The essays in this collection all concern the interpretation of Scripture in relation to the Catholic Ressourcement. A theological renewal movement that began in the early twentieth century, the Ressourcement movement centered on a “return to the sources” such as Scripture, the Church Fathers, and liturgy. The point of such a return was to discover in these sources the wisdom, truth, and spiritual insight which could speak meaningfully to contemporary challenges.

William M. Wright first focuses on three major Ressourcement figures—Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, and Joseph Ratzinger—and considers aspects of their theological thinking about Scripture or how Scripture is employed as a theological resource. Next, Wright examines Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth books, showing how they put into practice (for a general readership) many of the theological insights characteristic of the Ressourcement movement. Last, Wright considers how the theological insights of the Ressourcement movement can be used to as a resource for the interpretation of Scripture. He uses characteristic Ressourcement concerns, such as the relationship between the testaments, the theology of history, and liturgy, to help illumine the biblical text.

Wright not only provides substantive examination of the place of the Bible in this important theological movement, but also shows how the insights of the Ressourcement can be helpful for the interpretation of Scripture today.


Dr. William M. Wright IV (Ph.D., Emory University) is a professor of theology at Duquesne University and a specialist in New Testament studies. He is the author of several books, including (with Francis Martin) The Gospel of John and Encountering the Living God in Scripture: Theological and Philosophical Principles for Interpretation. Dr. Wright has been elected to the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas and the Academy of Catholic Theology and serves on the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue. He is also a Lay Dominican.



“No New Testament scholar can afford to bypass this book. The Bible and Catholic Ressourcement is an erudite and lively continuation of the promising Ressourcement project. Wright felicitously weaves the strands of biblical exegesis, as brought to life afresh by de Lubac, Congar, and Benedict XVI, into an immensely rich reading of the Johannine Gospel. A convincing and fresh symphony of Catholic faith and up-to-date exegesis emerges, bringing the liturgical Jesus Christ into vivid focus.”

—Emery de Gaál, University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary


“Wright’s book is a highly creative engagement with the legacy of Ressourcement written by a serious biblical scholar. It should be welcomed by all seeking to repair the divisions between ‘theologians’ and ‘biblical scholars’ that have been so unhelpful a feature of post-conciliar theology.”

—Lewis Ayres, Durham University & Australian Catholic University


“If Ressourcement reflection in general and that of de Lubac in particular constitute a wellspring for the task of integration and synthesis, Wright carries this task forward not only by his wonderful analysis of Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth, but in his own sophisticated and luminous exegesis which gives full weight to both.”

—Cyril O’Regan, University of Notre Dame


“Wright’s treatment of the biblical hermeneutics of Congar, de Lubac, and Ratzinger is masterful. This is the kind of work the drafters of Dei Verbum could only have imagined in their most hopeful moments. It can be read for both intellectual and spiritual insight, much like Ratzinger’s Jesus of Nazareth volumes.”

—Tracey Rowland, University of Notre Dame (Australia)


“Joseph Ratzinger’s 1988 Erasmus Lecture on the modern crisis in biblical interpretation described the task of meeting this crisis as the work of an entire generation of scholars. With these essays, William Wright makes a substantial contribution to this monumental task. Wright’s essays display a rare combination: a profound theological acuity in theoretical matters brought to bear on concrete examples from Scripture. This is a welcome addition to the ongoing project of renewing Catholic biblical interpretation.”

—Isaac A. Morales, O.P., Providence College

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The Bible and Catholic Ressourcement: Essays on Scripture and Theology