Thursday, June 29, 2006

Round of 16: von Balthasar vs. de Lubac



Chance would have it that the Round of 16 contained a lot of games between theologians belonging to the same churches, and today we see the battle between two Catholic noblemen, and giants of 20th century theology, Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac.

von Balthasar (1905-1988) known for two things more than anything else: his theological aesthetics and his leaving the Jesuit Order because of his realtionship with the mystic Adrienne von Speyr. That latter situation left him in out in the cold for a large part of his theological career. However, tides would turn, and had not death intervened von Balthasar would have become a Cardinal. His main work is his massive 15 volume trilogy The Theological Aesthetics, Theo-Drama and Theo-logic.

de Lubac (1896-1991) was one of the most influential theologians at the Second Vatican Council and his name has become almost synonymous with the so-called nouvelle theologie, which drew on the Fathers of the Chruch as a way to overcome the prevalent neo-scolasticism of the time. He was one of the theologians that, prior to Vatican II, was prohibited by the Vatican to publish at all. After the council, however, he has been one of the voices that have sought to counter the more progressive interpretations of the council. He was created a Cardinal in 1983.

6 comments:

Michael Joseph said...

If anyone can rival Moltmann or Ratzinger, it must be Balthasar. Let's take it straight from de Lubac himself: Balthasar is the most cultured man of the 20th century. Let's continue de Lubac's homage to the Swiss giant.

Gaunilo said...

Ouch. This is by far the most difficult decision yet in this thing. I honestly don't know if I can decide.

Christopher said...

Tough choice.

D.W. Congdon said...

Assuming Jüngel does not have the fan base, I think Balthasar is the one who deserves the title.

Patrik said...

I voted von Balthasar, but I am eternally grateful to de Lubac for him co-creating the Sources Cretiennes, a work that will probably in the long run outweigh the accomplishements of most theologians in this tournament.

Anonymous said...

It's still amazing to me that neither de Lubac nor Balthasar earned a doctorate in theology. That alone should merit something in this tourney!!!