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Category Archives: Hans Urs von Balthasar

Bit of Balthasar

“Contemplation’s object is God, and God is triune life. But as far as we are concerned, we only know of this triune life from the Son’s incarnation. Consequently we must not abstract from the incarnation in our contemplation. We cannot contemplate God’s triune life in itself; if we did we would sink into a vacuum, […]

Bit of Balthasar

“In the reciprocal relations between Protestants and Catholics, the most striking thing is that the latter ignore the former completely and no longer give them a thought: they perceive the Protestant principle as a minus of themselves, something they have clearly penetrated once and for all and have found to be too light, something that […]

Bit of Balthasar

“The edifying principle in Protestantism rests on a process of downward leveling: before God and from the divine perspective, all human activity, all so-called religion, is nothing but idle sin and inanity. For man, the only genuine humility that saves is for him to acknowledge this and cling exclusively to God’s grace. The edifying principle […]

Some (potential) Problems with Balthasar’s Ecclesiology

One way to understand the nature of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s “mood” as a theologian is to realize the way in which he seeks to view all of reality as fundamentally symphonic. Indeed one could characterize his whole theological career as an attempt to listen to as much of the “symphony” of creation as possible. […]

Time and Love

“Time is the revealer of love through its manifoldness, through its slow unfurling of millions of possibilities. Time is the fully unfolded intensity of love, since within Time love can take on the meaning of a story, of a process. Even in a purely formal sense — quite apart from whatever happens within it — […]

Against Being Holistic

Some of my favorite theologians to read are grand synthesizers who are capable of building conceptual systems of theology that are very beautiful things indeed to explore, linger, and wander about in. Two that come immediately to mind are Hans Urs von Balthasar and Thomas Torrance. Balthasar in particular is one of the greatest examples […]

Balthasar at the Center

Two of my favorite books, as I’ve mentioned many times are David Bentley Hart’s The Beauty of the Infinite and Alan Lewis’ Between Cross and Resurrection. And, in terms of theological conclusions, you would be hard-pressed to find two books that come to more radically different conclusions. Lewis’ study is a bold attempt to seriously […]

The Balthasar Blog Conference is Complete

This year’s Balthasar Blog Conference has come to a close.  Thanks to David Congdon for a great lineup and some excellent discussions.  You can read his closing reflections on the various plenary posts here.  Next year’s blog conference on Balthasar is already in the works and it looks like it will focus on the fasinating […]

The Balthasar Blog Conference Continues

If any of you have not yet been over to the Fire and the Rose to check out the ongoing Hans Urs von Balthasar conference, you should definitely take a look.  There have been some great posts and responses so far, including the most recent piece by Francesca Murphy on Balthasar’s reading of Exodus 3 and the […]

Balthasar: Love, the Final Thing

“Christ’s new foundation, his Church is the communication to mankind of the pneuma, interior to God, which is the location, consummation and testimony of the love between the Father and Son.  Henceforth the Church exists consciously, the unbelieving world unconsciously, within the trinitarian love, which proved itself to be the final thing, the eschaton, because […]

The Balthasar Blog Conference Begins!

   Just a note to let everyone know that as of today the first annual Balthasar Blog Conference, hosted by David at the Fire and the Rose has begun.  The first post, by Lois M. Miles is up which analyzes the relationship between Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyer’s work on Scripture.  Yours truly is actually […]

Balthasar: Being Seized by Beauty

“Both the person who is transported by natural beauty and the one snatched up by the beauty of Christ must appear to the world to be fools, and the world will attempt to explain their state in terms of psychological or even physiological laws (Acts 2.13).  But they know what they have seen, and they care […]

Balthasar on the Christian Hope for Universalism

“Just as God so loved the world that he completely handed over his Son for its sake, so too the one whom God has loved will want to save himself only in conjunction with those who have been created with him, and he will not reject the share of penitential suffering that has been given […]

More on Balthasar, Metz, and Conceptual Neatness

Earlier I discussed Johann Baptist Metz’s critique of Hans Urs von Balthasar on the basis of his alleged tendency to “sublate” the history of human suffering into the Trinitarian history of God in such a way that the particular historical character of such suffering is glossed over.  I think that ultimately such a criticsm of […]

Metz, the Trinitarian History of God, and the Nonidentity of Human Suffering

In his newly-translated Faith in History and Society, Johann Baptist Metz makes a great many fascinating contributions to political theology, engaging seriously with the problem of human suffering.  In the process, he makes a number of interesting observations about how other theologians deal with the problem of suffering.  Taking Karl Barth, Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann, and […]

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