The revised, expanded, and updated edition of A History of Apologetics by Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., is now available from Ignatius Press. I received a copy of the book this week and have been enjoying reading the new material. Any Christian interested in apologetics and the defense of the Faith owes it to themselves to read this excellent book. We are fortunate that a scholar and theologian of Cardinal Dulles's stature has written what will surely be recognized as the definitive history of apologetics.
This weekend I'll be posting an IgnatiusInsight.com interview I recently had with Cardinal Dulles about the book and about apologetics. I'll also be posting an excerpt from the book and possibly the table of contents. In the meantime, here is the opening question and answer from the interview:
IgnatiusInsight.com: Why write a history of apologetics?
Cardinal Dulles: I wrote the first edition, published in 1971, because I was asked to do so by the editors of a projected multi-volume theological encyclopedia, tentatively entitled Corpus Instrumentorum. I wrote the present revised edition because the editor of Ignatius Press asked my permission to reprint the first edition. I took time to do a thorough revision and updating because I felt that there were some gaps in the original and there was a great deal of important new literature.
The editors who asked me to do each edition rightly discerned that such a book was really needed. Hardly anything like it exists in any language, and certainly not in English. Most apologists are shamefully ignorant of the history of their own discipline, and for this reason they overlook important distinctions that have been worked out over the centuries and fail to build on the best achievements of the past.
The history of apologetics holds a certain fascination because it exhibits the Christian faith confronting a whole succession of cultures, religious and secular. The unchanging gospel gives unity to apologetics, but the variety of cultures makes each era unique.