Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Episode 38—Garrigou-Lagrange, The Sacred Monster of Thomism—Matthew K. Minerd

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | May 14, 2019 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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The name of Garrigou-Lagrange has long been a byword for a fusty, rigid Thomism of days gone by, allegedly more concerned with centuries of accretions built up by scholastic commentators than with the original teaching of the Angelic Doctor himself. Only in traditionalist circles was his name still spoken with respect.

But recent years have seen a wider reevaluation of this French Dominican priest and theologian, and a new translation of his work The Sense of Mystery: Clarity and Obscurity in the Intellectual Life shows that Garrigou has been unfairly dismissed as a purveyor of airless theology.

The translator of this work, Matthew K. Minerd, joins the podcast to discuss Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s legacy and some of the book’s central themes. These include mystery from on high and from below (not only spirit but also matter is mysterious), the importance of common sense for philosophy, the different senses in which we use the word “to be”, the supernaturality of faith, and the eminence of the Deity beyond any of His attributes insofar as we know and name them by reason.

Through all these topics it becomes abundantly clear that only by preserving the distinction between natural and supernatural can theology remain itself.


Buy The Sense of Mystery: Clarity and Obscurity in the Intellectual Life

Recording of Garrigou-Lagrange’s chapter on angels

An excellent article on chastity by Matthew

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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