The Lord of History
When Msgr. Eugene Kevane’s seminal work The Lord of History was originally published in 1980, it responded to a call by the Second Vatican Council to promote “a more effective coordination of philosophy and theology so that they supplement one another in revealing . . . the Mystery of Christ, which affects the whole course of human history” (Optatum Totius 14).
Lamenting that in modernity Christ is no longer the center of the universal history of mankind, let alone the center of one’s personal history, Kevane believed it was critical for catechists to reclaim Christ as the Lord over every aspect of humanity’s collective and individual experience. In this new edition of The Lord of History, Kevane’s groundbreaking work introduces today’s generation to the bedrock of Christian philosophy and its relationship to religious instruction and beyond.
About the author:
Msgr. Eugene Kevane was a pioneer in the field of catechetics. A longtime faculty member at both the Catholic University of America and St. John’s University (Long Island, New York), he went on to found the Notre Dame Catechetical Institute. The Institute’s Master’s program in catechetics provided rigorous intellectual formation in accordance with Catholic teaching during an era when this was almost unheard of. Msgr. Kevane also authored nine books related to catechetics, history, philosophy, and more. A beloved teacher, scholar, and spiritual father, Msgr. Kevane passed away in 1996.
“In the early 1980’s, I was invited to teach summer school at the Notre Dame Catechetical Institute in Middleburg, Virginia. It was there that I first encountered Msgr. Eugene Kevane. Over breakfast, I had the opportunity to benefit from his wisdom and experience as a faithful priest, a sound philosopher and theologian, and a true pedagogue.
Returning after all these years to his book, The Lord of History, I felt as though I were renewing those early morning conversations with Msgr. Kevane. With erudition and insight, he moves us beyond the ideological compartmentalization of history, under which we’ve labored so long, and presents to us instead an authentic philosophy of history which, at its root, is open both to the doctrine of creation and the mysterium, the saving plan of the Father, revealed and accomplished by the Pasch of the Incarnate Logos through the Holy Spirit in the very heart of human history. Thus do we glimpse the Lord of History! In setting forth this vision and understanding, Msgr. Kevane offers perennially wise guidance for the intellectual formation of seminarians, priests, and indeed all who engage in the ministry of evangelization and catechesis. After forty years, this volume continues to merit our study and attention.”—Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland
“As I worked on my Master’s degree under Msgr. Eugene Kevane, he quoted St. Paul in every class: ‘O Timothy, guard the deposit of faith’ (1 Tim 6:20). He demonstrated his deep desire to do so by astute intellectual reflection as well as total and loving fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium. Now, after so many years, his work has become easily available to all those who love the Lord and his Church! It is with great personal joy that I recommend this book.”—Sr. M. Johanna Paruch, FSGM, Ph.D., Franciscan University of Steubenville
“When I wrote the course of studies for Franciscan University’s catechetics program, I considered Msgr. Kevane my mentor. His understanding formed my own approach. In this work, Msgr. Kevane presents to priests and catechists the absolutely necessary philosophy of history that ‘reveals the mystery of Christ which affects the whole course of human history.’ He brings out the revelation of the mystery of Christocentrism and the need for us to pass that on. The kerygma, contained in the Apostles’ Creed, must be presented as transforming history. The kerygma is the definite plan for the revelation of God. This plan has two comings: The coming of the Incarnate Word and the Second Coming in glory. This rootedness in time, between the two comings, has had a tendency to disappear in catechesis. It must be brought back.
In Sapientia Christiana (1979), Pope St. John Paul II gives the norms for the presentation of the faith. Kevane’s book, following in 1980, is an application of the Saint’s instruction, still pertinent today. We must go back to a revealed understanding of the world. This book will help take you there.”—Barbara Morgan, Founding Director of the Office of Catechetics and Former Professor of Catechetics at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Author of Echoing the Mystery, and Director of Religious Education, Christ the King Catholic Church, Ann Arbor, MI