Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Theology (ThD)


The theological project of Hans Urs von Balthasar contains elements of speculation that give the contemporary theologian pause. This is no great secret. Mention of his name in a group of theologians will produce as many raised eyebrows as enthusiastic nods. Even in the very act of defending his orthodoxy, some of his most ardent expositors acknowledge that, much like one of his professed Patristic masters, Origen, Balthasar was raising issues within Catholic theology that had either gone unexplored or lain dormant for centuries, and in doing so, he was not concerned with proposing (imposing) any necessary systematic presentation of them. In fact, as will be outlined in the first chapter, his antipathy toward most attempts at “systematizing” the mysteries of the Faith is a well-documented aspect of his work, theological-style, and career. Instead of a system, the bulk of Balthasar’s work seeks to delineate and explore various theological themes mined and catalogued in an act of Ressourcement: There are any number of theses deserving of development which the Fathers initiated, and which, subsequently, as theology became systematized, were held unsuitable, unimportant, and so left in abeyance; a process of exclusion carried further, and with rapidity, in Scholasticism from the late Middle Ages to the present.