Do Not Stifle the Spirit

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Before his death more than twelve years ago, Jacques Dupuis, a prominent Catholic theologian who faced a long persecution by his own church for his teachings on religious pluralism, sat down for a book-length interview with Gerard O’Connell, a noted Catholic journalist, for America, the Jesuit magazine. Dupuis insisted that the frank and honest transcript (“unburdened and unbuttoned,” in the words of a fellow Jesuit) not be published until after he died and certain other curial figures were out of office.

This hidden treasure is finally unburied and presents not only Dupuis’ life story (including his tragic final years) but also his views on religious pluralism, interreligious dialogue, and ecclesiology.

Irish-born journalist Gerard O’Connell is an Associate Editor and Vatican correspondent for America. He has lived in Rome for the past three decades, and has written for a variety of news outlets throughout the English-speaking world including The Tablet and The National CatholicReporter.

Jacques Dupuis, SJ, (1923-2004) taught theology for many years at the Gregorian University in Rome and at the Vidyajyot College of Theology in Delhi, India. His books include Who Do You Say I Am?, Christianity and the Religions and Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.

Book Details

Do Not Stifle the Spirit
Conversations with Jacques Dupuis
Gerard O'Connell
Preface by Gerald O'Collins, SJ

Do Not Stifle the Spirit Table of Contents (978-1-62698-222-2_toc.pdf, 448 Kb) [Download]

"The book will be of significant value to undergraduate and graduate theological libraries of various religious and secular institutions. It will also appeal to many educated general readers of various faith traditions."
"... another welcome resource toward understanding Dupuis’s theology of religious pluralism, his momentous effort to draw on the full riches of church tradition in order to engage faithfully and fruitfully today’s world of many religions, and will be useful to scholars and in classrooms around the world for a generation to come."
This is a book for our times. The Christian population is small compared to those people in China, Russia, India, Indonesia, etc. This book details the outlook and oppression that were part of the life of Fr. Jacque Dupuis, S.J. He is among those theologians proposing a less arrogant attitude about Salvation. I found his Theology to be informative and very freeing. He acknowledges what many of us feel in our gut and gives us the intellectual theological foundation for our gut feelings. The process of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith was literally deadly for Fr. Dupuis.
I cannot help but wonder what Fr. Dupuis felt when he read the 2nd reading of the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time: Brothers and sisters:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.
Fr. Dupuis was prophetic, humble, holy and a seeker of truth. He suffered much but has left a irreplaceable gift to the Roman Catholic Church. Read this series of interviews to know this man, It will inspire you and bring you to tears.
"Jacques Dupuis was a master of historical and theological detail, recognizing nuanced developments and appraising subtle shifts in thinking within the Christian theological tradition and his own disputations. O'Connell's lengthy conversations with Dupuis here allow him to tell the story of Dupuis' struggle with church authorities and disputes with theological critics to advance toward a Christian theology of religious pluralism."
“This remarkable book is an engaging introduction to the struggle of a top Catholic theologian to defend his writings before the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. It also serves as a crash course on the central issues of the theology of religions.”
"The last testament of Jacques Dupuis, present here in his responses to Gerard O’Connell’s kind but constant questioning, reveals the man hidden behind a life of discreet dedication. The final years of suffering present a sad story, yet one in which faith and the love of Jesus shine out. The book also illustrates the immense and lasting contribution of this distinguished theologian, beyond the controversy that surrounded his writings.”
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