London: Burns & Oates, 1955. First edition. Octavo, original brown cloth, original dust jacket. Bookplate. Faint bumping to lower corners, inner flap price torn, mild foxing to unfaded dust jacket. Very good indeed. Item #1221
"IN EVERY CHRISTIAN VOCATION LIES THE GERM OF A MONASTIC VOCATION"
First edition in English of Pere Louis Bouyer's study of the theory and practice of monasticism. Born to French Protestant family, Louis Bouyer was a Lutheran minister before he converted to Catholicism in 1939. He was ordained a priest and entered the French Oratory. "Bouyer belonged to the fabled generation of theologians who prepared the way for the Second Vatican Council by writing about Scripture, ecclesiology, and human nature, the three great themes of the Council, in a down-to-earth way. Because he was French and of their persuasion, he tends to merge in people’s minds with the other representatives of the nouvelle théologie. When we think of him as one face in a group portrait, it’s hard to distinguish his profile from those of Yves Congar and Henri de Lubac, and he tends to disappear behind Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Urs von Balthasar" (Francesca Aran Murphy).
With a brief Preface ("Louis Bouyer of the Oratory"), the book consists of 14 chapters, divided into two sections: Part One: Theory and Part Two: Practice. A short Conclusion ("Wisdom and Gnosis") describes the monk as "the only true humanist. The monk is the sole genuine inheritor of of the whole movement which has borne our Western humanity along since the awakening of its consciousness. He alone is in the direct line of its highest and deepest, its most constant aspirations." Though Bouyer "was asked by a community of monks Bouyer was not himself a monk and the book received mixed reviews (by Hugh Farmer in The Life of the Spirit and by Dom Aelred Watkins in New Blackfriars) when it was published. With Bouyer's dedication to Dom Clement Lialine, "as a respectful token of fraternal friendship, gratitude, and esteem." Translated from the French by Kathleen Pond. Approbations. Francesca Aran Murphy, An Artist at Vatican II, First Things (February 2016).