Friday, February 22, 2008

Balthasar On Nature And Grace In The Thought Of Matthias Scheeben

“If we survey his work as a whole we have to be thankful for the initial clarity of his conceptual distinctions [between the natural and the supernatural] which later allows him to proceed without the least danger to treat of the very profound interpenetration of both realms, a task on which he had already embarked at the conclusion of his book Nature and Grace and which from that point on becomes increasingly important. As soon as Scheeben passes from formal considerations to the content of the mysteries, we see that the creature’s ‘elevation’ into God occurs as a result of a prior descent and ingress on God’s part, an interpenetration to which, from the very beginning, Scheeben gives the name of ‘marriage.’ As he proceeds he introduces and develops the concept [of marriage] in every aspect of dogmatic theology. His theology thus becomes one great doctrine of eros, to an extent that far surpasses anything attained in this respect by past theology.”

-Hans Urs von Balthasar in The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Vol. 1: Seeing the Form.

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