“What it does mean is that the content of revelation, as the highest ratio – the personal, divine Logos himself – needs all the forms of the worldly logoi of truth in order to present its inexhaustible fullness: the abstract and general as well as the concrete and individual. Theology must work from below, where, as Newman loved to show, all the truths of cultures and peoples are gathered up by the Church and made serviceable to theology. But theology also works from above, where the divine Logos wants to enrich all logoi in his mission to the world and lead them back to the Father in himself. But in any case, Catholic theology will burst the confines of any specific and limited structure of thought” (253).

~ The Theology of Karl Barth

Von Balthasar again displays his acumen in grasping the authentic sense of apocalyptic. He refuses to sunder the communio and participation between the scattered logoi and Logos, and does so in a way which does not compromise the Kingdom’s advent and the utter newness of the Christ event.

The liberating nature of von Balthasar’s emphasis on the form of revelation is not lost on Roberto Goizueta. Good moderns that we are, we’ve sunder form from revelation, thereby losing the ability to see the cosmos as symbolic or sacramental. As we are no longer able to see the sociohistorical embodiment of the Word of God, we no longer comfortable with the wounds of Christ’s body. Goizueta notes that we are “scandalized by the all-too-visible wounds on the corpus mysticum” and so “we reject the corpus verum in favor of a presumably purer community, a purer faith. The form thus becomes essentially irrelevant, as long as its content is affirmed, a content that is necessarily abstract inasmuch as it exists outside any determinate form; indeed, we often presume that, in order to salvage the content, we must excise it from any particular form. In order to salvage Jesus Christ, we must excise his message, what he represents, from his wounded, concrete, historical body; in order to salvage Christianity, we must excise it (whatever ‘it’ is) from its wounded, concrete, historical body” (Christ Our Companion, 113).


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