Origen (185-ca. 254), one of the most prolific and influential of the early Church Fathers, is best known to us for his Scripture exegesis. Henri de Lubac's History and Spirit is a landmark study of Origen's understanding of Scripture and his exegetical methods. In exploring Origen's efforts to interpret the four different senses of Scripture, de Lubac leads the reader through an immense and varied work to its center: Christ the Word.
As Hans Urs von Balthasar said in discussing this seminal work: "The theory of the senses of Scripture is not a curiosity of the history of theology but an instrument for seeking out the most profound articulations of salvation history..." (From the book The Theology of Henri de Lubac.)
What the reader finds on this journey is not only, then, a fascinating view of the mind and spirit of an important Father of the Church, but an essential key to a more profound understanding of the way in which Christ speaks to us through Scripture.
Henri de Lubac, S. J., was considered as one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century. Together with the works of other towering modern theologians (and friends) Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and Hans Urs von Balthasar, the writings of de Lubac stand out as crucial to twentieth-century Catholicism. Among his other famous books are Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man, The Splendor of the Church, The Christian Faith, The Drama of Atheist Humanism, and The Motherhood of the Church.