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The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Volume 1: Seeing the Form Hardcover – 1 Jun 2009


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Hardcover, 1 Jun 2009
£60.45 £60.77
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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About the Author

Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-88), a Swiss theologian and priest, is considered by many the most important Catholic theologian of the twentieth century. Incredibly prolific and diverse, he wrote over one hundred books and many hundreds of articles. A favorite theologian and spiritual writer of Pope Francis, as well as the two previous Popes, he was called the most cultured man of our time by Henri de Lubac, and Karl Rahner described his achievements as really breathtaking. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first book in the first part of an important theology 18 July 2000
By David Zampino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The late Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar was, without a doubt, one of the most important Catholic systematic theologians of the 20th century. This is the first book (of seven) of the first part of his "trilogy" which outlines and describes his systematic theology. As an introduction to his systematics, it is an essential read. To those not familiar with von Balthasar, it's a wonderful place to start.
Unsatisfied with Rahner's "transcendental Thomism" and his method of "doing theology from below", von Balthasar begins with the revelation of God. The entire systematic theology is structured around the ancient philosophical transcendentals "Beauty, Truth, and Goodness". In this first volume (and throughout the first part of the trilogy) von Balthasar discusses the Revelation of God to humanity through form and beauty.
Truly a remarkable book, and a good introduction to a remarkable man.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece on Beauty 7 July 2005
By Ney V. Carvalho - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Hans Urs von Balthasar was one of the most preeminent XXth century catholic theologians, and this is, in my opinion, his most important work - by this I mean the whole trilogy (Glory, Theodrammatica, Theologica). This first volume of Glory, Seeing the Form (Schau der Gestalt) seems to be really fundamental for a serious understanding of the guidelines of his thought.

At the fantastic Introduction, after a superb hymn to the Beauty, he presents us with an accurate analysis of the elimination of this universal (Beauty) from both Catholic and Protestant theology, besides a review on the possibilities of a Protestant Aesthetics. He tries, then, to make it clear the difference between an Aesthetic Theology from a Theological Aesthetics. The task and structure of the latter is then explored.

There's no way to go on in such detailness through the whole book, because there are too many points to look at, and this is not the place to do it. But it's worth to say that the main objective of the author, as he goes on working on the 'subjective evidence' through the 'light' and 'experience' of faith (the second part of the book), and at the third part, the 'objective evidence', the main objective, as I was saying, is to precise a 'form', to state the main difference of Christianity from all other world religions, which is exactly the visible and historical form of the God made flesh. After 'seeing' the form of revelation which came from the Old Covenant, we have in Christ the centre of its form, that is, the centre of God's revelation form.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone who is seriously wanting to deep his theological studies, or to anyone who wants to learn more about the actual situation of the Church, and Christianity as a whole.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great friend and spiritual inspiration 30 Dec. 2012
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I discovered Von Balthasar several years ago in my Christian journey. His writings are like music to me, filling my heart with love for God and his word. Reading him has always led me to worship God, sometimes falling on my knees in wonder and adoration. It seems to me that that is what theology should give us.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Philosophy 8 Jun. 2007
By Burke Thomas Ingraffia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Any Christian who likes to express his or her faith in aesthetic terminology should read this book. Any educated person with a classical philosophic vocabulary should read it too. Beautiful work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freshness to our faith 30 May 2016
By Deacon Alex Caudillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have found in Von Balthasar a so much needed theological and spiritual freshness in his writings. Although his brilliant mind (philosophically and theologically) and his prolific writing can cause one to feel somewhat overwhelmed, his clear description of what he desires to accomplish guides one with a sense of clarity, awe and spiritual consolation. Von Balthasar, in his trilogy, theological aesthetics, theodrama and theologic, chooses to explain our catholic faith through the transcendental of the beautiful. In a world where goodness and truth are hard to save from the relativization of the individual, Von Balthasar believes we still can save the beautiful and as a result the beautiful (which is contained in the truth and the good) will save our faith. This can be the way in which there will be less resistance of rediscovering the splendor and the glory of God. Every mind and heart is drawn to the beautiful. As Balthasar would say let us "captivate people with the beautiful, then enchant them with the good and lead them to the true."
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