Relevant Articles & Posts

  • Texts on 'natura pura' | PDF
  • For an introduction to de Lubac’s life and work that includes an overview of his publications on the theme of nature and grace, see David L. Schindler’s “Introduction” to Henri de Lubac, The Mystery of the Supernatural (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1998), xi–xxxi.

Journal Articles

PLEASE NOTE: The following works and publications are available in English. For a more comprehensive bibliography, please refer to Christopher Smith's extensive bibliography on this topic (in relation to his dissertation: "Surnaturel Revisited Henri De Lubac’s Theology of the Supernatural in Contemporary Theology").

In Chronological Order

  • Grumett, David,"De Lubac, Grace, and the Pure Nature Debate." Modern Theology (2014).
  • Oakes, Edward T., "Scheeben the Reconciler: Resolving the Nature-Grace Debate." Nova et Vetera Vol. 11, No. 2 (Spring 2013)
  • Osborne, Jr., Thomas, "Natura Pura: Two Recent Works" Nova et Vetera Vol. 11, No. 1 (Winter 2013).
  • Cullen, Christopher M., "The Natural Desire for God and Pure Nature." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 86, No. 4 (Fall 2012).
  • Oakes, Edward T., "The Surnaturel Controversy: A Survey and a Response." Nova et Vetera Vol. 9, No. 3 (Summer 2011).
  • Malloy, Christopher, "De Lubac on Natural Desire: Difficulties and Antitheses." Nova et Vetera Vol. 9, No. 3 (Summer 2011).
  • Cunningham, Conor. "Natura Pura: the Invention of the Anti-Christ: A Week With No Sabbath." Communio 37 (Summer 2010).
  • White, Thomas Joseph, "The ‘Pure Nature’ of Christology: Human Nature and Gaudium et Spes 22,” Nova et Vetera Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring 2010).
  • Pinckaers, Servais, "The Natural Desire to See God" Nova et Vetera Vol. 8, No. 3 (Summer 2010).
  • Hutter, Reinhard. "Aquinas on the Natural Desire for the Vision of God: A Relecture of Summa contra Gentiles iii., c. 25 Après Henri de Lubac," The Thomist 73 (October, 2009): 523–91.
  • Mansini, Guy, "The Abiding Significance of Henri de Lubac’s Surnaturel.” The Thomist 73 (2009): 593–619.
  • Healy, Nicholas, "Henri de Lubac on Nature and Grace. Some Recent Contributions to the Debate". Communio 35 (Winter 2008).
  • Braine, David, “The Debate Between Henri de Lubac and His Critics,” Nova et Vetera Vol. 6, No. 3 (Summer 2008): 543–90.
  • Boersma, Hans., "Sacramental Ontology: Nature and the Supernatural in the Ecclesiology of Henri de Lubac ." New Blackfriars Vol. 88, No. 1015. pp. 242-273 (Winter 2007).
  • Long, Steven A., "On the Loss, and the Recovery, of Nature as a Theonomic Principle: Reflections on the Nature/Grace Controversy." Nova et Vetera Vol. 5, No. 1 (Winter, 2007).
  • O'Reilley, Kevin, "The Vision of Virtue and Knowledge of the Natural Law in Thomas Aquinas." Nova et Vetera Vol. 5, No. 1 (Winter, 2007).
  • Mansini, Guy. "Lonergan on the Natural Desire in the Light of Feingold." Nova et Vetera Vol. 5, No. 1 (Winter, 2007).
  • Hutter, Reinhard, "Desiderium Naturale Visionis Dei Est autem duplex hominis beatitudo sive felicitas: Some Observations about Lawrence Feingold’s and John Milbank’s Recent Interventions in the Debate over the Natural Desire to See God." Nova et Vetera Vol. 5, No. 1 (Winter, 2007).
  • Goris, Harm, "Steering Clear of Charybdis: Some Directions for Avoiding "Grace Extrinsicism" in Aquinas". Nova et Vetera Vol. 5, No. 1 (Winter, 2007).
  • Mansini, Guy "Henri de Lubac, the Natural Desire to See God, and Pure Nature." Gregorianum. Vol. 83, No. 1 (2002).
  • Nichols, Aidan,"Thomism and the Nouvelle Theologie" The Thomist 65 (2000), 1-19.
  • Long, Steven A., "On the Possibility of a Purely Natural End for Man." The Thomist 64 (2000): 211-37.
  • Komonchak, Joseph A., "Theology and Culture at Mid-century: The Example of Henri de Lubac", Theological Studies 51 (1990) 579-602.
  • Komonchak, Joseph A. Thomism and the Second Vatican Council Chapter 4. Continuity and Pluralism in Catholic Theology: Essays in Honor of Gerald A. McCool. Sacred Heart UP, 1998. pp. 53-73.
  • De Lubac, Henri. The Total Meaning of Man and the World. Communio Vol. 35, No. 4 (Winter 2008). This text is a translation of the first four (of six total) sections from chapter two of de Lubac’s Athéisme et sens de l’homme: une double requête de Gaudium et Spes, in vol. 4 of his Oeuvres Completes (Paris: Cerf, 2006), 471–500. Original publication Coll. Foi Vivante 67 (1968).
  • De Lubac, Henri. "Duplex hominis beatitudo" Communio Vol. 35, No. 4 (Winter 2008). Originally published: “Duplex Hominis Beatitudo (Saint Thomas, Ia 2ae, q. 62, a. I),” Recherches de science religieuse 35 (1948): 290–99. Translated and published by kind permission.

Academic Papers

Blog Discussions


  • The Loss of Nature as a Normative Principle in Catholic Thought, Dr. Steven Long. (Circa. 2009 or 10):
    In a lecture at Thomas Aquinas College, Dr. Steven Long argues that Henri de Lubac's teaching on nature and grace was understandable given the problem situation to whose implications he was responding, but that it unwittingly contributed to the loss of nature as a normative principle. "If one inherits a reduced and anti-theistic idea of “nature,” and if one also inherits an absolutization of the libertarian idea that human freedom lies naturally outside the divine causality and providence, then the denial of any natural proportionate end distinct from supernatural beatitude may seem essential to safeguarding the theonomic character of the human drama. […] de Lubac’s position would be the only one available to the thoughtful Christian were it necessary to accept as true the remote judgements that formed the problem situation to which he was responding—but that it is not necessary to accept them; that these seminal errors should be corrected rather than for apologetic reasons permitted to define the essential contours of theology; and that the price of escaping their force without disavowing them is a strategic disequilibration of the Christian synthesis. Like a firefighter who des not know that the fire has spread far beyond one room and who inadvertently intensifies the fire elsewhere by redirecting the airflow, de Lubac’s heroic effort to escape the implications of antecedent errors in certain critical respects served to amplify them. Nonetheless, any fruitful recovery of the richness of the tradition must achieve the theological end he sought—that of safeguarding the thoroughly theonomic character of the real—while avoiding the loss of nature that has ensued from the manner in which he sought to achieve the end of safeguarding the theonomic character of reality."