A Generous Symphony: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Literary Revelations

A Generous Symphony: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Literary Revelations

by Christopher D. Denny


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451487954
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 11/01/2016
Pages: 326
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: A Theology of Literature as Christian Revelation 1

Literature and the Horizon of Transcendence: Surveying the Past 1

The Possibilities and Pitfalls of literature as Christian Revelation 9

Literature as a Mask of Christ 12

1 A Literary-Historical Reading of Hans Urs von Balthasar and His Sources 17

Reading Balthasar as a literary Critic 17

Dominant Modern Literary Influences on Balthasar: An Overview 24

Balthasar's Literary Prolegomenon to Christianity 35

Part I Pre-Christendom

2 "Only in the West": Christian Foreshadowings in Ancient Greece 43

Greek literature as a Model of Human Integration 45

A Tragic Distance between Divinity and Humanity 50

Necessary Suffering and Death 60

Conclusion 73

3 Myth or Philosophy? Defending Literature's Preeminence 77

Standing Too Close to the Gods in Plato's Dialogues 78

Philosophy Transforms Myth into Religion 87

Virgil's Post-Platonic Mission to Build a Bridge to the Gods 95

Conclusion 106

Part II Christendom

4 Dante and the Eschatological Limits of Literature 111

Defending Christocentric Temporality in Time and in Eternity 112

Reconciling God's Love with Damnation 120

The Limits of Literary Aesthetics and Counter-Aesthetics for Community 135

Conclusion 141

5 The Theater of Reconciliation in Shakespeare and us Calderón 143

From Sanctioned Vengeance to Realized Reconciliation in the World of the Bard 145

Person as Actor in an Auto Sacramental 158

Succumbing to the Bourgeois Book-Sellers 164

Conclusion 172

Part III Post-Christendom

6 The Rise of Promethean Salvation in German Romanticism 177

A Camouflaged Anthropocentrism in Goethe's Prometheus Fragment 179

The Redeemed Rebel in Faust 188

Lonely Obedience in Schiller's Dramas 202

Conclusion 208

7 After the Fall of Christendom: Children, Celibates, and Other Idiots 211

Holy Children of Novalis, Hölderlin, and Péguy 213

Dostoevsky's Holy Fool 227

Shipwrecked Nuns and the Dying Country Cure 236

Conclusion 245

Conclusion: Theological Appropriation of Hans Urs von Balthasar's Literary Criticism 247

Choosing a Rebel or a Redeemer 251

Blind Spots in Balthasar's Literary Tradition 263

A Theology of Literature as a Prolegomenon to a Global Dialogue 270

Works Hans Urs von Balthasar 277

Bibliography 281

Index 303

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