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Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar: a critical engagement

Wigley, Stephen David (2006)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis examines the relationship between two major twentieth century theologians, Karl Barth and Hans Urs von Balthasar. It seeks to show how their meeting, resulting in von Balthasar’s seminal study The Theology of Karl Barth, goes on to influence von Balthasar’s theological development throughout his trilogy beginning with The Glory of the Lord, continuing in the Theo-Drama and concluding with the Theo-Logic. In particular it explores the significance of the debate over the ‘analogy of being’ and seeks to show that von Balthasar’s decision to structure his trilogy around the transcendentals of ‘being’, the beautiful, the good and the true, results from his re-affirmation of the role of analogy in light of his debate with Barth. It will also suggest that von Balthasar’s adoption of a ‘theo-dramatic’ approach to God’s saving action and assertion of the role of Church as a ‘theo-dramatic character’ in her own right is prompted by concern over what he alleges to be ‘christological constriction’ and an inadequate doctrine of the Church in Barth. This argument will be conducted in dialogue with other theologians and interpreters of von Balthasar and conclude with a personal reflection on how the issues raised remain relevant today.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Kilby, Karen and Young, Frances
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Historical Studies
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Subjects:BL Religion
BT Doctrinal Theology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:247
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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