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Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr's Ecclesial Relationship

Authors


Department of Theology and Religious Studies, St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Pkwy, Queens, NY 11439 email: suttonm@stjohns.edu

Abstract

Many systematic theologians acknowledge the relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar, the significant twentieth-century Catholic theologian, and Adrienne von Speyr, the Swiss physician and Catholic mystic. There is, however, difficulty understanding the actual character and purpose of this relationship. I argue in this paper that Paul's theology of charism, particularly dealing with double mission charisms, will help us understand correctly the ecclesial relationship between von Balthasar and von Speyr. After an overview of von Balthasar's statements regarding the relationship and the three main interpretations of it, I offer my own interpretation of this relationship by using Paul's theology of charism. The ramifications will be a reinterpretation of central aspects of von Balthasar's theology including but not limited to his theology of Holy Saturday, Trinitarian theology, and theology of the communion of saints.

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