Nature, Grace, and "the Drama of Atheist Humanism”
Cover of Political Science Reviewer 46.1


political theology
de Lubac
atheistic humanism

How to Cite

Nature, Grace, and "the Drama of Atheist Humanism”: Henri de Lubac’s Account of Modernity. (2022). The Political Science Reviewer, 46(1), 359-388.


This article examines Henri de Lubac’s account of the origins and nature of modernity as developed in The Drama of Atheist Humanism and later works. De Lubac argues that modernity is essentially characterized by an “atheist humanism” that rejects a transcendent God so as to realize human autonomy and that this humanism can be traced back to the Scholastic theory of “pure nature” with its putative separation of nature from grace. In the article, I assess De Lubac’s narrative as an account of the modern project, arguing that although he fails to demonstrate a connection between Scholastic theology and modern secularism, his claim that modernity is defined by its rejection of the transcendent is valuable for explaining what many scholars have identified as a central element of the modern project: the rejection of nature as a normative standard for human living. I conclude by considering how De Lubac’s distinctive anthropology can contribute to a recovery of the normativity of human nature in a contemporary philosophical context.