Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine

Baker Academic, 2013
ISBN: 9780801049095


The theology of Vincent of Lérins is often reduced to a memorable slogan: “We hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by everyone.” Thomas Guarino argues that this Vincentian Canon has frequently been taken out of context. This book introduces Vincent’s thought and its reception in Christian history, exploring Vincent’s creative and innovative understanding of the development of doctrine and showing how it informed the thought of John Henry Newman. Guarino contends that Vincent’s theology contributes significantly to twenty-first-century theology and ecumenism.

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Key Features

  • Introduces Vincents’ thought and reception in Christian history
  • Explores Vincents’ understanding of doctrine development and his influence on John Henry Newman
  • Provides a thorough academic analysis of the life and background Vincent of Lérins


  • Key Theological Themes in the Commonitorium
  • The Theological Reception of Vincent of Lérins: John Henry Newman
  • The Enduring Ecumenical Importance of Vincent of Lérins

Praise for the Print Edition

Any student of theology interested in the problem of the development of doctrine must take seriously the full measure of Guarino’s carefully researched book. He not only provides us with brilliant historical scholarship but also demonstrates the enduring pertinence of the Vincentian Canon, which is too often reduced to a catchphrase. This volume is a splendid example of authentic ressourcement.

Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Of the splendid Commonitorium of Vincent of Lérins, many Christians know only one sentence—if that. Thomas Guarino remedies the situation superbly. He offers a full reading of the Commonitorium and of Vincent’s complex thought on the development of doctrine. He then moves on to John Henry Newman’s cautious interpretation of Vincent and ends with a reflection on Vincent in contemporary theology and ecumenism. From the Council of Nicaea to Vincent to Newman to Vatican II and beyond, this is a challenging journey, beautifully presented.

Joseph T. Lienhard, professor, Fordham University

Product Details

About Thomas G. Guarino

Thomas G. Guarino is professor of systematic theology at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. He is the author of Vattimo and Theology, Foundations of Systematic Theology, and more.


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