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TMP 224

Contemporary Theologians

This course is an in-depth study of the great theologians of the late and present centuries. The course, which will be conducted in the form of a seminar, seeks to introduce the student to the life and work of Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the most significant Catholic theologians of the 20th century. First, it seeks to situate von Balthasar and his work within the history of 20th century Catholic theology by giving an account of his intellectual and cultural formation; this entails unraveling some of the more important influences in his life and work: the world of the arts, literature and philosophy, the Church Fathers, the Scholastic thinkers, contemporary thinkers and philosophers, particularly Erich Przywara, Henri de Lubac (and the nouvelle theologie), Karl Barth and the mystic Adrienne von Speyr. The course then introduces the student to the architecture of Balthasarian thought through a consideration of the three panels of the theological triptych which forms his main work: Theological Aesthetics, Theological Dramatics, and Theological Logic. The course ends with an attempt to critically evaluate the place of Balthasarian theology in the present horizon of Catholic theology in general, to explore its potential contribution to the development of a Filipino contextual theology, and to map out future developments of his thought within both a dogmatic/doctrinal and a spiritual/pastoral context.

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