Yves Congar’s Tradition and Traditions in “The Meaning of Tradition”

What is tradition?

Often this is merely a theological question. Something professors ask students to write papers about. However, I think our ability to share what our dynamic, Catholic understanding of tradition is, is actually important for evangelization. Tradition gets a bad rap. From one side, it’s seen as an alternative (or competitor) to the Bible. From another side, tradition is seen as equivalent to conservatism or the reason why the Church is “out of touch.”

Yves Congar O.P. to the rescue! While this chart certainly does not do justice to Congar’s writing, I attempt to visually depict how he explains the key differences between Tradition and traditions in Chapter 1 of The Meaning of Tradition (1964). (Note: the full text of Chapter 1 is available in Preview from GoogleBooks.)



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