Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and Hans Urs von Balthasar are two of the most important Roman Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. Their thought has been integral in the development of modern Catholic doctrine, and their writings have greatly shaped the lives of millions around the world.
Though they are very different thinkers, they share much in common: they are both brilliant, they both communicate the truths of the Faith in profound and impacting ways, and they both know how to speak to the modern reader while reeling against many modernist philosophical traps. But Benedict XVI and Balthasar also share this: their thought can often be complex, difficult to understand, and very dense.
Aidan Nichols is an internationally respected Catholic academic and priest who has published much on Balthasar (most notably his famous trilogy, The Word Has Been Abroad: A Guide through Balthasar’s Aesthetics, No Bloodless Myth: A Guide through Balthasar’s Dramatics, and Say It Is Pentecost: A Guide through Balthasar’s Logic), and also has an authoritative text on Benedict XVI, The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI: An Introduction to the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger. Devoting a large portion of his academic career to studying these two key figures, Nichols includes thoughts and investigations on Balthasar and Benedict XVI, bringing fresh insights into these great authors’ writings.
Nichols masterfully investigates Benedict XVI’s and Balthasar’s works, reflecting on the wide theological influences and implications of their thought: Augustine’s ecclesiology, early Franciscanism, Christian brotherhood, the unfolding of the Second Vatican Council, and more. In this collection, Nichols also demonstrates an authoritative understanding of Balthasar with commentaries on The Glory of the Lord, Theo-Drama, Theo-Logic, and several lesser-known works by the great Swiss thinker.