Comblin, José 1923-1988

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COMBLIN, José 1923-1988

PERSONAL: Born March 22, 1923, in Brussels, Belgium; died 1988. Education: Catholic University of Louvain, doctorate, 1950. Religion: Catholic.

CAREER: Ordained Catholic priest and educator. Catholic University, Louvian, Belgium, then Chile, professor of philosophy, 1958-61, professor of theology, 1958-65 and 1972-c.88. Visiting professor, Harvard University, 1976.


La résurrection de Jésus-Christ, éditions Universitaires (Paris, France), 1959, translation by Mary David published as The Resurrection in the Plan of Salvation, Notre Dame University Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1966.

Jesus de Nazaré, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1971, translation by Carl Kabat published as Jesus of Nazareth: Meditations on His Humanity, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1979.

Teología de la misión, Latinoamerica Libros (Buenos Aires, Brazil), 1974, translation by John Drury published as The Meaning of Mission, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1977.

O enviado do pai, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1977, translation by Carl Kabat published as Sent from the Father: Meditations on the Fourth Gospel, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1979.

The Church and the National Security State, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1979.

O clamor dos oprimidos, o clamor de Jesus, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1984, translation by Robert Barr published as Cry of the Oppressed, Cry of Jesus, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1988.

O espírito santo e la libertação, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1984, translation by Paul Burns published as The Holy Spirit and Liberation, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1989.

Antropologia cristã, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1985, translation by Robert R. Barr published as Retrieving the Human: A Christian Anthropology, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1990.

Cristãos rumo ao século, translation by Phillip Berry-man published as Called for Freedom: The Changing Context of Liberation Theology, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 1998.

Work represented in anthologies, including The Repressive State: The Brazilian "National Security Doctrine" and Latin America, Brazilian Studies (Toronto, Canada), c. 1976; and The Church in Latin America, 1492-1992, c. 1994.


Théologie de la paix, Éditions Universitaires (Paris, France), Volume 1, 1960, Volume 2, 1963.

échec de l'action catholique? Éditions Universitaires (Paris, France), 1961.

Educação e fé: os princíipios da educação cristã, Herder (São Paolo, Brazil), 1962.

Commentaires de Jean XXIII: Pacem in terris, Éditions Universitaires (Paris, France), 1963.

Le témiognage et l'esprit, Éditions Universitaires (Paris, France), 1964.

Hacia una teologia de la accíon, Herder (Barcelona, Spain), 1964.

Nação e nacionalismo, Duas Cidades (São Paolo, Brazil), 1965.

Le Christ dans l'apocalypse, Desclee et Cie (Tournai), 1965.

Theologie de la ville, Éditions Universitaires (Paris, France), 1968.

Os sinais dos tempos e a evangelização, Duas Cidades (São Paolo, Brazil), 1968.

O provisório e o definitivo, Herder (São Paolo, Brazil), 1968.

História da teologia Católica, Herder (São Paolo, Brazil), 1969.

A fé no evangelho, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1969.

O futuro dos ministerios na igreja latino-americana, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1969.

Cristianismo y desarrollo, I.P.L.A. (Quito, Brazil), 1970.

Mitos e realidades da secularização, Herder (São Paolo, Brazil), 1970.

A maior esperança, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1970.

Theólogie de la révolution, Éditions Universitaires (Paris, France), 1970.

A oração de Jesus, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1973.

Théologia de la pratique révolutionnaire, Éditions Universitaires (Paris, France), 1974.

A liberdade cristã, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1977.

Le Pouvoir militaire en Amérique latine: l'idéologie de la Sécurité nationale, Delarge (Paris, France), 1977.

Teologia da enxada: uma experiénce da igreja do nordeste, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1977.

O espírito no mundo, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1978.

Evangelizar, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1980.

O tempo da ação: ensaio sobre o espírito e a histório, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1982.

Jesus Cristo e sua missão, Paul (São Paolo, Brazil), 1983.

O espírito santo e sua missão, Paul (São Paolo, Brazil), 1984.

A força da palavra, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1986.

Teologia de reconciliação: ideologia ou reforçe da libertação, Vozes (Petrópolis, Brazil), 1987.

Contributor to various books. Work also represented in anthologies. Contributor to periodicals, including Re-vista eclesiástica brasileira, Social Compass, and Spiritus.

SIDELIGHTS: José Comblin was a Catholic priest and writer who produced books on various aspects of theology. Comblin was born in 1923 in Brussels, Belgium. In 1950, after several years of study, he received his doctorate from the Catholic University of Louvain. After being ordained to the priesthood, Comblin became a professor of philosophy at Catholic University. He subsequently taught theology at the school's campuses in Chile and Belgium during the 1970s and 1980s.

Comblin's publications in English translation included The Holy Spirit and Liberation, in which he argues that spiritualism, having become divorced from the organized Church, can be revived through human kindness. "Comblin," wrote Gary A. Furr in Christian Century, "deserves appreciation for treating a neglected subject." Furr conceded that "some sections . . . are less inspired, and [Comblin] occasionally struggles to remain systematic," but he acknowledged The Holy Spirit and Liberation as "a refreshing approach."

Another volume, Called for Freedom: The Changing Context of Liberation Theology, was described by America reviewer Roberto S. Goizueta as "a series of inspired and inspiring reflections on the current historical moment." Goizueta added that Called for Freedom "represents an important addition to the English-language literature." Gary MacEoin, meanwhile, wrote in National Catholic Reporter: "What is especially attractive about [Called for Freedom] is the author's realism." He added that Comblin "helps us to understand the enormity of the world changes we are living and forces us to ask the practical question: 'What is to be done?'"

Comblin's writings have also appeared in various collections, including The Church in Latin America, 1492-1992. Gary MacEoin, writing in National Catholic Reporter, called Comblin's piece "a survey of the church's attitude to human rights."



America, May 1, 1999, Roberto S. Goizueta, "Whither Liberation Theology?" p. 27.

Christian Century, October 25, 1989, Gary A. Furr, review of The Holy Spirit and Liberation, pp. 964-966.

National Catholic Reporter, May 6, 1994, Gary MacEoin, review of The Church in Latin America, 1492-1992, p. 20; September 4, 1998, Gary MacEoin, review of Called for Freedom: The Changing Context of Liberation Theology, p. 26.*

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Comblin, José 1923-1988

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