Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) is one of the most prolific, creative and wide-ranging theologians of the twentieth century who is just w coming to prominence. But because of his own daring speculations about the meaning of Christ's descent into hell after the crucifixion, about the uniqueness of Christ as savior of a pluralistic world, and because he draws so many of his resources for his theology from literature, drama, and philosophy, Balthasar has never been an easily-categorized theologian. He is neither liberal r conservative, neither Thomist r modernist and he seems to elude all attempts to capture the exact way he creatively reinterprets the tradition of Christian thought. For that reason, this Companion is singularly welcome bringing together a wide range of theologians both to outline and to assess the work of someone whom history will surely rank someday with Origen, John Calvin, and Karl Barth.
Edward T. Oakes is Chester and Margaret Paluch Professor of Theology at the University of St Mary of the Lake. He is the author of the book Pattern of Redemption: The Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar (1996). Reverend David Moss is Director of Studies at St Stephen's House, Oxford.