the weblog of Alan Knox

Avery Cardinal Dulles (1918-2008)

Posted by on Dec 12, 2008 in blog links | 2 comments

I just read that Avery Cardinal Dulles died this morning in New York. Dulles was the author of over twenty books, but I knew him pimarily through his book Models of the Church. In this book, Dulles examined the theological implications, mission, and role of the church.

This is what Joseph Bottum writes about him:

Created cardinal for his theological work by John Paul II, Avery Dulles was one of the great figures of the twentieth century: a theologian, an intellectual, a teacher, a writer, a lecturer, and a kind and gentle man.

In his long life, he wrote more than 700 articles and twenty-two books, and it is hard to imagine how anyone today can fill the roles he played in the Catholic world and American public life. As the disease that took his life progressed, his final months were a trial that took away his powers to speak, write, and move. But he seemed, in those months, to live even more serenely, more spiritually, and more beautifully. May God welcome him home.

(HT: JT)


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  1. 12-12-2008

    Hi Alan,
    I’ve not read Avery Cardinal Dulles’ works before, but have just been reading his “Who Can Be Saved?”
    In it, he states:
    “Who, then, can be saved? Catholics can be saved if they believe the Word of God as taught by the Church and if they obey the commandments. Other Christians can be saved if they submit their lives to Christ and join the community where they think he wills to be found. Jews can be saved if they look forward in hope to the Messiah and try to ascertain whether God’s promise has been fulfilled. Adherents of other religions can be saved if, with the help of grace, they sincerely seek God and strive to do his will. Even atheists can be saved if they worship God under some other name and place their lives at the service of truth and justice. God’s saving grace, channeled through Christ the one Mediator, leaves no one unassisted.”
    He seems to qualify his statements of who can be saved with “and if”. That seems to make salvation a thing of works. What do you make of that?

  2. 12-12-2008


    Since I believe in salvation by grace through faith, then I would disagree with that statement.