Solidarity with the World: Charles Taylor and Hans Urs von Balthasar on Faith, Modernity, and Catholic Mission

Solidarity with the World: Charles Taylor and Hans Urs von Balthasar on Faith, Modernity, and Catholic Mission

by Carolyn A. Chau

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Overview

Is Christian mission even possible today? In ""a secular age,"" is it possible to talk about the goodness of God in a compelling way? How should the church proceed? Carolyn Chau explores the question of Catholic mission in a secular age through a constructive interpretation of the work of two celebrated Catholic thinkers, philosopher Charles Taylor and theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, arguing that Taylor and Balthasar together offer a promising path for mission today. Chau attends to Taylor's account of the conditions of belief today, and the genesis of the sociohistorical limits on contemporary ""God-talk,"" as well as his affirmation of certain aspects of Western modernity's ""culture."" From Balthasar, Chau sifts out the distinctiveness of his view of the human person as defined by mission, and his encouragement of a kenotic self-understanding of the church. In the end, Chau claims that if modern persons in secular Western societies are seeking fulfillment and integrity, Christian spirituality remains a rich resource on offer.

""This splendid study rethinks the controverted categories mission and secularization. By widening the conversation to include Charles Taylor on secularization and Hans Urs Von Balthasar on mission and ecclesiology, the author aids us all. An important and original book.""
--David Tracy, The University of Chicago

""IfCharles Taylor's diagnosis ofour secular age is on the mark, what should the Church do?Carolyn Chau takes on this important question with great insight, sympathy, and clarity.The result is an account of the Church's mission that is neither defensive norcapitulative, but offers Christ as a wayof helping people realize theirbest selves.At the same time, Chau cuts through polarization in the Church to help the Church realize its best self.For the Church trying to find its footing in late modernity, this is a remarkably helpful and hopeful book.""
--William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University

""A marvelous book that brings Taylor's narrative reflections on secularization into conversation with Balthasar's dramatic recasting of theology. The consequent reframing of authenticity in terms of sanctity grounds an attractive account of the Church's urgent and challenging task of mission in a secular age. A must read for theologians and Christian leaders seeking to achieve the renewal envisioned by Vatican II.""
--Dominic Doyle, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

""The impetus of Chau's book helps the reader to reflect on the Church's challenge of the new evangelization in our post-Christian culture. She draws on Charles Taylor to show how the Church can communicate itself within secular modernity without losing sight of its essential mission. Through Balthasar's vision of person and communio she promotes an ecclesial spirituality, one that is committed to forming saints who are in solidarity with the world.""
-- William T. McGrattan, Bishop of Peterborough

Carolyn A. Chau is Assistant Professor of Moral and Systematic Theology at King's University College, Western University. She holds a PhD in theology from the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto, and an MDiv from Yale Divinity School. Her research attends to questions at the intersection of faith and culture, particularly those concerning the shape of Catholic mission and moral formation in contemporary secular societies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625647504
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Series: Theopolitical Visions , #20
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Carolyn A. Chau is Assistant Professor of Moral and Systematic Theology at King's University College, Western University. She holds a PhD in theology from the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto, and an MDiv from Yale Divinity School. Her research attends to questions at the intersection of faith and culture, particularly those concerning the shape of Catholic mission and moral formation in contemporary secular societies.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

List of Abbreviations xv

Introduction 1

1 Taylor's Picture of the Modern World 24

2 The Challenge of Secularism for the Church 57

3 Balthasar's Theological Anthropology: Authentic Personhood and the Eschatological Horizon of Freedom 107

4 Balthasar's Vision of a Witnessing Church: The Holy Church, Possibility of a Genuine Christian Inspiration 154

5 Conclusion 189

Bibliography 207

Name Index 223

Subject Index 225

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