published articles

new article on balthasar and speyr

A journal article of mine is now available online through the theology journal New Blackfriars. My article called “Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr’s Ecclesial Relationship” explores the double mission charism of their relationship.

Since I analyze this complex relationship theologically through Paul’s theology of charism, I think I’m able to find a more appropriate way to see the mutual influence of these two. In the article, I analyze a couple alternative assessments of this relationship in order to highlight my understanding of it. I appreciate all of the attempts to see von Balthasar on his own apart from von Speyr’s influence. I have learned a lot from these attempts. And yet, in my reading of these two, I find so much more interpretive power by considering them both mutually influencing each other. For me, it is hard to see von Balthasar’s method as articulated in his important article “Theology and Sanctity” without seeing it lived out in his ecclesial cooperation with von Speyr. What is missing in this article is a more exhaustive comparative textual analysis of these two figures. My article only attempts to give a theo-logical interpretive for their ecclesial relationship. I hope you will see this article brings us one step closer to seeing the great gift God has given to the Church through von Balthasar and von Speyr.

Here’s the abstract:

Many systematic theologians acknowledge the relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar, the significant twentieth-century Catholic theologian, and Adrienne von Speyr, the Swiss physician and Catholic mystic. There is, however, difficulty understanding the actual character and purpose of this relationship. I argue in this paper that Paul’s theology of charism, particularly dealing with double mission charisms, will help us understand correctly the ecclesial relationship between von Balthasar and von Speyr. After an overview of von Balthasar’s statements regarding the relationship and the three main interpretations of it, I offer my own interpretation of this relationship by using Paul’s theology of charism. The ramifications will be a reinterpretation of central aspects of von Balthasar’s theology including but not limited to his theology of Holy Saturday, Trinitarian theology, and theology of the communion of saints.

The print edition of the article may take some time to become available. The editors informed me that it may be in a print issue next year. But with the availability of online early editions, I chose to spread the love now. As with most academic journals, you will need to access the online edition through your academic library in order to read the full article. My thanks to the editors of the New Blackfriars for such a quick turn around on this article.

Please let me know what you think of the article. Enjoy.

a compelling trinitarian theology

Happily my article “A Compelling Trinitarian Theology: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theology of the Trinitarian Inversion and Reversion” has just been published by the International Journal of Systematic Theology. If your institution gives you access to the journal’s articles, you can find it here.

The abstract of the article:

In trinitarian theology, the problematic place of the Holy Spirit in the taxonomy of the immanent Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) does not seem to correspond to what is revealed in the economy (Father, Holy Spirit and Son). Because of this pneumatological problem, some theologians have abandoned the traditional trinitarian taxonomy. This approach, however, does not provide a finally convincing answer that is consistent with both the biblical witness and the theological tradition. In this article, I argue that Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theology of the trinitarian inversion and reversion does provide a convincing answer to the trinitarian taxonomy problem. After supporting my thesis by first referencing the traditional trinitarian taxonomy offered in Augustine’s de Trinitate and then examining the possibility of abandoning the taxonomy given by Jürgen Moltmann and Leonardo Boff, I will offer von Balthasar’s solution as the most compelling trinitarian taxonomy, especially in light of the ecumenical dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

This was first posted at my other website doctorsutton.net.

recent journal article on speyr's theology of confession

Geist und LebenIn the current issue of Geist und Leben (#83 Mai/Juni 2010), Karsten Erdmann has an article on von Speyr’s theology of confession called “Heimweh nach Gott. Adrienne von Speyrs Theologie der Beichte [Homesick for God: Adrienne von Speyr’s Theology of Confession]” Geist und Leben 83 (2010).

If you know of other recent articles, I would be glad to announce them.

new italian publication

The italian journal, Humanitas, has published a concentrated issue on Adrienne von Speyr as a mystic of the twentieth century.  Edited by Giacomo Coccolini, you will find these important articles: Humanitas, Adrienne von Speyr issue

Coccolini, G., "Introduzione" 

Martinelli, P., "Adrienne von Speyr e la mistica cristiana"

Servais, J., "Una mistica imperniata sulla Rivelazione giovannea. Adrienne von Speyr" 

Ouellet, M., "Adrienne von Speyr e il Sabato Santo della teologia" 

Krenski, Th., "Stefano o Gezabele? «Mistica oggettiva» di Adrienne von Speyr" 

Sincere thanks to Dr. Alberto Fanton for alerting me.  

 

new articles on von speyr

Two new articles on Adrienne von Speyr have appeared recently in the journals Communio and Modern Theology.  The first perhaps you have seen.  Adrian Walker is always worth reading.  The second is an important contribution to understanding von Speyr's theological anthropology.

- Adrian J. Walker, "The Gift of Simplicity: Reflections on Obedience in the Work of Adrienne von Speyr," Communio 34 (Winter 2007).

- Michele M. Schumacher, "Ecclesial Existence: Person and Community in the Trinitarian Anthropology of Adrienne von Speyr," Modern Theology 24(2008):359-385.

Here is the abstract of Schumacher's article:

"Best known for her extraordinary influence upon Hans Urs von Balthasar, Adrienne von Speyr is perhaps overshadowed by the same. Here is an effort to expose her profound mystical insights concerning the specifically Trinitarian dimension of anthropology. Of key significance is the concept of surrender, whereby the human person participates in the fundamental disposition of Christ, whose self-gift is revealed as obedient receptivity vis-à-vis the Father and loving generosity vis-à-vis the world. This in turn is revelatory of the eternal surrender of each divine Person to the Others in a continuous exchange of love. The human person thus participates in divine life by the means that characterize it: love of God and neighbor."

Enjoy these fine articles and please comment on them here.