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How Balthasar Changed My Mind
A wide-ranging and illuminating tribute to an influential theologian
How Balthasar Changed My Mind
15 Scholars Reflect on the Meaning of Balthasar for Their Own Work
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.
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.
Contributors include Robert Barron, Martin Bieler, Anthony DiStefano, Raymond Gawronski, S.J., Michael Hanby, Nicholas J. Healy, Rodney A. Howsare, Francesca Murphy, Danielle Nussberger, Cyril O'Regan, Russell Reno, Tracey Rowland, David C. Schindler, David L. Schindler, and Adrian Walker.
Reviews and endorsements
“It is becoming increasingly evident that Hans Urs von Balthasar will be judged by future generations as a 'constitutive' theologian, meaning a foundational theologian for the coming centuries, the way Augustine was constitutive for the early Middle Ages and Thomas Aquinas for the late Middle Ages (and modernity!). Observers who think such a judgment, at this juncture of history, is premature should read this book. In this book we see the same phenomenon at work as happened soon after the deaths of Augustine and Aquinas: a slowly dawning realization that here is a theologian who must be wrestled with, a wrestling match that will result in no less than a changing of minds. Some authors represented here are more resistant to the lure of Balthasar than others; but even their struggle proves the point. I feel sure that this book, too, will change minds. Read it at your own risk, for you will be different after setting it down.”
—Edward T. Oakes, S.J., University of St. Mary of the Lake, co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Hans Urs von Balthasar and author of Patterns of Redemption: The Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
"It's hard to believe that theology could ever transform anybody's life, let alone that the work of any particular theologian could do so, but that is a measure of just how extraordinary Hans Urs von Balthasar's impact has been on this array of very talented, idiosyncratic and sometimes quite eccentric people: a sign of how creative and attractive his witness is."
—Fergus Kerr, honorary fellow in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh