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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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
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.