


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The Meaning of Tradition + The Shape of Catholic Theology: An Introduction to Its Sources, Principles, and History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Pr (November 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158617021X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586170219
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Very insightful, short read.
Bobby Bambino
Perhaps the most profound point Dr. Congar makes is the linking of imitation as a key component to tradition.
Stratiotes Doxha Theon
Highly encourage evangelical protestants and others with "Bible-only" beliefs to read it.
rjjrm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on August 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
As the Catholic Church in the 20th century has rebounded from its Reformation-induced four-century hunkered-down posture, one of the things it has done is to recover a gracefulness of apologetics that has become one of its greatest attributes. The works of such authors as Jean Guitton (e.g., The Church and the Gospel and The Problem of Jesus), Rene Girard (I See Satan Fall Like Lightening), Jean-Luc Marion (God Without Being), Hans Urs von Balthasar, Romano Guardini, and Louis Bouyer (e.g., The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism and Word, Church, and Sacrament in Protestantism and Catholicism)--not to mention those of John Paul II and Benedict XVI--have positioned the Church more in the stance of dialog partner than of antagonist even as she has maintained the integrity of her position as bearer of the fullness of the faith.

This great little book by Yves Congar, long out of print but now once again, thankfully, available, solidifies the Church's well-deserved reputation as a gentle warrior for truth even in relation to those who find themselves, largely through no fault of their own, outside its precincts.

In my thirty-year journey to Catholicism from evangelical Protestantism, I don't ever recall encountering a formal delineation of the Catholic understanding of Tradition. Even though I had come to a position where I felt I could substantially affirm Catholic self-understandings, I can't remember ever coming face to face with the Catholic position on Tradition.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By T. B. Vick on December 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I must admit that I came to this text a Protestant with just a little knowledge of the Roman Catholic view of Tradtion. However, I am a frustrated Protestant since I firmly believe that my fellow Protestants have either ignored tradtion or have dismissed it altogether simply becasue it is a "Roman Catholic teaching."

Congar's book is a very well written text, quite easy to follow and can be read by anyone from a simple lay person with no background knowledge to a well educated individual who has studied the issues for years. Having read this book I now have a much better understanding of Tradition and a better understanding where Roman Catholics and Protestans differ in this issue. Let me summarize a few of these differences in this review.

At the end of chapter three Congar summarizes Tradition by declaring, "Tradition signifies, then, the Catholic spirit together with the living manner in which the whole apostolic deposit, whose subject is the Church, is transmitted." This is clearly a summation of Congar's overall view of Tradition, but is very telling and important for Protestants to grasp. Congar teaches that all the essential elements or features of Tradition are norms for the Church to in fact be the Church. This means Catholics begin with the reality in which Christianity is presented in history from Christ to the present day and how this reality is manifested in and through the Church is the underlining factor of the overall deposit presented to the Church by the apostles. Therefore, Scripture and Tradition are of equal authority.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Benedictus on July 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
On my journey back to the faith this book helped me understand the Catholic concept of Tradition. Chapter III on Tradition and Scripture is the best short description on this topic that I have read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on April 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This brief little guide is a must read for every Christian wishing to understand the place of the ancient Tradition of the church. Protestants who have so long downplayed or misunderstood tradition will find understanding here. Catholics and Orthodox believers will find much common ground and more depth in their understanding of this key theological distinctive. Perhaps the most profound point Dr. Congar makes is the linking of imitation as a key component to tradition. Note, for instance, the subtle connection of imitation and tradition underlying the apostle Paul's words of II Thessolonians - 2:15 through 3:7. If you glean nothing else from this work, that alone will serve you well in meditating upon the church and the believer as a member of an interpretative community. It should be evident that Jesus did not intend to leave behind a church of individualist-thinking Christians.

Not enough praise can be given to this pivotal work and the understanding it can bring. A great follow up to this great classic work would be Dr. Hahn's Letter and Spirit: From Written Text to Living Word in the Liturgy.
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