A journal of academic theology

Li-Wei Liu

Is There an End to the Theatrical Play? Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Understanding of the Beatific Vision in Relation to the Theo-Drama

Hans Urs von Balthasar’s teaching on the beatific vision has been drawing scholarly attention. By building upon the works of Thomas Dalzell, Aidan Nichols, and Anne Carpenter, I advance the discussion by demonstrating that the dramatic and artistic-poetic grounding of Balthasar’s theo-drama shapes the way he understands the beatific vision. In his later work, Balthasar transposes the Catholic understanding of the beatific vision according to the art form and logic of drama. Specifically, using the notions of the visio immediata Dei and the visio mortis, he transposes the meaning of the beatific vision such that the divine essence is understood as a union of love in conversation with the Thomistic perspective of an immediate knowledge of God.

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