A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the by Michael P. Murphy

By Michael P. Murphy

A few critics and students argue for the thought of a pretty Catholic number of mind's eye, now not as an issue of doctrine or perhaps of trust, yet relatively as a creative sensibility. They determine the combination of highbrow, emotional, non secular and moral assumptions that continue from Catholic trust constitutes a imaginative and prescient of fact that unavoidably informs the artist's innovative expression. The inspiration of a Catholic mind's eye, in spite of the fact that, has lacked thematic and theological coherence. To articulate this instinct is to go the difficult interdisciplinary borders among theology and literature; and, even if students have built helpful equipment for venture such interdisciplinary ''border-crossings,'' fairly few were dedicated to a major exam of the theological aesthetic upon which those different aesthetics may possibly hinge. In A Theology of Criticism, Michael Patrick Murphy proposes a brand new framework to raised outline the idea that of a Catholic mind's eye. He explores the numerous ways that the theological paintings of Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) supplies the version, content material, and optic for distinguishing this kind of mind's eye from others. considering Balthasar perspectives paintings and literature accurately as theologies, Murphy surveys a wide array of poetry, drama, fiction, and movie and units it opposed to valuable elements of Balthasar's theological application. In doing so, Murphy seeks to enhance a theology of feedback. This interdisciplinary paintings recovers the valid position of a special ''theological imagination'' in serious conception, displaying that Balthasar's voice either demanding situations and enhances modern advancements. Murphy additionally contends that postmodern interpretive technique, with its cautious critique of entrenched philosophical assumptions and reiterated codes of which means, isn't the probability to theological which means that many worry. to the contrary, by means of juxtaposing postmodern serious methodologies opposed to Balthasar's visionary theological diversity, an area is made on hand for literary critics and theologians alike. extra very important, the critic is supplied with the instruments to evaluate, problem, and rejoice the theological mind's eye because it is depicted this day.

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Additional resources for A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination

Sample text

As we shall see more clearly, his work is also the best optic through which to view the current academic movement of a ‘‘Catholic imagination’’ as an intellectual and cultural location, the imagination that negotiates logic and mystery, doctrine and revelation, ethics and aesthetics, attitude and beatitude, and, perhaps most important, ‘‘mentality’’ and sacramentality. 2 Always one to read and play music, Balthasar combined these two powerful passions in his first book, The Development of the Musical Idea: An Attempt at a Synthesis of Music, published in Germany 1925 when he was just twenty years old.

The knower] understands that things ‘signify’; they do it so intensely that one simply should not ask what they signify. 22 In my view, postmodernism’s diminishment of the ‘‘transcendental signified’’ has been a negative development and thrown otherwise well-intentioned critics off the scent. In this sense I develop a discussion of how Balthasar’s thought offers practical ways in which meaning (and transmission of the meaningful) can be retrieved and reconciled and suggest options for postmodern critics who have finally become exhausted by deconstructing music videos or by writing about the other ephemera of pop culture.

Now Balthasar was ‘‘a fervent disciple of St. Ignatius,’’ as his friend Henri De Lubac once wrote. In fact, in his later years he tried to rejoin the Society of Jesus. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, the superior general of the society, was ready to agree to his request in the 1980’s. 12 The relationship between Balthasar and the Jesuits is of fundamental importance. ’’ Rahner (1902–1984) was the archmodernist, theologically speaking. His ‘‘Supernatural Existentialism’’ and ‘‘Transcendental Thomism’’ were two 34 a theology of criticism of the important theological perspectives that underpinned the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and influenced theological inquiry for the following twenty-five years.

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