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BOOK REVIEWS 663 physical vision. As the editors note (p. xiv), it is not always easy to see why one selection was included under faith and another under hope or love. But the focus on these virtues yields a new angle on Rahner, even for those already familiar with most of the articles individually. The " spirituality" of the subtitle is experience of and reflection on our (Rahner supposes) self-transcendence into holy mystery-a self-transcendence which yields diverse and conflicting spiritualities (pp. 19-20; cp. T.I. XIX, p. 103). Rahner's resolution of this diversity and conflict is evocative description of the "circle," the "synthesis" (pp. 7, 87, 141, 136) of our self-transcendence in spirit and matter and God's self-impartation in Word and Spirit. Is there really a "circle" here-or does Rahner have a "starting point" (e.g., "transcendental experience") ~ If it really is a "circle" does Rahner end up eompromising self-transcendence or self-impartation-or is the circle a sui generis synthesis, foreshadowing a new Catholic spirituality~ I suspect something like these questions will divide us for some time to come. Lehmann and Raffelt have done an excellent job of seeing to it that the debate includes not simply esotericists but all "those concerned with the practical molding of their faith, and who wish to make use of reflection and meditation in order to do so" (p. xiv). Loyola College in Maryland Baltimore, Maryland JAMES J. BUCKLEY The Glory of the Lord: .A Theological .Aesthetics, I: Seeing the Form. By HANS URS VON BALTHASAR. Translated by Erasmo LeivaMerikakis . Edited by JOSEPH FEssro, S.J. and JOHN RICHES. San Francisco, Ignatius Press and New York, Crossroad Publications , 1983. $35.00. This book is the first volumeĀ· of a planned seven-volume translation of I-Ierrlichkeit, the most sustained and comprehensive theological enterprise by a Catholic scholar in this century, and one which must rank with the classic theological achievements of the Catholic past. On the Protestant side, only Barth's Church DogmaUcs matches its range; in fact the association of the two is inescapable. Von Balthasar's 1950 study of Barth's theology is by that giant's own judgment the best appreciation of his work, and it is patent in the present book that von Balthasar's own synthesis is in continual dialogue with Barth's. 664 BOOK REVIEWS Von Balthasar presents his theological aesthetics as the single possible resolution of the dilemma wrought for our time by the rationalist isolation of God, man and the world and the consequent disintegration of the spiritual life by its submission to the rationalist criterion of immanent reason. This dilemma, the proximate issue of the Cartesian reduction of truth to concepts, of freedom to randomness and of space and time to pure quantityJ finds theological expression in the kind of rationalist analysis fidei that forces a choice between a Baroque voluntarism, in which the will supplements the insufficient evidence of the revelation, and the "Augustinian illuminism" which transposes the verum of faith's object into a bonum which would offer surcease to the cor inqitietum of the believer . This rationalism dissociates the integral unity of the spiritual life into dissonant fragments whose reintegration is thereafter the impossible task of a philosophy whose criterion of truth is now necessitarian, and a theology whose historicity has become its opacity to reason. Knowledge thus becomes loveless and sterile, and love becomes the freedom appropriate to atoms in the void, a blind striving, an innate dynamism. The same logic which has isolated love from knowledge, and philosophy from theology, continues to fragment reality into the objective and the subjective and cannot permit their reunion except under the rationalist rubric of necessity. Thus the transcendentals themselves are rationalized: unity, goodness, truth and even beauty are deprived of the freedom by which being itself is lovely and loved. Within the maze thus elaborated, contemporary theology is trapped, to wander blindly; it has traded light for logic. Von Balthasar proposes that only a theological aesthetics is capable of orienting theology toward the reality which is Christ, because only if the existential and personal unity of the faith-response to the revelation is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 663-667
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-15
Open Access
No
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