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A Son of Saint Dominic

The appellation “monstre sacré for Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877-1964), was coined by François Mauriac, an influential Catholic litterateur and contemporary of Garrigou, suggesting the ill feelings harbored by those who found their theological or philosophical positions contradicted by Garrigou.  In this book, Fr. Richard Peddicord, O.P., associate professor of systematic theology at the Aquinas Institute, St. Louis University, reintroduces us to the life and legacy of one of Catholicism’s most influential theologians in the period before Vatican II.

Garrigou was a Dominican and the leader of the neo-Thomist revival.  His writings strongly influenced Catholic philosophy well beyond the middle of the 20th century.  He was a great champion against modernism, described in Pius X’s encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1907) as the synthesis of all heresies.  While difficult to summarize, modernism’s basic foundation is a denial of the possibility of knowing objective truth.  It is grounded not in science, but in Kantian immanentism, which sees “reality” as a projection of internal needs and sentimentalism.  Garrigou’s work fell into disfavor during the Second Vatican Council with the rise of historical Thomism, or la nouvelle théologie.  Historical Thomism basically applied the historical-critical...

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