New York: Sheed and Ward, 1946. First edition. 12mo. (7 5/8 inches tall), original gray cloth, original dust jacket. Owner blind-stamps, dust jacket chipped, toned, and marked but unclipped and largely unfaded. Very good indeed. Item #750
"I CAME INTO THE CHURCH LIKE ONE OF THOSE TIMID SWIMMERS WHO CLOSES HIS EYES AS HE JUMPS INTO THE ROARING SEA" First edition of the conversion account of a scion of the Protestant elite (later a Jesuit Cardinal) in the scarce original dust jacket. As the son of John Foster Dulles (and the nephew of Allen Dulles), the young Avery Dulles arrived at Harvard University in 1936 as a bona fide member of the fabled White Anglo-Saxon Protestant establishment. Dulles was gradually drawn to the Church at Harvard and began an incremental and intellectual journey towards faith. The Greek metaphysics of Aristotle and Plato were the initial conduit to Christianity and Dulles immersed himself further in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition: "I soon found myself reading avidly the modern Aristotelians—Catholic authors such as Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson—and adhering to the logic of their doctrine with a fervor which I can hardly today recapture."
Dulles converted to Catholicism in 1941, became a founder of Boston's St. Benedict Center (headed by Leonard Feeney, S.J.), and eventually entered the Society of Jesus. Dulles became one of the most important theologians in the American Church. His visibility in the years after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council (most notably at the Synod of 1985) was seen by some as part of Pope John Paul II's attempt at a restoration of the pre-Vatican II church. Dulles was "named a Cardinal late in life and perhaps the most noted scholar on the 'models' of the Church" (Robert Royal). Dulles served in the Navy during World War II and his two-part memoir, largely composed at sea, frequently employs nautical imagery, beginning with the Dedication: "For William F. Macomber, Fellow-wayfarer." With Dulles' brief Foreword (dated "Cambridge, Mass./20 May 1946. A.D."). This copy is clad in an excellent example of the fragile original dust jacket (printed on thin paper and often greatly damaged or missing). Approbations, including the Imprimatur of Archbishop Richard J. Cushing ("Boston, Ascension Thursday, 1946"). Menendez, The Road to Rome, 46.