This is a concise and helpful guide for students grappling with the main principles of Balthasar's thought. Balthasar's thought, if it is anything, is perplexing, and it is perplexing for a number of reasons. In this "Guide for the Perplexed", Rodney Howsare gives the reader a handle on these perplexing aspects of Balthasar's thought. In the first chapter he introduces the reader to the man and his unique method of doing theology. He then moves on to explaining the basic structure and nature of the triology: the aesthetics, dramatics and logic. He then deals with various theological topics: Jesus Christ, The Trinity, The Drama of Redemption, The Church and Mary, and The Last Things. A final chapter summarizes Balthasar's place in modern theology and suggests further readings for the interested reader. "Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering.
Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
'This down to earth introduction achieves the remarkable feat of being illuminating both for the cognoscenti and for beginners. It is the best book on von Balthasar that's out there. Guiding us through deep theological waters with a light touch, Howsare makes von Balthasar's ideas accessible without distorting them. His method is to connect von Balthasar's questions with ours, and it works. I strongly recommend this clear and unpretentious book for students and for anyone who wants to converse with von Balthasar's thought. It should be on the reading list for any course on 20th century Christian theology.' - Francesca Aran Murphy, Department of Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.--Sanford Lakoff