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Balthasar, Hans Urs Von (1905–1988)

  1. Keith L. Johnson

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1444

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Johnson, K. L. 2011. Balthasar, Hans Urs Von (1905–1988). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


A Swiss Roman Catholic theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most original Catholic thinkers of the 20th century. Born in Lucerne to an upper middle class family, Balthasar studied in Vienna, Berlin, and Zurich, where he received a doctorate in German literature in 1929. Instead of accepting an academic post after graduation, however, he joined the Society of Jesus and entered a seminary for training. He found the traditional Catholic theological and philosophical program tedious, and instead was drawn to innovative Catholic thinkers like Erich Przywara and Henri de Lubac. Their originality had a lasting influence upon his thought.


  • Balthasar, Hans urs von (1905–1988);
  • swiss roman catholic theologian;
  • the theology of Karl Barth;
  • five volume theo-drama, portraying the “drama”