Hans Urs von Balthasar and Protestantism examines Balthasar's engagement with Protestantism, primarily in the persons of Martin Luther and Karl Barth and explores 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 Catholic treatment of faith and reason as it does with the Catholic treatment of faith and works. This is a suspicion that is only exacerbated in Barth's association 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 about the Catholic-Protestant differences, but also about the Yale-Chicago differences. In short, this study shows how Balthasar's dialogue with Luther and Barth sheds light on the impasse that has arisen between the so-called "correlational" and "revelocentric" schools of contemporary theology. If, indeed, Christ is the "concrete universal," then, it argues, we should not have to decide between the two.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Ecumenical Dialogue: Fundamental Considerations; A. The Root of the Contemporary Problem; B. Historical Excursus: Aquinas and Kant on Faith and Reason; C. Toward a Philosophy of Dialogue; D. Historical Excursus: The Transcendental Properties of Being; E. Theological Aesthetics and Dialogue; Chapter Two: Ecumenical Dialogue: Theological Considerations; A. Difficulties with Official Ecumenism; B. Ecclesiology and Dialogue; C. The Nature of Theology and Dialogue; D. Einfaltungen; E. Conclusion; Chapter Three: Balthasar on Luther's Theologia Crucis; A. Introduction; B. Nominalism and Luther; C. Luther's New Approach to Theology; D. Luther's Theology of the Cross; E. The Righteousness of God; F. Balthasar and Luther; G. Balthasar on Luther's Soteriology; H. Balthasar on Luther's Fundamental Theology; I. Evaluation and Conclusion; Chapter Four: Barth and the Analogia Entis; A. Introduction; B. The Analogy of Being; C. Barth's Early Theology; D. Balthasar's Barth; E. Balthasar's Critique; F. Implications and Conclusion; Chapter Five: The Cosmological and Anthropological Alternatives; A. Introduction; B. Summary of Luther's and Barth's Contributions; C. The Third Way: Love Alone; D. The Cosmological Approach; E. The Anthropological Approach; F. Balthasar's Critique of Rahner; G. Summary and Conclusion; Chapter Six: Balthasar's Ecumenical Style: Cases in Point; A. Introduction; B. The Cross and the Trinity; C. Nature and Grace; D. Christian Philosophy? E. Ecclesiology and the Hegemony of the Secular; F. Dramatic Soteriology; Conclusion; A. Summary; B. Final Questions; Index
Rodney A. Howsare is Associate Professor of Fundamental Theology, DeSales University, Center Valley, Pennsylvania, USA.