Title

Beauty and/as theology: The theological aesthetics of Hans Urs von Balthasar

Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religion

Advisor(s)

John D. Caputo

Keywords

Aesthetics, Balthasar, Hans Urs von, Catholicism, Theology, Beauty

Subject Categories

Religion

Abstract

In this dissertation I explore the idea of a 'theology of beauty' in the work of the Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, and highlight how Balthasar has tried to recover an aesthetic dimension in theology which he maintains has been eclipsed--particularly in the (post-)modern era. Balthasar elaborates this through a discussion of several figures, and I look at his treatment of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in an effort to show how Hopkins' poetry (on Balthasar's reading) can be considered at once aesthetical and theological: i.e., a 'theological aesthetic'. In light of this, I provide a critical evaluation of Balthasar's project, and consider its implications for, and potential contributions to, theological discourse.

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