Saving Beauty: Renewing Moral Theology in Light of Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theological Aesthetics

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Title: Saving Beauty: Renewing Moral Theology in Light of Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theological Aesthetics
Authors: MacDonald, Michel Gerard
Date: 2017-01-11
Embargo: 2022-01-11
Abstract: Responding to the call of Vatican II for a renewal of Catholic theology, this thesis makes an argument for the foundational role of beauty in moral theology. The thesis draws upon the theological aesthetics of Hans Urs von Balthasar to achieve this task. The introduction presents the statement of the problem, namely the prevailing legalism of Catholic moral theology prior to Vatican II. It also sets forth the state of the question. Here we see how the relationship between aesthetics and ethics has been neglected in recent times. Chapter one demonstrates the historical antecedents of the aesthetic-ethic connection in both ecclesial and ancient philosophical thought. The first chapter also sets forth the anthropological dimension of beauty for human action. Chapter two presents von Balthasar’s theological aesthetics. His insistence upon the role of beauty—which in theological terms is God’s glory—as the central theological method, necessarily has implications for moral theology. The third chapter elaborates the implications of von Balthasar’s theological aesthetics for moral theology. The aim of chapter three is not to set forth a ‘Balthasarian’ ethics, but to demonstrate how his theological aesthetics serves as a foundation for moral theology. The thesis is thus primarily meta-ethical. Finally, in chapter four we present some of the practical implications of a moral theological aesthetics by drawing upon Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35694
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-651
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
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