The Ecclesiology of Erich Przywara, S.J.

Doctoral Dissertation


This dissertation argues that the analogia entis, the idea for which Jesuit philosopher and theologian Erich Przywara is best known, serves as the framework for an Ignatian ecclesiology. The first chapter argues that the analogia entis is the structural principle of “creaturely metaphysics,” that is, the basic sensibility shared by all worldviews affirming creation from nothing. The second chapter argues that this analogical structure finds expression not only in speculative metaphysics but in religious experience (both supernatural and natural), thus providing the medium through which religion informs metaphyiscs and vice-versa. The third chapter shows how Ignatian religious sensibility both embodies the formal analogia entis and gives it a concrete shape. Among its characteristic emphases are reverence for the “ever greater dissimilarity” between God and creatures and respect for creaturely agency. The fourth and fifth chapters designate two different attempts by Przywara to transpose this specifically Ignatian configuration of the analogia entis into an ecclesial register: first, an ecclesiology of “discretion,” in which Przywara models the relationship between Church as hierarchy and the Church as mystical body on the relationship between the ideal Jesuit superior and his subject; second, a nuptial ecclesiology, in which Przywara models the tenson between the Church “from above” and the Church “from below” on the relationshp between Christ and Mary. The Catholic Church turns out to be the true Church, according to Przywara, because it is the most “analogical” Church and thus the best school of “creatureliness.”


Attribute NameValues
Author Aaron Pidel, SJ
Contributor Cyril O'Regan, Committee Member
Contributor M. Catherine Hilkert, O.P., Committee Member
Contributor John Betz, Research Director
Contributor Peter Casarella, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Theology
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2017-05-30

Submission Date 2017-07-13
  • Przywara, Ecclesiology, Jesuit, Mystical Body, Nuptial, Hierarchy, Analogia Entis, Analogy, Grace, Philosophy of Religion

  • German

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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