Books by Avery Cardinal Dulles

Church and Society: The Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007
Fordham University Press (February 2008)

One of the leading theologians of our time, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., has written and lectured on a wide range of topics across his distinguished career, and for a wide range of audiences. Integrating faith and scholarship, he has created a rich body of work that, in the words of one observer, is “both faithful to Catholic tradition and fresh in its engagement with the contemporary world.”Here, brought together for the first time in one volume, are the talks Cardinal Dulles has given twice each year since the Laurence J. McGinley Lectures were initiated in 1988, conceived broadly as a forum on Church and society. The result is a diverse collection that reflects the breadth of his thinking and engages with many of the most important—and difficult—religious issues of our day.Organized chronologically, the lectures are often responses to timely issues, such as the relationship between religion and politics, a topic he treated in the last weeks of the presidential campaign of 1992. Other lectures take up questions surrounding human rights, faith and evolution, forgiveness, the death penalty, the doctrine of religious freedom, the population of hell, and a whole array of theological subjects, many of which intersect with culture and politics. The life of the Church is a major and welcome focus of the lectures, whether they be a reflection on Cardinal Newman or an exploration of the difficulties of interfaith dialogue. Dulles responds frequently to initiatives of the Holy See, discussing gender and priesthood in the context of church teaching, and Pope Benedict’s interpretation of Vatican II. Writing with clarity and conviction, Cardinal Dulles seeks to “render the wisdom of past ages applicable to the world in which we live.” For those seeking to share in this wisdom, this book will be a consistently rewarding guide to what it means to be Catholic—indeed, to be a person of any faith—in a world of rapid, relentless change.


Magisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith
Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, 2007.

Substantial theological and ecumenical questions cluster around the term 'magisterium': Does the Church need a teaching office? Can we clearly trace its origins? What is its sphere of competence and the force of its pronouncements? Most importantly, how does it give living witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? In this comprehensive and highly readable study, Avery Cardinal Dulles answers these questions and others like it with a compelling precision honed by a lifetime of reflection on the Church and her singular mission. This book is a rich and informative resource for all inquirers into the nature, purpose and testimony of the teaching office of the Catholic Church. --Thomas G. Guarino, Professor of Systematic Theology, Seton Hall University


A History of Apologetics [Revised Edition]
Ignatius Press, 2005

Making the case for the Christian faith—apologetics—has always been part of the Church's mission. Yet Christians sometimes have had different approaches to defending the faith, responding to the needs of their respective times and framing their arguments to address the particular issues of their day.

Cardinal Avery Dulles’s A History of Apologetics provides a masterful overview of Christian apologetics, from its beginning in the New Testament through the Middle Ages and on to the present resurgence of apologetics among Catholics and Protestants. Dulles shows how Christian apologists have at times both criticized and drawn from their intellectual surroundings to present the reasonableness of Christian belief.


Newman Continuum, 2002

The Holocaust: Never to be Forgotten: Reflections on the Holy See's Document We Remember
by Avery Dulles, Leon Klenicki, Edward Idris Cassidy.
Paulist Press / May 2001

The New World of Faith
Our Sunday Visitor / September 2000

"In Christ, God opens up to us a new world of faith, in relation to which the world of daily experience is tired and old." In this beautifully simple explanation of the Catholic Faith, America's leading theologian Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. unfolds the teaching of the Catholic Church for believers and inquirers alike. Dulles presents the faith not as a dry system of propositions, but as an invitation to communion with Jesus Christ and the call to offer our lives to Him in loving service.


  • An Affirming Theological Synthesis, by William J. Collinge. America Nov 4, 2000.
  • The Splendor of Faith: The Theological Vision of Pope John Paul II
    Crossroad/Herder & Herder / May 1999.

    A philosopher and theologian, as well as priest, and finally Pope, John Paul II has written extensivley on a wide variety of subjects. With his considerable theological expertise and acumen, Avery Dulles has undertaken the demanding task of synthesizing the Pope's theological insights on the complete range of topics from the Trinity and Christology to the economic and social order.


      The Splendour of Faith, New York: Crossroad, 1999 204 pp. Review by Kevin E. Schmiesing. Markets & Morality, Volume 3, Number 1-Spring 2000. Published by The Acton Institute.
    The Priestly Office: A Theological Reflection
    Paulist Press / May 1997.

    The Assurance of Things Hoped For: A Theology of Christian Faith
    Oxford University Press / October 1996.

    Faith, since the earliest Christian theologians, has been regarded as the fundamental Christian virtue--the prerequisite for hope, charity, and good works. In this book, Avery Dulles examines the biblical foundations and history of theological reflection on faith, from the Greek and Latin fathers to such modern giants as Tillich, Rahner, and Lonergan. Further, Dulles presents his own systematic synthesis, reflecting on such topics as the nature and object of faith; the certitude of faith; the birth, growth, and loss of faith; and faith and salvation. The result is a refreshingly relevant theology of faith for our day.


    Testimonial to Grace and Reflections on a Theological Journey
    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. / September 1996.

    Dulles account, written in 1946, of his conversion to the Catholic Church. This special 50th Anniversary Edition contains a newly penned afterword in which the author details his fifty-year journey from conversion to priesthood to theologian. Dulles describes the mentors and the experiences that shaped his perspective as a theologian.

    Crossroad Publishing Company / March 1995


    Models of Revelation
    Orbis Books / September 1994.

    The Catholicity of the Church
    Oxford University Press / January 1987.

    Avery Dulles, well-known for several previous works in ecclesiology, including Models of the Church, here surveys a theme that demands new treatment in the present global and ecumenical context. He deals with questions that are vital for the identity of churches that designate themselves Catholic, and for the relationship between these churches and Protestant forms of Christianity. The prospects of Catholicism are realistically appraised. The Catholicity of the Church reproduces, in slightly revised form, the Martin D'Arcy Lectures delivered by Fr Dulles at Campion Hall, University of Oxford.
    Models of the Church
    Doubleday & Company, Inc. / 1978.