The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics: Seeing the Form (The Glory of the Lord, #1)
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The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics: Seeing the Form (The Glory of the Lord, #1)

4.72 of 5 stars 4.72  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  6 reviews
The work opens with a critical review of developments in Protestant and Catholic Theology since the Reformation which have led to the steady neglect of aesthetics in Christian theology. From here, von Balthasar turns to the central theme of the volume: the question of theological knowledge. He re-examines the nature of Christian believing (here he quickly draws widely on s...more
Hardcover, 691 pages
Published June 28th 1982 by Ignatius Press (first published June 1982)
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John
The first volume of Balthasar's Theological Aesthetics, Seeing the Form is difficult to quantify in a few words. At its base, Balthasar wants to recapture aesthetics, or beauty, in the task of theological reflection. Where truth and goodness have dominated the discipline, beauty has fallen on hard times. For in a world devoid of beauty, both goodness and truth become compromised as well.

The pinnacle of beauty in the world (not to mention truth and goodness) is Jesus Christ. Balthasar's work orbi...more
Spencer
May 28, 2008 Spencer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Christian theology
Although it is properly set within Balthasar's wider work Glory of the Lord and the even broader 'triptych' consisting of the aesthetics, Theo-Drama, and Theo-Logic, Seeing the Form is one of the best single volumes of theology I have ever read. In it, Hans Urs von Balthasar, attempts to reclaim "beauty" as an essential category for theology. On analogy with inner-worldly beauty, God's glory shows itself to the eyes of faith which it itself grants us. This showing itself occurs in a form - a par...more
Aeisele
The Glory of the Lord, vol 1: Seeing the Form is the first in Hans Urs von Balthasar's massive theological trilogy, one of the most important works of the 20th century theology. Balthasar uses the ancient philosophical categories of the "transcendentals" (Beauty, Goodness, and Truth) to structure this work (over 17 volumes!), and vol 1 is a justification and initial exploration of the first of those transcendentals, Beauty.
It's hard to overstate how impressive Balthasar is in this volume. He ta...more
Ephrem
God offers us a select few individuals who possess the theological vision along with the gift of expressing the inexpressible. Von Balthasar is, for me, one of the select few. What he does in this first volume of The Glory of the Lord is present us with a theology which is grounded in the experience of God's glory and draws upon this experience's implications throughout his entire theological trajectory. Here is not simply a historical model--it is an experiential one which insists upon the inte...more
Greg
Probably the most important piece of sustained theological writing since Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics, however, unlike Barth it is from a Catholic as opposed to a Reformed perspective.
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Hans Urs von Balthasar was a Swiss theologian and priest who was nominated to be a cardinal of the Catholic Church. He is considered one of the most important theologians of the 20th century.

Born in Lucerne, Switzerland on 12 August 1905, he attended Stella Matutina (Jesuit school) in Feldkirch, Austria. He studied in Vienna, Berlin and Zurich, gaining a doctorate in German literature. He joined t...more
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“We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past -- whether he admits it or not -- can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love.” 39 likes
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