Hans Urs Von Balthasar and Protestantism: The Ecumenical Implications of His Theological Style

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Hans Urs von Balthasar and Protestantism examines Balthasar's engagement with Protestantism, primarily in the persons of Martin Luther and Karl Barth and explores the implications of this engagement for Fundamental Theology. At the very root of Luther's confrontation with the Catholic Church of the late Middle Ages lies his antipathy for Aristotle and for natural theology . In other words, the Protestant difference has as much to do with its suspicion of the Catholic treatment of faith and reason as it does with the Catholic treatment of faith and works. This is a suspicion that is only exacerbated in Barth's association of the analogy of being with the Antichrist. Balthasar takes these criticisms very seriously, and, in addressing them, not only has much of relevance to say about the Catholic-Protestant differences, but also about the Yale-Chicago differences. In short, this study shows how Balthasar's dialogue with Luther and Barth sheds light on the impasse that has arisen between the so-called correlational and revelocentric schools of contemporary theology. If, indeed, Christ is the concrete universal, then, it argues, we should not have to decide between the two.