Exploring the World’s Foundation in Christ

An Introduction to the Writings and Thought of Donald J. Keefe, S.J.



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Product Details

Product Code:
0.5 (in)
Size (HxW):
9 x 6 (in)
Publication date:
March 25, 2024
14.8 oz
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Product Overview

This volume, the first of its kind, provides both an introduction to a theologian who many in the field consider to be one of the very finest of his generation, and a compendium of selections—each with an explanatory preface—from his prolific writings that ultimately touch upon every aspect of Catholic thought. Making use of a method that is deeply rooted in the prayer life and sacred Scripture of the Church, Donald Keefe pursued a decades-long reflection on the significance of the central assertion of faith: that Jesus Christ is Lord, the author of a world that is centered on personal, hence free, life; and that Jesus the Lord is Christ, the Savior in whom broken freedom is made whole and then transformed through union with his own freedom and his own life that is at once human and divine.

Union with Christ, then, is not only the destiny of the world but also its beginning. And this work of life, which is the integrating work of creation, has as its vanguard the Eucharist, the sacramental life of Christ that is born of a free priesthood acting in Christ, consecrating the free self-offering of the Church. The Eucharistic dynamism of creation reveals, so Keefe argues, the innermost structure of the real, shedding light on any human question.

The many and far-reaching topics that Keefe addressed are arranged in the book under a series of chapter headings that are intended to provide an overview of the content of Catholic theology—from Christology to Mariology to ecclesiology. The result will be to convey the rich and varied fruit of a gifted mind but also, it is hoped, some sense of the man himself.

Editorial Reviews

"Donald Keefe, S.J., was a soldier, a lawyer, a priest, and a theologian. If he was largely unheralded in his time, that is because his time was not one in which deep and rigorous reflection on the truths of Christian faith was widely valued. But for anyone who does value such reflection, as all faithful Christians should, Father Keefe's writings are treasures. Kudos to Kevin McMahon and Ignatius Press for providing us with a valuable introduction to Fr. Keefe's work." 
— Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

"McMahon introduces the recently deceased Jesuit's very bold proposal of a thoroughgoing Christ-centered metaphysics that takes divine and human freedom into account and a radically 'covenantal' theology that takes the Eucharist as its starting point. Catholic theologians have much to gain from studying how Keefe applies his original method and system to the discussion of creation in Christ, original sin, nature and grace, Trinity, marriage, bipolar human sexuality, Mariology, authority in the Church, moral theology, and many other topics."
— Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., Professor Emerita of Dogmatic Theology, University of St. Mary of the Lake

"This is an overdue volume, an introduction to the work of a man whose passionate love of Christ and the Eucharist is reflected in an immensely creative synthesis.  Reading Father Keefe, one is reminded of another great Jesuit theologian who, after the Council, sought to synthesize dogmatically and philosophically the insights of the Ressourcement movement: Michel Corbin.  Keefe influenced a large number of the most important American lay theologians of the next generation, and his vision retains its freshness.  I had the privilege of meeting Father Keefe at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the early 2000s.  A lion of the faith!" 
— Matthew Levering, Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

"Being unfamiliar with the work of Jesuit Father Donald Keefe is a kind of poverty, from which one ought to be relieved.  Yet finding one's way into the rich and complex work of this theologian can be daunting, even overwhelming.  A guide is needed. Kevin McMahon is that guide, providing the reader with context, insight, and explanation.  This is a valuable introduction to the work of Father Keefe—work that is clearly the result of study, prayer, and worship.  It’s a rewarding and enriching read."
— Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J., Author, Christendom Lost and Found and Real Philosophy for Real People

"Kevin McMahon has crafted a clear path through Fr. Donald Keefe's theology, itself an intriguing forest eminently worth exploring.  In his lifelong project, Keefe worked out a unique theological synthesis of creation in Christ, Eucharistic metaphysics, marital ecclesiology, and more.  Keefe's work is often challenging but always provocative and rewarding.  McMahon has done a welcome service in compiling this valuable anthology."
— Fr. Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J., Professor of Theology Emeritus, Fordham University


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