Love's Beauty at the Heart of the Christian Moral Life: The Ethics of Catholic Theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar

Love's Beauty at the Heart of the Christian Moral Life: The Ethics of Catholic Theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar

By: Melanie Susan Barrett (author)Hardback

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This study develops the ethical theory implicit in the writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar, a prominent twentieth-century Swiss Catholic theologian. Balthasar's attempt to critically retrieve the concept of beauty for Christian theology yields important ethical insights, culminating in an aesthetic and dramatic theory of ethics: one in which the perception of the beauty of God's love in Christ becomes a foundational experience for moral formation and ongoing ethical discernment. This new theory will be of interest to both Catholic and Protestant scholars for its myriad insights: Balthasar's emphasis on the beauty of love opens a significant space for both freedom and creativity in the moral life. God's bestowal of love uplifts and transforms human capacities, but without eradicating human freedom, enabling human beings to become genuine co-actors with Christ in the drama of salvation. Those who aesthetically appropriate the love of Christ re-enact it in their own unique ways. By making moral action indispensable to self-realization, the theory incorporates the modern concern for praxis. It attends to questions of personal identity, through its prophetic and Johannine emphasis on 'mission.' The conception of Christ as a 'concrete universal' emphasizes particularity without sacrificing universality. It accounts for the influence of culture, community, and narrative, but without thereby falling into social constructivism. It takes up Vatican II's call to return Catholic theology to its biblical foundations, but without thereby becoming either narrow or fundamentalist.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773446496
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 332
  • ID: 9780773446496
  • ISBN10: 0773446494

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