Studies of Hans Urs von Balthasar

The Eucharistic Form of God: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Sacramental Theology
by Jonathan Martin Ciraulo.
University of Notre Dame Press (March 15, 2022). 352 pages.

This study presents Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theology of the Eucharist and shows its significance for contemporary sacramental theology.

Anyone who seeks to offer a systematic account of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theology of the Eucharist and the liturgy is confronted with at least two obstacles. First, his reflections on the Eucharist are scattered throughout an immense and complex corpus of writings. Second, the most distinctive feature of his theology of the Eucharist is the inseparability of his sacramental theology from his speculative account of the central mysteries of the Christian faith. In The Eucharistic Form of God, the first book-length study to explore Balthasar’s eucharistic theology in English, Jonathan Martin Ciraulo brings together the fields of liturgical studies, sacramental theology, and systematic theology to examine both how the Eucharist functions in Balthasar’s theology in general and how it is in fact generative of his most unique and consequential theological positions. He demonstrates that Balthasar is a eucharistic theologian of the highest caliber, and that his contributions to sacramental theology, although little acknowledged today, have enormous potential to reshape many discussions in the field.

The chapters cover a range of themes not often included in sacramental theology, including the doctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and soteriology. In addition to treating Balthasar’s own sources―Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Pascal, Catherine of Siena, and Bernanos―Ciraulo brings Balthasar into conversation with contemporary Catholic sacramental theology, including the work of Louis-Marie Chauvet and Jean-Yves Lacoste. The overall result is a demanding but satisfying presentation of Balthasar’s contribution to sacramental theology. The audience for this volume is students and scholars who are interested in Balthasar’s thought as well as theologians who are working in the area of sacramental and liturgical theology.

Hans Urs von Balthasar on the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises: An Anthology, by Jacques Servais.
Ignatius Press; Translation edition (March 25, 2019). 330 pages.

"I would like one day," Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote in 1952, "to write a book on Ignatius of Loyola, the saint of whom I will always consider myself the least of sons." The Jesuit-formed theologian from Switzerland—widely considered one of the greatest thinkers and spiritual writers of modern times—never got the chance to fulfill this dream.

Instead, Balthasar's whole theology, from Theo-Drama to Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved", is imbued with the influence of Saint Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus and author of the Spiritual Exercises, a multi-week retreat guide that has rejuvenated Catholic spirituality since the sixteenth century. Throughout Balthasar's priestly life, he led countless retreatants in the Ignatian Exercises, accompanying them in their discernment of God's call.

This anthology is an aid for those either giving or making an Ignatian retreat. Full of citations and equipped with four indexes, as well as many texts never before translated into English, it sifts Balthasar's writings for insights into almost every element of Ignatius' "libretto", sometimes diving into themes scarcely explored by others. Moreover, it maps out those hidden strains of Jesuit spirituality that run unnoticed through the theologian's oeuvre. Yet the book may help anyone at all who wants to engage more deeply with Jesus or come to grips with Church doctrine, for as Balthasar himself says, the Spiritual Exercises are both a "great school of Christocentric contemplation" and a "genuine interpretation of the deposit of the faith".

Balthasar for Thomists Balthasar for Thomists
by Aidan Nichols.
Ignatius Press (July 7, 2020). 244 pages.

Students of Catholic theology are often presented with a choice between Thomas Aquinas and Hans Urs von Balthasar as the best masters to follow. What starts as a genial rivalry can sometimes morph into a less well-tempered competition.

Since Aquinas is the classic theologian of the Latin tradition, readers and devotees of Balthasar can hardly repudiate Thomas. But Thomists are under no comparable obligation to develop a sympathy for Balthasar. This study by a highly-respected Dominican theologian seeks to show the many debts of Balthasar to Aquinas, as well as the points where Balthasar departs from Thomas, or goes beyond him.

Father Nichols concludes that, while constituting an original form of Catholic thought, Balthasarianism may be regarded as a synthesis of the influences of St. Thomas and his Franciscan contemporary, St. Bonaventure. Balthasar for Thomists also serves as a general introduction to Balthasar for those unacquainted with his profound and wide-ranging theology.

The Trinitarian Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar: An Introduction
by Brendan McInerny.
University of Notre Dame Press (April 30, 2020). 248 pages.

Although scholarship has long recognized the centrality of the Trinity in the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, no sustained treatment of this theme has been undertaken. In this insightful new study, Brendan McInerny fills this gap, situating Balthasar’s Trinitarian theology in conversation both with the wider Christian theological tradition and with his non-Christian intellectual contemporaries. Drawing from across Balthasar’s extensive body of works, McInerny argues that Balthasar’s vivid description of the immanent Trinity provides a way to speak of how “God is love” in himself, beyond his relationship to creatures. He then shows how Balthasar’s speculation into the immanent Trinity serves as the substructure of his theology of deification. For Balthasar, what we say about the inner life of God matters because we are called to share in that very life through Christ and the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God the Father. Finally, responding to the criticisms that Balthasar’s speculations into the inner life of God are without warrant, McInerny argues that Balthasar’s bold Trinitarian claims are actually a vehicle for apophatic theology. Balthasar’s vivid description of the triune God does not transgress the boundaries of theological discourse. Rather, it manifests God’s ever-greater incomprehensibility through verbal excess, oxymoron, and paradox.
Hans Urs von Balthasar on the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises: An Anthology, by Jacques Servais.
Ignatius Press; Translation edition (March 25, 2019). 330 pages.

"I would like one day," Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote in 1952, "to write a book on Ignatius of Loyola, the saint of whom I will always consider myself the least of sons." The Jesuit-formed theologian from Switzerland—widely considered one of the greatest thinkers and spiritual writers of modern times—never got the chance to fulfill this dream.

Instead, Balthasar's whole theology, from Theo-Drama to Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved", is imbued with the influence of Saint Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus and author of the Spiritual Exercises, a multi-week retreat guide that has rejuvenated Catholic spirituality since the sixteenth century. Throughout Balthasar's priestly life, he led countless retreatants in the Ignatian Exercises, accompanying them in their discernment of God's call.

This anthology is an aid for those either giving or making an Ignatian retreat. Full of citations and equipped with four indexes, as well as many texts never before translated into English, it sifts Balthasar's writings for insights into almost every element of Ignatius' "libretto", sometimes diving into themes scarcely explored by others. Moreover, it maps out those hidden strains of Jesuit spirituality that run unnoticed through the theologian's oeuvre. Yet the book may help anyone at all who wants to engage more deeply with Jesus or come to grips with Church doctrine, for as Balthasar himself says, the Spiritual Exercises are both a "great school of Christocentric contemplation" and a "genuine interpretation of the deposit of the faith".

The Achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar: An Introduction to His Trilogy (Studies In Early Christianity)
by Matthew Levering (Author), Cyril O'Regan (Foreword)
Publisher : The Catholic University of America Press (May 8, 2019). 280 pages.

In The Achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar, Matthew Levering has written a book for theologically educated readers who mistrust von Balthasar or who mistrust von Balthasar's critics. The book shows that von Balthasar's critics can and should benefit both from the rich and wide-ranging conversations that mark his trilogy and from the critical and constructive engagement with German philosophical modernity offered by the trilogy. In addition, Levering hopes to show that those who mistrust von Balthasar's critics need to be more Balthasarian in their response to criticisms of the Swiss theologian.

In this introductory volume, the focus is on the first volume of each part of the trilogy. This approach exhibits the main lines of von Balthasar's trilogy in a way that allows for an introductory volume of manageable size. This approach also avoids the more controversial volumes of the trilogy. Reading von Balthasar with the goal of engaging his more controversial views is certainly justifiable, but in an introductory book, the danger is that some readers could miss the forest due to their opposition to some of the trees.

The Achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar contributes to the healing of the internecine conflicts that, since the 1930s or earlier, have pitted Ressourcement theologians and Thomistic theologians against each other with grave consequences for the health of Catholic theology. Despite sharing a strong belief in the faithful mediation of divine revelation through Scripture and the Church, many Catholic theologians today find themselves at loggerheads with each other. Easily forgotten by the Ressourcement and Thomistic combatants is their shared commitment to the theo-aesthetic beauty, theo-dramatic goodness, and theo-logical truth of Christ's revelation of Trinitarian self-surrendering love as our source and supernatural goal, and their shared rejection of philosophical modernity's immanentism, historicism, and power-centered voluntarism. The present book seeks to highlight these shared commitments, while leaving room for disagreement about von Balthasar's specific positions and approaches.

And Still We Wait: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theology of Holy Saturday and Christian Discipleship
by Riyako Cecilia Hikota
Pickwick Publications (January 30, 2018)

In response to the recent critiques made against Balthasar's interpretation of Christ's descent into hell on Holy Saturday, this book argues that Balthasar does not intend to present a radical reinterpretation of the doctrine in contrast to the traditional teachings but rather intends to fully appreciate the in-betweenness of Holy Saturday as the day of transition from the cross to the resurrection, from the old aeon to the new. The book further argues that this awareness of the "in-betweenness" can be detected throughout Balthasar's theological corpus and provides a clue to interpret his thoughts on Christian discipleship and suffering. After all, the Christian existence is also characterized by the transition from the old aeon to the new, from suffering to victory. The Christian believes that their victory is already here and not here yet. In this sense, the Christian still lives in Holy Saturday. Eventually, we can deepen our understanding of Christian discipleship and suffering in the light of Holy Saturday. In short, we could patiently endure our Holy Saturday because of Christ's Holy Saturday in hell.
The Eschatological Judgment of Christ: The Hope of Universal Salvation and the Fear of Eternal Perdition in the Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
by Henry C. Anthony Karlson III
Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers (June 28, 2017).

Hans Urs von Balthasar hopes that all might be saved. Critics say that makes Balthasar a universalist, and his universalism has become a hindrance for the evangelical mission of the church. Why would anyone evangelize and seek to convert others to the Christian faith if it is assured that everyone will be saved?

Balthasar, throughout his writings, denied he was a universalist. He said that there is no way to know if all will be saved or not. Since God desires all will be saved, we can hope all will be, but until everyone has been judged, there will be no way to know if God's desire will be accomplished. Why? Because God does not force salvation on anyone. God gave humanity freedom, and he will not remove it from anyone, even if it means he risks losing some to perdition.

Balthasar's critics believe his denial was merely a pretense, so that his speculations would not be condemned. They do not take his denials seriously. But should they? Does he really believe it is possible some might be damned? If so, how? By what means would anyone be damned?

"Karlson offers a welcome corrective to the many one-sided treatments of Balthasar's eschatology. His extensive knowledge of Balthasar's corpus reveals a thinker for whom sin and damnation remain essential parts of the Christian drama. Future commentators on Balthasar will ignore this book at their own peril."
--Patrick X. Gardner, Valparaiso University

"Karlson has produced a wonderful and readable introduction to a very complicated and important discussion within Catholic theology."
--Thomas L. Humphries Jr., Associate Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Religion, Saint Leo University; author of Ascetic Pneumatology from John Cassian to Gregory the Great

The Authority of the Saints: Drawing on the Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
by Pauline Dimech.
Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers (June 9, 2017).

Pauline Dimech explores whether and to what extent we may attribute authority to the saints, but also how we may ensure that it is the saints, and not the scoundrels, whose influence persists and whose memory endures. The thing that drives her research is the thought that history is full of examples of individuals who held positions of official authority that they did not deserve. Dimech is convinced that Hans Urs von Balthasar can help us clarify the issues surrounding the authority of the saints. Besides establishing Balthasar's involvement with the enterprise, this book tries to establish the theological foundations upon which the authority of the saints would have to be based in theory, and, possibly, already, however implicitly, based in practice.
Von Balthasar and the Option for the Poor: Theodramatics in the Light of Liberation Theology
by Todd Walatka.
Catholic University of America Press (February 1, 2017)

The first half of the book offers a clear account of Balthasar's most fundamental philosophical and theological commitments as a foundation for developing a liberating theodramatics. The second half offers a creative reworking of Balthasar's Christology, anthropology, and ecclesiology in light of the work of Gustavo Gutiérrez, Oscar Romero, and Jon Sobrino as well as seldom engaged texts in Balthasar's corpus. In so doing, Von Balthasar and the Option for the Poor provides a rich and unmatched dialogical engagement between Balthasar and Latin American liberation theology―an engagement that brings greater consistency to Balthasar's thought, increased attentiveness to the shape of divine revelation, and greater responsiveness to the challenges facing the Church in the modern age. As a liberating theodramatics, Balthasar's theological vision is opened to and reformed by a robust affirmation of God's merciful partiality towards the poor and oppressed, the option for the poor as an essential dimension of the Christian life, and the recognition that oppressive structures are theodramatic realities that oppose God's gift of life.
Solidarity with the World: Charles Taylor and Hans Urs von Balthasar on Faith, Modernity, and Catholic Mission
by Carolyn A. Chau.
Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers (June 9, 2017).

Is Christian mission even possible today? In "a secular age," is it possible to talk about the goodness of God in a compelling way? How should the church proceed? Carolyn Chau explores the question of Catholic mission in a secular age through a constructive interpretation of the work of two celebrated Catholic thinkers, philosopher Charles Taylor and theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, arguing that Taylor and Balthasar together offer a promising path for mission today. Chau attends to Taylor's account of the conditions of belief today, and the genesis of the sociohistorical limits on contemporary "God-talk," as well as his affirmation of certain aspects of Western modernity's "culture." From Balthasar, Chau sifts out the distinctiveness of his view of the human person as defined by mission, and his encouragement of a kenotic self-understanding of the church. In the end, Chau claims that if modern persons in secular Western societies are seeking fulfillment and integrity, Christian spirituality remains a rich resource on offer.
Love Itself Is Understanding: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theology of the Saints
by Matthew A. Rothaus Moser.
Fortress Press (November 1, 2016)

What do the saints have to do with truth? Saints and their concern for holiness are often relegated to the realm of spirituality or kitsch, while the search for truth is reserved for the intellectual elite. Truth and spirituality appear to be utterly separate categories. Hans von Balthasar (1905-1988) sets out to reunite Truth and holiness by returning the saints to their proper place at the heart of philosophy, theology, and metaphysics. Love Itself is Understanding is one of the first systematic treatments of Balthasar's theology of the saints. Matthew Rothaus Moser presents Balthasar as an alternative to Idealist philosophy, a thinker who develops a religious metaphysics in which the saints' practices of prayer and contemplation are the chief mode of knowing that the Truth of Being is divine love. Love Itself is Understanding casts new light on dominant themes in Balthasar's thought and invites a renewed vision of the theological and metaphysical significance of the spiritual practices of prayer, obedience, and charity.
A Generous Symphony: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Literary Revelations
by Christopher D. Denny.
Fortress Press (October 1, 2016)

A Generous Symphony offers a balanced appraisal of Balthasars literary achievement and explicates Balthasars literary criticism as a distinctive theology of revelation, which offers possibilities for understanding how divine presence may be manifested outside the canonical boundaries of Christian tradition. The structure of A Generous Symphony is a chronological presentation of the Balthasarian canon of imaginative literature, which allows readers to see how social and historical interests guide Balthasar's readings in the pre-Christian, medieval, and modern eras. While other books have examined the systematic theology of Balthasar, this book will examine the important question of how students of literature, like Balthasar, can be transformed into theologians by attending to the implicit presence of Christ in what Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem "As kingfishers catch fire . . ." called the ten thousand places. Balthasar's deep investment in the uniqueness of Christian revelation is underlined, while, at the same time, his aesthetic sympathies cause him to invest literature with ‘quasi-sacramental’ status.
The Trinity and Theodicy: The Trinitarian Theology of von Balthasar and the Problem of Evil
by Jacob H. Friesenhahn.
Routledge New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies

Why does God permit the great suffering and evil that we see in our world? This basic question of human existence receives a fresh answer in this book as the mystery of evil is explored in the context of the mystery of the Trinity. God's permission of evil and the way in which suffering can lead human persons into the life of the Trinity are discussed in dialogue with the great Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. In the light of Balthasar's model of the Trinity as divine self-giving love, we gain a profound grasp of the nature of suffering in human life by placing our suffering in the context of the divine life of the Triune God.
Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought
by Jennifer Newsome Martin.
University of Notre Dame Press; 1 edition (September 15, 2015)

In Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought, Jennifer Newsome Martin offers the first systematic treatment and evaluation of the Swiss Catholic theologian’s complex relation to modern speculative Russian religious philosophy. Her constructive analysis proceeds through Balthasar’s critical reception of Vladimir Soloviev, Nicholai Berdyaev, and Sergei Bulgakov with respect to theological aesthetics, myth, eschatology, and Trinitarian discourse and examines how Balthasar adjudicates both the possibilities and the limits of theological appropriation, especially considering the degree to which these Russian thinkers have been influenced by German Idealism and Romanticism.

Martin argues that Balthasar’s creative reception and modulation of the thought of these Russian philosophers is indicative of a broad speculative tendency in his work that deserves further attention. In this respect, Martin consciously challenges the prevailing view of Balthasar as a fundamentally conservative or nostalgic thinker. In her discussion of the relation between tradition and theological speculation, Martin also draws upon the understudied relation between Balthasar and F. W. J. Schelling, especially as Schelling's form of Idealism was passed down through the Russian thinkers. In doing so, she persuasively recasts Balthasar as an ecumenical, creatively anti-nostalgic theologian hospitable to the richness of contributions from extra-magisterial and non-Catholic sources.

The Holy Trinity: Hans Urs von Balthasar and His Sources
by Katy Leamy.
Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers (April 26, 2015)

This book explores the ways in which Balthasar employs and adapts the thought of Sergei Bulgakov with the Trinitarian theology of Thomas Aquinas to form a kenotic Trinitarian theology that is based on the notion of Personhood as a relation of self-donating love. When we look at Balthasar's Trinitarian theology in light of Bulgakov, and particularly as a rereading of Bulgakov in light of a Thomistic Trinitarian theology, we are not only able to more clearly understand the implications of Balthasar's own Trinitarian theology but also to highlight the beauty and relevance of Bulgakov's Trinitarian contribution. This reading of Balthasar's Trinitarian theology, read in light of a Thomistic adjustment of Bulgakov, provides an excellent point of integration for an ethics that takes into account not only individual virtues and perfection but also the social/relational context of human personhood. This ethics is based in a concept of human nature bearing the imago Trinitatis and fulfilling that nature through sacramental participation and ethical extension of Christ's self-offering love.
Theo-Poetics: Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Risk of Art and Being
by Anne M. Carpenter.
University of Notre Dame Press; 1 edition (November 11, 2015).

Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) originated much of twentieth- and twenty-first-century theology’s renewed interest in aesthetics. Von Balthasar’s theology is both poetic and philosophical, and while this combination is often recognized, it calls for an explanation. In Theo-Poetics: Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Risk of Art and Being, Anne M. Carpenter explores von Balthasar's use of poetry and poetic language, and she offers a detailed analysis of his philosophical presuppositions. Carpenter argues that von Balthasar uses poets and poetic language to make theological arguments because this poetic way of speaking expresses metaphysical truth without reducing one to the other.

Carpenter begins with von Balthasar's very early interests in music, literature, and philosophy, in particular his work, Apocalypse of the German Soul. She explores and the trilogy, moving through his despair over the possibility of reconciling art and theology. She uncovers the major characteristics of von Balthasar's metaphysical thinking, discussing his interactions with Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, and Martin Heidegger to firmly link Christology, metaphysics, and the expressiveness of language. The book concludes by marshaling its themes into a focused evaluation of von Balthasar's "redeemed" theo-poetic as it comes to expression in the poetry of G. M. Hopkins. Carpenter resituates and reevaluates Hopkins's poetry in a new context, placing him in the school of Aquinas rather than Scotus, and shows us how metaphysics is necessary for a vigorous understanding of language.

A Trinitarian Anthropology: Adrienne von Speyr and Hans Urs von Balthasar in Dialogue with Thomas Aquinas
by Schumacher Michele.
The Catholic University of America Press (November 7, 2014).

In this magisterial work, Michele M. Schumacher seeks to promote dialogue between disciples of the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (d. 1988) and those of the church's common doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) on a critical theological question. How are analogies and metaphors from the philosophy and theology of the person (anthropology) rightly used to address the mystery of the Trinity? She does so by considering the specific setting of Balthasar's theology: the inseparability of his work from that of the Swiss physician and mystic Adrienne von Speyr (d. 1967).

Most Balthasar scholars have not addressed in any significant manner the figure and influence of von Speyr, perhaps owing to the unsystematic nature of her more than 60 volumes (approximately 15,000 pages) of mystical theology. In addition, there is the even more lengthy work of Balthasar himself. A Trinitarian Anthropology explores von Speyr's vast mystically - and biblically-inspired theology, and the significant connections between her teaching and his.

Schumacher systematically exposits the Trinitarian theological anthropology of von Speyr, as it emerges through her vast corpus, in parallel with a development of the same theme in Balthasar's work. She uses as the basis for her work a key theme of Balthasar's anthropology: the mystery of "difference-in-unity." Balthasar presents this mystery of the theology of the person in terms of certain Spannungen or tensions: the body and the soul; the individual and the community; man and woman; nature and grace; and person and mission.

Finally, the volume exposits Aquinas' own doctrine on theological discourse, in view of initiating a dialogue with his disciples. This it does not only by responding to many of their challenges to Balthasar and their criticisms of his work, but also by demonstrating, in a spirit of Catholicism, the congruity (unity-in-difference) between Balthasar's doctrine and that of St. Thomas.

Balthasar on the Spiritual Senses: Perceiving Splendour
by Mark McInroy.
Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 22, 2014)

In this study, Mark McInroy argues that the "spiritual senses" play a crucial yet previously unappreciated role in the theological aesthetics of Hans Urs von Balthasar. The doctrine of the spiritual senses typically claims that human beings can be made capable of perceiving non-corporeal, "spiritual" realities. After a lengthy period of disuse, Balthasar recovers the doctrine in the mid-twentieth century and articulates it afresh in his theological aesthetics. At the heart of this project stands the task of perceiving the absolute beauty of the divine form through which God is revealed to human beings. Although extensive scholarly attention has focused on Balthasar's understanding of revelation, beauty, and form, what remains curiously under-studied is his model of the perceptual faculties through which one beholds the form that God reveals. McInroy claims that Balthasar draws upon the tradition of the spiritual senses in order to develop the means through which one perceives the "splendour" of divine revelation.

McInroy further argues that, in playing this role, the spiritual senses function as an indispensable component of Balthasar's unique, aesthetic resolution to the high-profile debates in modern Catholic theology between Neo-Scholastic theologians and their opponents. As a third option between Neo-Scholastic "extrinsicism," which arguably insists on the authority of revelation to the point of disaffecting the human being, and "immanentism," which reduces God's revelation to human categories in the name of relevance, McInroy proposes that Balthasar's model of spiritual perception allows one to be both delighted and astounded by the glory of God's revelation.

Marcion and Prometheus: Balthasar Against the Expulsion of Jewish Origins from Modern Religious Dialogue
by Anthony Sciglitano.
The Crossroad Publishing Company (May 15, 2014).

Highlighting the dangerous tendency among the humanist critics of Christianity to dismiss or “debunk” the religious claims of historic Judaism, this study defends the importance of Jewish revelation and seeks to build a bridge between conservative Christians and faithful Jews. In doing so, it clarifies the uniqueness and historical claims of Christianity, especially in the context of interreligious dialogue. The book grounds itself in the thought of Swiss theologian and priest Hans Urs von Balthasar, who argued that the Western modernist dismissal of Jewish religious was a reinvention of the historical heresy of Marcionism, which rejected the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament God. The book contends that for genuine, effective interreligious dialogue to occur, there must be more respect for Jewish origins.
Anatomy of Misremembering: Von Balthasar’s Response to Philosophical Modernity. Volume 1: Hegel
by Cyril O'Regan.
The Crossroad Publishing Company (March 15, 2014).

This compelling work is the most comprehensive and sophisticated account to date of the relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar—a Swiss theologian and Catholic priest—and the German philosopher Georg Hegel. While underscoring the depth and breadth of Balthasar’s engagement with the philosopher, author Cyril O’Regan argues that Balthasar is the most concertedly anti-Hegelian theologian of the 20th century. For him, it is essential to engage Hegel because of his corrections of sclerotic forms of premodern Christian thought, but even more importantly to resist and correct his systematic thought, which represents a comprehensive misremembering of the Christian thought, practices, and forms of life. An important and original work, this book addresses a topic that puts the possibility of an authentic postmodern theology at stake.
Saving Karl Barth: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Preoccupation
by D. Stephen Long.
Fortress Press (February 1, 2014).

Challenging recent rejections of Hans Urs von Balthasar's groundbreaking study of Karl Barth's theology, Stephen Long argues that these interpreters are myopically impatient with the nuances of Balthasar's reading of Barth and fail to appreciate the longstanding theological friendship that perdured. Even more, current readings threaten to repristinate the embattled divide hallmarking Protestant-Catholic relations prior to Vatican II. Long contends against these contemporary trajectories in a substantial defense of Balthasar's theological preoccupation with Barth's thought. This book offers one of the first full contextualizations of the friendship that developed between Balthasar and Barth, which lasted from the 1930s until Balthasar's death in the 1980s. Re-evaluating Balthasar's theological work on Barth, the present volume provides a critical new reading of not only Balthasar's original volume but a wider account of the systematic engagement Balthasar carried on throughout his career. Within this, a paradigm for fruitful, generous ecumenical dialogue emerges.



Christ and Analogy: The Christocentric Metaphysics of Hans Urs Von Balthasar
by Junius Johnson
Fortress Press (September 1, 2013)

As one of the pillars of the nouvelle theologie movement, a main influence upon the Second Vatican Council, and one of the few figures to complete a full-scale multi-volume systematics, Hans Urs von Balthasar is undoubtedly one of the towering figures of twentieth-century theology. Until now, the structural undergirding of von Balthasar’s main contribution, a weighty 15-volume, three-part “triptych” dogmatics, has not been assessed. In this volume, the author presents an analysis of von Balthasar’s work in dogmatics and provides the structural linchpin for understanding the whole of this massive (and massively important) systematic theology by reconstructing the metaphysics of von Balthasar. Taking the person of Jesus Christ as the metaphysical starting point, the project highlights the fundamental connections to key doctrinal, historical, and philosophical issues. This is a critical volume for professors, scholars, and students in systematic theology, philosophical theology, and the study of twentieth-century Catholic and Protestant theology and history.
Understanding the 'Imago Dei': The Thought of Barth, von Balthasar and Moltmann
by Dominic Robinson.
Routledge; New edition edition (June 28, 2011)

As theologians across confessional divides try to say something significant about human dignity in our contemporary society, there is fresh interest in the ancient Christian doctrine that the human being is created in the 'imago Dei'. Theology is grounding responsibility for others and for the world around us in this common vision that the human being's infinite horizon lies in a divine calling and destiny. Robinson examines the 'imago Dei' debate through three giants of twentieth century theology - Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Jürgen Moltmann. This is placed against a survey of the principle developments and distinctions relating to the doctrine in the history of Christian thought, which in itself will be valuable for all students of Theology. A fresh analysis of ecumenical contributions places the development of the doctrine in the context of the ongoing process of ecumenical dialogue on the dignity of the human person, with special reference to this theme in the first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est. Whilst 'imago Dei' is the focus of this book, Robinson invites the reader to see its relevance to theology as a whole on a specifically ecumenical canvas, and relates directly to more general areas of theological anthropology, grace, salvation, and the relationship between God and the world.
Balthasar: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed)
by Rodney Howsare.
T & T Clark International (August 2009)

This is a concise and helpful guide for students grappling with the main principles of Balthasar's thought. Balthasar's thought, if it is anything, is perplexing, and it is perplexing for a number of reasons. In this "Guide for the Perplexed", Rodney Howsare gives the reader a handle on these perplexing aspects of Balthasar's thought. In the first chapter he introduces the reader to the man and his unique method of doing theology. He then moves on to explaining the basic structure and nature of the triology: the aesthetics, dramatics and logic. He then deals with various theological topics: Jesus Christ, The Trinity, The Drama of Redemption, The Church and Mary, and The Last Things. A final chapter summarizes Balthasar's place in modern theology and suggests further readings for the interested reader. "Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.


How Balthasar Changed My Mind: 15 Scholars Reflect on the Meaning of Balthasar for Their Own Work
by Rodney A. Howsare PhD (Editor), Larry S. Chapp PhD (Editor).
The Crossroad Publishing Company (November 1, 2008)

Addressing the widespread and growing interest in the thought of Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar—whose influence on Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI has been enormous—this collection, by a team of established theologians and intellectuals, reflects on Balthasar's impact. Not a collection of scholarly articles, these are essays on the way in which Balthasar's theology is being taken up into other theological and philosophical projects, as well as contemplations on how Balthasar has influenced the authors personally. Key themes include the importance of beauty, the dramatic nature of truth, the centrality of revelation, the uniqueness and universality of Christ, and the intrinsic relationship between theology and sanctity. This volume is both a first-rate introduction to Balthasar and a window into the way that great theologians understand the driving questions of their work. Contributors include Michael Hanby, Nick Healy, Francesca Murphy, Danielle Nussberger, Cyril O'Regan, Tracey Rowland, and David L. Schindler.
Love Alone Is Credible: Hans Urs Von Balthasar As Interpreter of the Catholic Tradition (Ressourcement: Retrieval and Renewal in Catholic Thought)
edited by David L. Schindler.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (July 2, 2008)

In Hans Urs von Balthasar’s masterwork, The Glory of the Lord, the great theologian used the term "theological aesthetic" to describe what he believed to the most accurate method of interpreting the concept of divine love, as opposed to approaches founded on historical or scientific grounds. In this newly translated book, von Balthasar delves deeper into this exploration of what love means, what makes the divine love of God, and how we must become lovers of God in the footsteps of saints like Francis de Sales, John of the Cross and Therese of Lisieux.

Based in the theological aesthetic form, Love Alone is Credible brings a fresh perspective on an oft-explored subject. A deeply insightful and profound theological meditation that serves to both deepen and inform the faith of the believer.

Theological Aesthetics after von Balthasar (Routledge Studies in Theology, Imagination and the Arts)
by James Fodor (Author), Oleg V. Bychkov (Editor)
Routledge (July 28, 2008)

This collection of essays by distinguished authors explores the present-day field of theological aesthetics: from von Balthasar’s contribution and parallel developments to correctives and alternatives to his approach. A tribute to von Balthasar’s own project expands into a dialogue with ancient and medieval traditions in search of revelatory aesthetics. The contributors outline challenges to his approach (including Protestant perspectives) and introduce new ways of viewing the field of theological aesthetics, which ultimately opens up to the idea of concrete cultural contexts and practical human needs determining the use of the arts and aesthetic sensibilities in theology.
Karl Barth and Hans Urs Von Balthasar: A Critical Engagement
by Stephen Wigley.
T. & T. Clark Publishers (September 2007).

Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar are two of the most important theologians of the last century. Although one being Reformed and the other Catholic, they kept a lifelong friendship which also influenced their theological work. The book argues for the crucial influence of von Balthasar's meeting with and study of Barth for the emergence of his own great theological trilogy, beginning with The Glory of the Lord, continuing with the Theo-Drama and concluding with the Theo-Logic. In particular it argues that it is von Balthasar's debate with Barth over the analogy of being which is to determine the shape of von Balthasar's subsequent theology, structured as it is around the transcendentals of being, the beautiful, the good and the true.
Light in Darkness: Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Catholic Doctrine of Christ's Descent into Hell
by Alyssa Lyra Pitstick.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (February 28, 2007)

He descended into hell. Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth-century, placed this affirmation of the Nicene Creed at the heart of his reflection on the world-altering events of Holy Week, asserting that this identification of God with the human experience is at the "absolute center" of the Christian faith.

Alyssa Lyra Pitstick’s Light in Darkness — the first comprehensive treatment of Balthasar’s theology of Holy Saturday — draws on the multiple yet unified resources of authoritative Catholic thinking on Christ’s descent to challenge Balthasar’s influential conclusions. This carefully argued, contrarian work is sure to spur debate across the theological spectrum.


Divine Fruitfulness: A Guide to Balthasar's Theology Beyond the Trilogy
by Aidan Nichols.
Catholic University of America Press (February 28, 2007)

This fifth and final book in Aidan Nichols's Introduction to Hans Urs von Balthasar series covers Balthasar's prodigious output from the 1940s to his death in 1988, leaving aside the great multi-volume trilogy. Nichols identifies Balthasar's most significant sources, including the Church Fathers (especially Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus the Confessor, and Augustine), Henri de Lubac, Karl Barth, and Adrienne von Speyr. He then guides the reader through Balthasar's works thematically, covering fundamental theological themes (revelation and theology, divine providence, the paschal mystery), Mary and the church, the saints, prayer and mysticism, and Christian literature. Readers familiar with Balthasar's corpus will immediately recognize the major works on which Nichols draws. Throughout, Nichols calls attention to the way in which these writings fill out and complete the trilogy.
Scattering the Seed: A Guide Through Balthasar's Early Writings on Philosophy And the Arts
by Aidan Nichols.
T. & T. Clark Publishers, Ltd. (September 26, 2006)

Aidan Nichols's newest book in his ongoing Introduction to Hans Urs Von Balthasar series investigates Balthasar's early explorations of music and the other arts, before launching into a ramifying but controlled survey of his—often highly original—interpretations of major philosophers and literary figures in the European tradition from the early modern period until the 1930s.

Balthasar seeks to discover elements of truth, goodness, and beauty in a rich range of figures. He gives special attention to classical German philosophers (such as Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, and Nietzsche), as well as to dramatists and novelists (notably Goethe, Schiller, and Dostoevsky), and to intellectual giants of his own century (such as Bergson, Scheler, and Barth). He also intends to prove that writers who had lost a living contact with the biblical revelation carried by Christianity were incapable of reconstituting a synthesis of ideas about the goal of man and the universe, an accomplishment that could be taken for granted in the high medieval epoch. At the same time, the modern writers whom Balthasar investigates add, in his view, crucial enhancements of human understanding—particularly in relation to history and the human subject—which must be factored into any new overall vision of the future of the human soul and indeed the human species in its cosmic environment.

Hans Urs Von Balthasar And Protestantism: The Ecumenical Implications of His Theological Style
by Rodney Howsare.
T. & T. Clark Publishers (September 30, 2005).

This book examines Balthasar's engagement with Protestantism, primarily in the persons of Martin Luther and Karl Barth, a topic which has not yet been given the attention it deserves. Furthermore, instead of focusing on particular theological issues, such as soteriology or ecclesiology, the book examines the implications of this engagement for Fundamental Theology.

At the very root of Luther's confrontation with the Catholic Church of the Late Middle Ages, lies his antipathy for Aristotle and for "natural theology." In other words, the Protestant difference has as much to do with its suspicion of the treatment of faith and reason in Catholic thought as it does of the Catholic treatment of faith and works.

This is a suspicion that is only exacerbated in Barth's identification of the "analogy of being" with the Antichrist. Balthasar takes these criticisms very seriously, and, in addressing them, not only has much of relevance to say to the Catholic-Protestant differences, but also has much to say to the Yale-Chicago differences. In short, this study treats primarily Balthasar's dialogue with Luther and Barth, with the hope that this dialogue will shed light on the impasse that seems to have arisen between the so-called "correlation" and "revelocentric" schools of contemporary theology. If, indeed, Christ is the "concrete universal," then we shouldn't have to decide between the two. Part of this proposal, then, is to emphasize the fact that Balthasar refuses to separate Fundamental and Dogmatic theology.


Glory, Grace, and Culture: The Work of Hans Urs Von Balthasar

This collection of nine essays examines and celebrates the life and thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the twentieth century's greatest Catholic theologians, an authority on the Church Fathers and author of the monumental, three-part, fifteen-volume The Glory of God, Theo-Drama, Theologic, as well as humanist, expert on culture, philosophy and literature, publisher and editor, and would-be cardinal. Appointed to become a cardinal by Pope John Paul II (he was regarded as the Pope's favorite theologian), Balthasar died several days before his elevation.

Author and scholar Ed Block, Jr., leads as editor and contributor, providing an introduction, as well as the essay Theo-Drama that relates Balthasar's characteristic theme of Kenosis with the dramatist, actor, and audience. Dr. Block brings together seven distinguished fellow scholars--David Schindler (on Balthasar's negation of Nietzsche); Peter Casarella (on the meaning and purpose of Balthasar's theological language); Christophe Potoworowski (how Balthasar relates scriptural interpretation and holiness); David Yeago (the relationship between nature and grace); Aidan Nichols (Balthasar's theological aesthetics); Virgil Nemoianu (who places Balthasar among the world's great humanists); and Edward Oakes, SJ, (who discusses Balthasar's favor of the hermeneutical method over the historico-critical).

Together these writings display the interdisciplinary facets of Balthasar's thought that synthesize into a concise, deeply-held Christian account of God and the world.

Intended as an advanced primer for undergraduate audiences, this one-volume text, with endnotes and bibliography, presents a comprehensive look at the remarkable man and his thought.


The Eschatology of Hans Urs von Balthasar: Being As Communion (Oxford Theological Monographs)
by Nicholas J. Healy.
Oxford University Press, USA (July 15, 2005)

The unifying centre of Nicholas J. Healy's book is an analysis, in dialogue with the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas, of Balthasar's understanding of the analogy of being. This discussion of analogy is framed by an interpretation of Balthasar's trinitarian eschatology. Healy shows that the ultimate form of the end, and thus the measure of all that is meant by eschatology, is given in Christ's eucharistic and pneumatic gift of himself - a gift that simultaneously lays bare the mystery of God's trinitarian life and enables Christ to 'return' to the Father in communion with the whole of creation.
The Cambridge Companion to Hans Urs von Balthasar
edited by Edward T. Oakes, S. J., David Moss.
Cambridge University Press (September 13, 2004)


Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Dramatic Structure of Truth: A Philosophical Investigation
by David Schindler.
Fordham University Press (August 9, 2004)

Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905Ð1988) was one of the most prolific and influential theologians of the twentieth century. This book, the first English-language study of Balthasar, seeks to show the fruitfulness of his thought by drawing out its philosophical implications for the question of truth.D. C. Schindler argues that a "dramatic" approach, shaping both the form and content of philosophy, enables a new conception of being, of human consciousness, and of their coming together to satisfy both traditional concerns about unity and postmodern calls for difference-while avoiding the pitfalls of a one-sided emphasis on either.


The Art of Theology: Hans Urs Von Balthasar's Theological Aesthetics and the Foundations of Faith (Studies in Philosophical Theology, 25)
by Stephan Van Erp.
Peeters (April 2004)

The twentieth century Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) wrote a seven volume masterpiece on theological aesthetics. He restructured theology around basic aesthetic concepts like form and beauty. The present study offers a critical analysis of Balthasar's work against the background of contemporary debates on theological foundations. The author approaches this task through a careful rereading of two of Balthasar's key sources: Nicholas of Cusa and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling. In this way the author rediscovers hidden undercurrents in modernity from Renaissance aesthetics to German Idealism. The result is a theological aesthetics rooted in tradition and capable of understanding and communicating faith in the face of present day challenges.
Hans Urs Von Balthasar's Theological Aesthetics: A Model for Post-Critical Biblical Interpretation
by William T. Dickens.
University of Notre Dame Press (November 2003)

Critically assessing Balthasar's interpretation of scripture in The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Dickens demonstrates the extent to which his approach to scripture abides by certain pre-modern interpretive conventions.
Systematic Thought of Von Balthasar: An Irenaean Retrieval
by Kevin Mongrain.
Herder & Herder (June 25, 2002).

Is there a single driving force unifying the diverse writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar? Kevin Mongrain points to von Balthasar’s retrieval of Irenaeus of Lyons. In Irenaeus, von Balthasar found inspiration for a genuinely Christian theology that resists the recurring danger of gnosticism while honoring the Mystery of God.
f Irenaeus of Lyons. In Irenaeus, von Balthasar found inspiration for a genuinely Christian theology that resists the recurring danger of gnosticism while honoring the Mystery of God.


Towards a Theology of God the Father: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theodramatic Approach
by Margaret M. Turek.
Peter Lang Publishing (July 2001)

Among Hans Urs von Balthasar's vast corpus of theological works not one is found devoted specifically to an elaboration of a doctrine of God the Father. This study gathers and interprets Balthasar's many scattered reflections on the mystery of the God of Jesus Christ - especially those concentrated in his Theological Dramatic Theory - on its way to constructing an approach towards a theology of God's Fatherhood. Several of the most significant current issues in theology are addressed in this study, such as a reinterpretation of divine omnipotence in terms of the Father's all-powerful powerlessness, the question of the possibility of coexistence between infinite freedom and finite freedom, an understanding of the immutability of God that allows for the Father's being affected in some way by finite freedom, and an account of the Father's generative act that sees as integral to it a properly paternal modality of receptivity.
No Bloodless Myth: A Guide through Balthasar's Dramatics
by Fr. Aidan Nichols.
Catholic University of America Press (March 2000)


Review, by Edward T. Oakes. Times Literary Supplement. April 3, 2001. Review, by David Moss. New Blackfriars March 5, 2003.


Contents & Preface Chapter 1: "Transition from Aesthetics" Chapter 2: "Rationale for Aesthetics"
The Ethical Thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar
by Christopher W. Steck.
Herder & Herder (December 2001)

In this remarkable study, the first of its kind in any language, Christopher Steck uncovers the ethical dimension of von Balthasar’s thought, showing its relation to other key issues in his works, and to key figures such as Ignatius Loyola, Karl Barth, and especially Karl Rahner. Steck shows both the importance of ethics in von Balthasar’s thinking and how it exposes limitations of current ethical reflection. This clear, authoritative introduction is indispensable for von Balthasar scholars and students of contemporary Catholic theology, as well as all interested in major trends about religious ethics.
Say It Is Pentecost: A Guide through Balthasar's Logic
by Aidan Nichols.
Catholic University of America Press (March 2001)

This book offers a comprehensive summary and interpretation of Balthasar’s logic. Nichols also considers the way in which the early volume "The Truth of the World" points forward to the theological aesthetics and dramatics and also how "Theo-Logic’s" concluding volumes pick up the themes of "The Glory of the Lord" and "Theo-Drama." He looks particularly at how Balthasar relates revelation of divine beauty and divine goodness to the unfolding of divine truth. The book concludes with a retrospective review of the trilogy as a whole.


Contents and Preface Chapter 1: "Introducing Balthasar's Logic" Chapter 27: "Epilogue to the Trilogy"


The Logic of Revelation. Review by John-Peter Pham. Crisis October 2001.
Hans Urs von Balthasar: Outstanding Christian Thinkers, by John O'Donnell.
Continuum International Publishing Group; New Ed edition (October 2000)

Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-88) is now acknowledged as one of the twentieth century's greatest Roman Catholic theologians - along with such others as Yves Congar, Bernard Lonergan, and Karl Rahner. His voluminous writings deal with the whole range of Christian doctrine. The significance of Scripture, the notion of creation, the nature and purpose of people, the meaning of faith, the nature and work of Christ are all topics on which Balthasar has written
Person to Person: Friendship and Love in the Life and Theology of Hans Urs Von Balthasar
by John S. Bonnici.
Alba House (July 1999).

The Word Has Been Abroad: A Guide Through Balthasar's Aesthetics
by Aidan Nichols.
Catholic University of America Press (June 1998)

Awarded the prestigious Paul VI Prize for theology and designated a Cardinal just before his death in 1988 by Pope John Paul II, Balthasar's writings have clearly helped to shape the theological style of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. His seven-volume series The Glory of the Lord provides a rich and complex theological aesthetics approaching God (unusually) through the transcendental attribute of Beauty (Glory) rather than directly through Truth or Goodness, and drawing not only upon theology but upon the entire breadth of the European literary and religious tradition-ancient, mediaeval, modern, and postmodern.

Understandably, The Glory of the Lord in its very extent and range is difficult to assimilate. In "The Word Has Been Abroad," Aidan Nichols, one of Britain's most accomplished and lucid theological writers, succeeds in summarizing the essential theological content of Balthasar's monumental work, against the background of the living Christian tradition to which it bears such impressive witness. In this way, Father Nichols has provided a much-needed key to understanding one of the most difficult but important writers of our time.


Contents, Preface & Introduction Chapter 1: "The Face of Beauty"

The Dramatic Encounter of Divine and Human Freedom in the Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
Peter Lang Publishing (1st Edition, 1997)


Pattern of Redemption: The Theology of Hans Urs Von Balthasar
by Edward T. Oakes.
Continuum International Publishing Group; New Ed edition (May 1997)


Reviewed by John R. Sachs Theological Studies December 1995. The Century's Greatest Theologian. Review by Aidan Nichols. CRISIS Magazine, Sept. 1995. Reviewed by Robert P. Imbelli Commonweal April 7, 1995.

The God Who Speaks: Hans Urs Von Balthasar's Theology of Revelation (Distinguished Research)
by Larry S. Chapp.
Intl Scholars Pubns (January 1997)

This new study is a unique contribution to the understanding of Balthasar's theology. The central thesis of Chapp's text is that Balthasar's seemingly eclectic writings can be interpreted as a coherent theological whole centered around a single controlling idea: that the Christian God is a "God who speaks" and a "God who would be known". This study is unique for it recognizes the deeply held Christian conviction that the God of Jesus Christ is a God who speaks in an articulate, recognizable, and historically visible manner. It is Chapp's contention that Balthasar's entire theological opus can be interpreted as an elaborate theology of revelation that develops a "theology of the finite" (using aesthetic and dramatic analogical categories) that acts as the condition of possibility for God's historically visible self-disclosure.


Marian Principle in the Church According to Hans Urs Von Balthasar
Peter Lang Pub Inc (December 1996)


Christology from Within: Spirituality and the Incarnation in Hans Urs von Balthasar, by Mark A. McIntosh.
Univ of Notre Dame Pr (September 1996).


Word and Silence: Hans Urs Von Balthasar and the Spiritual Encounter Between East and West, by Raymond Gawronski.
Eerdmans Pub Co (October 1995).

As the tremendous theological achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar becomes better known in the English-speaking world, it becomes easier to see the relevance of his work for one of the most important cultural events of our time: the encounter of Christianity with Asia. Balthasar regarded the dialogue with Buddhism in particular as of greater long-term significance for Christianity even than the ancient dialogue with Greek thought, which decisively shaped the history of Christendom.

Fr Gawronski's monumental and highly readable study presents a synthesis of Balthasar's work in this field, of great importance to all those concerned with inter-faith dialogue. Balthasar shows that, for the Christian, God is himself Word, a Word uttered in the eternal interpersonal dialogue which is the very being of God. The obscure longing of Platonic 'eros' gives way before the flowering of a bridal mystery in which the Word weds Silence. This is the centrepiece of Christian self-understanding, and basic for any fruitful encounter with other religious traditions.

From the fullness of the Trinity, God's incarnate Word is received by the perfect Hearer, Mary, who becomes the symbol of a creation that must pass through the silence of the tomb into the transformed spaces of the Holy Spirit. The silence of humility is the way of prayer, which allows the seed-word to be sown and to bear fruit in the lives of the saints. Here the figure of the saint, embodying a mission from God, is compared by Balthasar to that of the sages of the non-biblical traditions, including the Boddhisattva. Concerning the encounter with Asia, Balthasar wrote, 'The question is: does selflessness mean emptiness or Trinitarian love? The dialogue is possible.' It is possible and it may not be avoided. Upon it hangs the future of civilization.

Hans Urs Von Balthasar: A Theological Style
by Angelo Cardinal Scola.
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (September 1995)

This volume by Angelo Scola, a longtime friend of Balthasar and a leading scholar of his work, provides the most penetrating introduction to the vast writings of the great Catholic theologian available anywhere. Scola beautifully captures Balthasar's "theological style" and offers a reading of Balthasar that passes through the most important phases of his writings: theological, philosophical, and artistic. Intended to serve as an examination of the "form" of Balthasar's philosophical and theological approach rather than as a detailed overview of his themes and theses, this study will be an invaluable aid to students and scholars seeking to understanding the complex body of Balthasar's work. FROM THE CRITICS "Balthasar's thought is complex, and Angelo Scola gives us a helpful guide." - New Oxford Review "An invaluable introduction to the theological style which permeates Balthasar's writings.... A "must" for the serious student of Balthasar, Scola's text represents an invaluable addition to college and university libraries." - Catholic Library World
Hans Urs Von Balthasar: His Life and Work, edited by David Schindler.
Ignatius Press (October 1991)

The Immutability of God in the Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
by Gerard F. O'Hanlon.
Cambridge University Press (October 26, 1990)

This study shows how the trinitarian theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar opens up an aproach to the controverted question of God's immutability and impassibility which succeeds in respecting both the transcendence and the immanence of God. Contrary to both Process thought and the classical Thomist position, von Balthasar's scattered treatment is here presented thematically, in a way which makes it clear that his idea of an analogous event in the trinitarian God (in which we participate) is a radical re-interpretation of the traditional Christian axiom of divine immutability.