Fortress Press

Love Itself is Understanding: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theology of the Saints

Love Itself is Understanding

Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theology of the Saints

Matthew A. Rothaus Moser (Author)

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What do the saints have to do with truth? Saints and their concern for holiness are often relegated to the realm of spirituality or kitsch, while the search for truth is reserved for the intellectual elite. Truth and spirituality appear to be utterly separate categories.

Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) set out to reunite truth and holiness by returning the saints to their proper place at the heart of philosophy, theology, and metaphysics. Love Itself Is Understanding is one of the first systematic treatments of Balthasar’s theology of the saints. Matthew Rothaus Moser presents Balthasar as an alternative to Idealist philosophy, a thinker who develops a religious metaphysics in which the saints’ practices of prayer and contemplation are the chief mode of knowing that the truth of Being is divine love. Love Itself Is Understanding casts new light on dominant themes in Balthasar’s thought and invites a renewed vision of the theological and metaphysical significance of the spiritual practices of prayer, obedience, and charity. 

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9781451499599
  • Format Hardcover
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 352
  • Publication Date November 1, 2016

Contents

Introduction
1. The Ignatian Balthasar
2. Balthasar on Mission
3. Saints, Truth, and Theology
4. Truth and Love
5. “I Am the Truth”
6. The Spirit of Truth
7. Love Itself Is Understanding
8. Mystical Styles: A Case Study
9. Knowledge, Love, and Mission
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

Review in Catholic Books Review

Review in Anglican Theological Review

Review in Louvain Studies

Endorsements

Matthew Rothaus Moser has written a wonderful book that does full justice to Balthasar’s claim that the saint is not simply the exemplar of Christian life but the true theologian.

“Matthew Rothaus Moser has written a wonderful book that does full justice to Balthasar’s claim that the saint is not simply the exemplar of Christian life but the true theologian, even the true metaphysician. The author presents in masterful fashion the saints as the anthropological hinge in a vast theological vision that has Trinitarian love as its horizon, the cruciform Christ at it’s center, and the Holy Spirit as the radical agent that enables our broken lives to be conformed to Christ. If the main achievements of the book are the comprehensiveness of treatment and its demonstration of the relation between Balthasar’s reflection on holiness with the rest of his theology, it should also be noted that Moser makes a brilliantly persuasive case that it is Ignatius who provides the governing perspective on the christoform saint who is receptive to God’s call and ready to be sent into the world.”

Cyril O’Regan | University of Notre Dame
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