Academic journal article Theological Studies

Balthasar: A (Very) Critical Introduction

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Balthasar: A (Very) Critical Introduction

Article excerpt

BALTHASAR: A (VERY) CRITICAL INTRODUCTION. By Karen R. Kilby. Interventions. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012. Pp. xii + 176. $23.

Kilby is a faculty member at the University of Nottingham where the series that includes this volume arose. She specializes in the writings of Balthasar and Rahner. The first four chapters describe Balthasar's historical context and identify some of his major themes. The last two chapters examine his approaches to Trinity and gender as sample topics within his project. Although Balthasar's oeuvre is difficult to critique in a systematic way or from an opposing viewpoint on any one issue, K. aptly questions the mesmerizing quality of his "contemplative" methodology and his supremely confident authorial tone.

While Balthasar's immense creative powers have undoubtedly benefitted theology, K. argues that the "unfettered quality" of his work is a major liability. She finds problematic his speculations on the intimate details of innertrinitarian personal relations and the conditions r the possibility of gender. But more questionable is the way he attempts to incorporate his speculations so deeply into a holistic vision, often to the point of transgressing the negative-theological limits that he claims to uphold. …

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