OverviewThis compelling work is the most comprehensive and sophisticated account to date of the relationship between Hans Urs von Balthasar—a Swiss theologian and Catholic priest—and the German philosopher Georg Hegel. While underscoring the depth and breadth of Balthasar’s engagement with the philosopher, author Cyril O’Regan argues that Balthasar is the most concertedly anti-Hegelian theologian of the 20th century. For him, it is essential to engage Hegel because of his corrections of sclerotic forms of premodern Christian thought, but even more importantly to resist and correct his systematic thought, which represents a comprehensive misremembering of the Christian thought, practices, and forms of life. An important and original work, this book addresses a topic that puts the possibility of an authentic postmodern theology at stake.
Reviews“In this exceptional book, Professor Cyril O'Regan unites extraordinary erudition on gnosticism and apocalyptic with contemporary constructive thinking on von Balthasar and Hegel. There is no existing work like this. It will be impossible to read von Balthasar in the future without this profound study on his relation to Hegel and on the book of Revelation. This amazing book is indispensable for understanding four major moments in the Western tradition: apocalyptic, Valentinian gnosticims, Hegel, and von Balthasar.” —David Tracy, Greely Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago
"With breath-taking ambition, matched with both erudition and a forensic incisiveness, O'Regan gathers together the premodern tradition and the fragments of it that modernity can never shake off, to prescribe a new basis for a genuinely post-modern theology. What is promised in a future volume on Balthasar and Heidegger, and what is already delivered in this book, is nothing short of amazing. The scholarly commitment it demonstrates provides the Church with a new way of proceeding that is as important as it is significant." —Graham Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford
“O’Regan’s brilliant study is by far the most in-depth and sophisticated exploration of the complex role that Hegel plays in Balthasar’s thought yet to appear.” —David C. Schindler, junior associate professor of philosophy, Villanova University
“O’Regan’s telling of this theological story is nothing less than a tour d force!” —John Thiel, professor of religious studies, Fairfield University
Author BiographyCyril O’Regan is the Huisking Chair of Theology at the University of Notre Dame where he teaches on the subjects of systematic, historical, and philosophical theology. His writings have been widely published and he is the author of Gnostic Apocalypse, Gnostic Return in Modernity, and The Heterodox Hegel. He lives in Notre Dame, Indiana.