Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905 - 1988) stands as a sort of mountain in the landscape of twentieth-century theology. A Jesuit scholar in the fields of literature, patristics, systematic theology, and spirituality; an apologist, musician, publisher, editor and translator of the highest rank, his copious works fill more than 50,000 pages. A word to describe him is vast
. Pascal said that 'pious scholars are rare' - indeed - but here is one, paralleled in his immensity and piety only by Barth. A brief glance at a list of his works leaves no doubt of his erudition, and he applies every ounce of his expertise and piety in each of his writings. Commentator Edward Oakes has said that trying to grasp the figure and mind of Balthasar is like 'trying to fit the Mediterranean Sea into a child's pail.' We heartily agree. Yet for all his learning, von Balthasar writes with an inspiring lucidity and impelling humility. Oakes again: 'Perhaps the most salient feature of Balthasar's writings is their thorough saturation in literature . . . a remarkable style of writing.'
An Eighth Day View:
This is the final volume of this series on "theological dramatic theory" by the great 20th century theologian Balthasar. This series is the second part of Balthasar's trilogy on the good, the beautiful and the true which is his major work. The first series in the trilogy is The Glory of the Lord, and following this Theo-Drama series will be Theo-Logic.
In this series "the good" has been the focus. Balthasar maintains that it is in the theater that man attempts a kind of transcendence to observe and to judge his own truth about himself. He sees the phenomenon of theater as a source of fruitfulness for theological reflection on the cosmic drama that involves earth and heaven. This fifth volume is trinitarian, focusing on the mystery of God. He draws heavily on Scripture and many passages from the works of the mystic Adrienne von Spyer. Some of the topics covered include "A Christian Eschatology," "The World is from the Trinity," "Earth moves Heavenward," "The Final Act: A Trinitarian Drama."