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Date of Award

2004

Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Systematic Theology

Department

School of Theology • Seminary

First Advisor

William J. Cahoy

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a great resurgence of interest in Trinitarian reflection in the Christian West. Many would summarize the current climate as caught in a stalemate between old "traditionalists," who employ traditional metaphysical categories and a more 'Hegelianizing,' or Process-oriented take on the divine essence. This paper argues that the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar constitutes, in many ways, a via media between these two poles of thought. Taking his brief volume Mysterium Paschale as its primary source text, this essay focuses its attention in Balthasar's consideration of what he terms a 'super-temporal kenosis' in God's own essence, his creative re-working of the traditional Trinitarian categories and his unique handling of the paschal mystery as a Trinitarian event as the principle means whereby Balthasar's work can be seen as charting a middle ground in the contemporary Trinitarian debate.

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