The Eucharistic Form of God
Hans Urs von Balthasar's Sacramental Theology
312 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268202231 | March 2022
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268202255 | March 2022
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268202224 | March 2022
This study presents Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theology of the Eucharist and shows its significance for contemporary sacramental theology.
Anyone who seeks to offer a systematic account of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theology of the Eucharist and the liturgy is confronted with at least two obstacles. First, his reflections on the Eucharist are scattered throughout an immense and complex corpus of writings. Second, the most distinctive feature of his theology of the Eucharist is the inseparability of his sacramental theology from his speculative account of the central mysteries of the Christian faith. In The Eucharistic Form of God, the first book-length study to explore Balthasar’s eucharistic theology in English, Jonathan Martin Ciraulo brings together the fields of liturgical studies, sacramental theology, and systematic theology to examine both how the Eucharist functions in Balthasar’s theology in general and how it is in fact generative of his most unique and consequential theological positions. He demonstrates that Balthasar is a eucharistic theologian of the highest caliber, and that his contributions to sacramental theology, although little acknowledged today, have enormous potential to reshape many discussions in the field.
The chapters cover a range of themes not often included in sacramental theology, including the doctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and soteriology. In addition to treating Balthasar’s own sources—Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Pascal, Catherine of Siena, and Bernanos—Ciraulo brings Balthasar into conversation with contemporary Catholic sacramental theology, including the work of Louis-Marie Chauvet and Jean-Yves Lacoste. The overall result is a demanding but satisfying presentation of Balthasar’s contribution to sacramental theology. The audience for this volume is students and scholars who are interested in Balthasar’s thought as well as theologians who are working in the area of sacramental and liturgical theology.
Jonathan Martin Ciraulo is assistant professor of systematic theology at Saint Meinrad Seminary.
“The Eucharistic Form of God fills a large gap in Balthasar scholarship by attending so comprehensively to Balthasar’s eucharistic theology and showing how it has an integrative place within the whole of his theology. A masterful and valuable work!” —Matthew Levering, author of The Achievement of Hans Urs von Balthasar
“The Eucharistic Form of God represents a major contribution to scholarship on Hans Urs von Balthasar and Catholic sacramental theology.” —Nicholas J. Healy, author of The Eschatology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
"For Balthasar, the Eucharist is Christ's thanksgiving to the Father in heaven for having given Him the gift of giving Himself for all. Ciraulo shows in a convincing way that this eternal thanksgiving is given to us as God's most precious gift that moves us toward fulfillment in heaven." —Fr Jacques Servais, SJ, director of the Casa Balthasar