Jean Daniélou’s Doxological Humanism: Trinitarian Contemplation and Humanity’s True Vocation

By Marc Nicholas

A comprehensive study of the French Jesuit theologian and cardinal Jean Daniélou, emphasising the role of contemplation in his view of the unity of the person.

ISBN: 9780227174043


In the spring of 1946, Jean Daniélou published an article by the title of ‘Les orientations presents de la pensée religieuse’ for Études. Daniélou’s article – at least according to his critics – set the program for what would be later referred to as la nouvelle théologie. Though Daniélou’s influence was definitive at the inception of the movement (loosely understood) and continued up until Vatican II and after it, relatively little (especially compared to his close associate Henri de Lubac) has been written about Daniélou in English, even with the recent resurgence of interest in nouvelle théologie.

This book seeks to fill that gap. Nicholas provides an overview of Daniélou’s theology with extensive reference to his vast corpus of writings, and highlights what seems to be the key to his thought: that all human beings were made for contemplation and that one is only truly human when one exercises this innate calling in a Trinitarian fashion.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 206

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Marc Nicholas is an instructor in religion in the Philosophy department at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas.


1. The Split between Theology and Spirituality
2. History and Prayer
3. Prayer, Trinity, and Mission
4. Prayer and the Spiritual Life
5. The Crisis of Interiority and the Truly Human City
6. Daniélou’s Doxological Humanism



Endorsements and Reviews

Marc Nicholas’s superb study of Jean Daniélou demonstrates that our modern, cultural melancholy derives largely from our saintlessness. Yet a surpassing joy awaits all who are willing to embrace the saintly life of prayer and contemplation as Daniélou envisions it. Far from being escapist and otherworldly, Nicholas reveals that a liturgical existence is profoundly political. Christian saints humanize the city of man, he shows, by building the city of God in our midst.
Ralph C. Wood, Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University

Nicholas should be commended for carefully exegeting some of Daniélou’s unjustly forgotten texts on spirituality and for synthesizing Daniélou’s central argument about doxological humanism.
Erick H. Hedrick-Moser, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 21, No 1

This is an important book on an underrated Theologian. … Nicholas adroitly sets Daniélou in his twentieth century French context within the Ressoucement mouvement, showing that he is as worthy of study as his contemporaries. Undergraduates and postgraduates interested in this field should read it.
Christopher Villiers, in Theological Book Review, Vol 25, No 2

Nicholas has made an important move with his ressourcement of Daniélou. His message is a timely one, especially as the way of prayer only runs up against more resistance.
Johnny Walker, on Freedom in Orthodoxy,