Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Semi-final 2: Jenson vs. von Balthasar

In the first semi-final, Rahner seems to be closing in on Moltmann? Will he be able to turn it around in the last hours of the game?

However, it is time to start the second semi-final, between Robert W. Jenson and Hans Urs von Balthasar. We will do it in the same way as the first semi-final, so see that post for instructions.





8 comments:

Patrik said...

I can't really vote in the creativity and consistency categories, because I am not very familiar with Jenson's work, but von Balthasar's influences is surely bigger than Jenson's.

Gaunilo said...

Creativity is a clear winner in von Balthasar (The Glory of the Lord assures that); and given the spike in his popularity, I'll have to give him the influence vote, too. Consistency is a little more difficult, but I gave that one to HUvB as well - each of the massive multi-volume works he wrote is a huge extended argument.

Pontificator said...

This is really hard.

Von Balthasar clealry wins the influential category, and I suspect that his influence will continue to grow greater. Already he is beginning to be acknowledged as one of the greats of 20th century theology.

Creativity? Hmmm, this is more difficult. Von Balthasar was a true Renaissance man. He appears to have read everything and his writings comprehend everything. Yet Jenson has been remarkably creative, and radical, in his Trinitarian and Christological reflections. He pushes the dogmatic envelope.

Consistency? I have not read enough von Balthasar to compare, but rigorous consistency is a hallmark of Jenson!

Patrick McManus said...

I've voted von Balthasar all the way down. The only hesitation was in the last category. Although Jenson is consistently consistent vis-à-vis Trinitarian doctrine (the hallmark of any good theology), von Balthasar is no less so.

kim fabricius said...

One of the remarkable things about Jenson is that he works in the wake of Barth (not to mention in the presence of such other formidable "systematic" Protestant theologians as Moltmann and Pannenberg). Where is the likes of Jenson, working in dogmatics, in contemporary Catholicism?

Having said that, I voted von Balthasar in categories one and two (abstaining in three). Jenson is one of the greatest theologians on earth, but apart from being "perhaps the most cultured man in Europe" (de Lubac), there is something about von Balthasar sent from heaven.

D.W. Congdon said...

I voted von Balthasar for all three. He is, from my perspective, clearly the best Catholic theologian of the 20th century; Rahner is influential but not nearly as good. "Sent from heaven," indeed!

dan said...

I really have to vote for von Balthasar in all three categories.

Although, let me say that I am hardly familiar with Jenson's work and in my studies I have rarely been referred to him (does that tell against Jenson or against me?). Hence, I have studied a lot of von Balthasar and only a few shorter works of Jenson. If that disqualifies my vote that's okay.

Margaretha said...

Von Balthasar is my choice right through

I do not know much about Jenson.
But Balthasar is quite staggering in stature, in inspiration, in scope. To think that he thought of his theological writings as a "Nebenprodukt" of his life...
What I like is that he ultimately cannot be pushed into any little labeled cubicle, and at this stage still defies easy classification by monocled academics. Symphonic in breadth and in vision. Yes! My man!