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In this second volume on the metaphysical traditions of the West, von Balthasar presents a series of studies of representative mystics, theologians, philosophers and poets and explores the three main streams of metaphysics which have developed since the 'catastrophe' of Nominalism.The way of self-abandonment to the divine glory is traced through figures like Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, Ignatius, de Sales; the attempt to relocate theology in a recovery of antiquity's sense of being and beauty through figures like Nicholas of Cusa, Holderlin, Goethe, Heidegger; the metaphysics of spirit through Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Idealists. The strengths and weaknesses of these ways are relentlessly exposed. The volume ends with the search for the Christian contribution to metaphysics.
Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905–1988) was a Swiss theologian widely regarded as one of the greatest theologians and spiritual writers of modern times. Named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II, he died shortly before being formally inducted into the College of Cardinals. He wrote over one hundred books, including Prayer, span>Heart of the World, Mary for Today, Love Alone Is Credible, Mysterium Paschale and his major multi-volume theological works: The Glory of the Lord, Theo- Drama and Theo- Logic.