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Document Details :
Title: Hans Urs von Balthasars Christologie in der Theodramatik - H.U. von Balthasar's Christology as Developed in his 'Theodramatics'
Subtitle: Trinitarische Engführung als Methode - Trinitarian Reductionism as a Method
Author(s): DE SCHRIJVER, Georges
Volume: 59 Issue: 2 Date: 1998
Although Balthasar strongly opposes the (secularizing) content of many modern theologies, his very method of theologizing moves within the orbit of a typically modern systematization. The methodological reductionism he blamed Karl Barth for in matters of Christology, makes its reappearance in his own treatment of the trinitarian kenosis. This is especially true to the extent that he makes himself dependent on the mystical visions of Adrienne von Speyr which all focus on the Son’s godforsakenness in the act of redemption. In his Theodramatics Balthasar scrutinizes the conditions of possibility for the sin of the world to be taken away. The answer lies in a concatenation of divine acts of selfemptying or selfsacrificing, starting with the intradivine begetting of the Son, and procession of the Spirit – continuing with the calling forth of a creation (in which sin might emerge), up to the point of the Son’s godforsakenness undergone and carried out on the level of his divine relationship with the Father. Redemption can never be cheap. It has to take place in the way of a humanly unimaginable ‘separation from God’ experienced from the side of the Son's ineradicable, grateful union with the source deity. Only this way, by anchoring godforsakenness in the heart of the trinitarian relations, can God be justified – justify himself – having ventured to create finite liberties that have become prone to evil. The article highlights Balthasar’s theological transposition of modern Theodicy topics, such as logic of perfection, condition of possibility, and a theory of compensation (Leibniz). In this logic no room is left for a human cooperation in matters of salvation. The sole response from us, humans, can only consist in relentless thanksgiving mixed with feelings of awe. We are, in the first instance, spectators and not actors in the trinitarian drama.