By Balthasar, Hans Urs von; Johnson, Junius; Balthasar, Hans Urs von

As one of many pillars of the nouvelle theologie flow, a prime impact upon the second one Vatican Council, and one of many few figures to accomplish a full-scale multi-volume systematics, Hans Urs von Balthasar is certainly one of many towering figures of twentieth-century theology. formerly, the structural undergirding of von Balthasar's major contribution, a weighty 15-volume, three-part "triptych" dogmatics, has now not been assessed. during this quantity, the writer offers an research of von Balthasar's paintings in dogmatics and offers the structural linchpin for knowing the entire of this large (and hugely vital) systematic theology by means of reconstructing the metaphysics of von Balthasar. Taking the individual of Jesus Christ because the metaphysical place to begin, the venture highlights the basic connections to key doctrinal, historic, and philosophical matters. this can be a serious quantity for professors, students, and scholars in systematic theology, philosophical theology, and the examine of twentieth-century Catholic and Protestant theology and heritage

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It quickly became apparent that this was a type of task that has not really been done, and I was encouraged by the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing project of critical reflection on this great theologian by being the first to try my hand at so daunting a task. I did not, however, fully realize even at the time that I completed the dissertation the extent to which this study is meant to enable the later study. Only subsequent reflection has shown how much that is true and has allowed me to more properly cordon off issues that do not properly belong to this study.

Theology is that discourse which is primarily concerned with the proper conceptualization and articulation, as far as it is humanly possible, of truths about God. Theology is not anthropology, or physics, or literature, yet it will deliver much that is true which will drastically alter the reflections of all other disciplines. Thus, if we know that God is of such a sort (Creator, good, worthy of worship), we will also know a lot about humanity. Or better, we will have to exclude certain theses about humanity (our self-sufficiency, for instance).

Thus, whether positively or negatively, Hegel looms large. [29] The complicated relationship appears very clearly in Theologic III, when von Balthasar, on his way to constructing what he calls a “Spirit-Christology,” turns to Hegel as one who has done most in this area. Hegel receives a generally sympathetic treatment before being booted out of the realm of true Spirit-Christology. It is particularly Hegel’s understanding of the Spirit that disqualifies him (namely, that it is not personal); but this is really a Christological disagreement at heart: such a person-less Spirit within a philosophical system controlled by the concept of Geist shows that personhood, and particularly personhood in Christ, has not yet become the ground of philosophical reflection.

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