Man has long wrestled with the problem of finding meaning in history. It is not surprising that, as a Christian, Hans Urs von Balthasar finds the meaning of history in Christ, its center and Lord. What may surprise and stimulate us is the theological mastery with which von Balthasar traces the effects of Christ’s lordship upon the daily life of the Christian.
In this book we have one of the indispensable sources for understanding Balthasar’s Catholic Christocentrism. Here we find elaboration of the striking statement that Jesus Christ is “the Idea made concrete, personal, historical: universale concretum et personale”—which means that Christ is the universally valid in the here and now. Characteristic of von Balthasar, the book inspires spiritually as much as it informs theologically.
Von Balthasar follows Saint Irenaeus in viewing theology through the drama of history, and presents Jesus Christ as the norm by which all history—secular history as well as salvation history—ought to be interpreted. As God, Jesus is the universal norm for all humanity who stands outside of history; as man he became particular within history. By seeking to become one with him, our own history becomes meaningful, purposeful, and significant.
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