Study the essential wisdom of one of the greatest theologians of the last century—Hans Urs von Balthasar. Writing over 100 books and articles, he was devoted to addressing spiritual and practical issues of his time and resisted reductionism and the human focus of modernity, wanting Christians to challenge modern and philosophical assumptions.
Hans Urs von Balthasar influenced the theology and studies of Raymund Schwager and Karl Barth. He is lauded equally by Catholics and Protestants for his theological works and his response to Western modernism.
Balthasar is best known for his 16-volume systematic theology which is divided into three parts: The Glory of the Lord, Theo-Drama, and Theo-Logic. The Glory of the Lord, the seven-volume work on theological aesthetics, introduces theology based on the contemplation of the good, beautiful, and true. The second part of the trilogy, the five-volume Theo-Drama, focuses on theodramatics, the actions of God and our human response. Balthasar particularly focuses on the events of Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. The trilogy is completed with the three-volume Theo-Logic. Here, Balthasar describes the relation of the nature of Jesus Christ (Christology) to reality itself (ontology). Finally, in Epilogue Balthasar brings together the three parts of his trilogy by providing an overview and analysis of the preceeding 15 volumes. This collection includes all four parts, as well as the four-volume Explorations in Theolgy, and Love Alone Is Credible.
The Explorations in Theology provide an excellent introduction to the thought of Balthasar for those unfamiliar with him, and their chapters will focus on specific themes treated throughout his works for those who are familiar with him. This collection is an excellent overview of the writings and thought of one of the most outstanding theologians of the past century. In Love Alone is Credible, Balthasar explores the manifestation of God’s love and reflects on the workings of that love through the Church.
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Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) was a Swiss theologian, considered to be one of the most important Catholic intellectuals and writers of the twentieth century. He studied in Vienna, Berlin, and Zurich, and completed his doctorate in German literature in 1928. Incredibly prolific and diverse, he wrote over one hundred books and hundreds of articles. Although the Balthasar’s studies are diverse and scattered, his theology and philosophies are stirring, practical, and profound. He was drawn towards the spiritual and mystical theology of the Church Fathers, deferring to Scripture and patristic writers to answer modernist and neo-scholastic questions. During his life, he was both a diocesan priest and a Jesuit instructor. He was nominated to be a cardinal of the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II himself, but Balthasar died two days before his ceremony.