Joshua Brown, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Theology at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. In addition to Balthasar in Light of Early Confucianism, Brown has co-authored another monograph with Alexus McLeod, entitled Transcendence and Non-Naturalism in Early Chinese Thought (2020).
Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) was a 20th century Swiss theologian and Catholic priest. He joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1929, and departed from the Society in 1950, in order to continue his service to the Community of Saint John, a Catholic institute that stands outside the official hierarchy of the Catholic Church. His numerous books on Christian spiritual life have become greatly influential in Catholic circles, so much so, that just prior to his death, Pope John Paul II named him to be a Cardinal. Balthasar died just two day before the ceremony to induct him into the position was to take place.
Balthasar’s theological thought is most “concisely” presented in his sixteen-volume systematic theology, published in three parts. Part 1 is The Glory of the Lord, part 2 is Theo-drama, and part 3 is Theo-logic. These three parts correspond to Jesus’ self-description as “the way, the truth, and the life,” which Balthasar also takes to correspond with the Platonic properties of the good, the true, and the beautiful.