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Pattern of Redemption: The Theology of Hans Urs Von Balthasar [Paperback]

By Edward T. Oakes (Author)
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Item description for Pattern of Redemption: The Theology of Hans Urs Von Balthasar by Edward T. Oakes...

Pattern of Redemption by Edward T. Oakes

Citations And Professional Reviews
Pattern of Redemption: The Theology of Hans Urs Von Balthasar by Edward T. Oakes has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Commonweal - 12/01/2006 page 20

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Continuum
Pages   334
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.18" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   1.17 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2004
Publisher   Continuum International Publishing Group
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0826410111  
ISBN13  9780826410115  

Availability  108 units.
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More About Edward T. Oakes

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Edward T. Oakes, SJ (1948-2013) was associate professor of systematic theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois. He also wrote Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology.

Edward T. Oakes has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Communio Book
  2. Interventions

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Pattern of Redemption?

Reads like a hagiography  Jan 25, 2008
This book was published by Von Balthasar's publishing house. Many pages speak of the vast learning of Von Balthasar and instead of mere references to his works, Oakes often precedes mentions of other works with "...his seven volume tome" or mentions how large the books are, or some other such lavish hype.

Unfortunately, inaccurate claims are also made about Catholic Theology in this book. On page 108 it is implied that Catholics who place high value on the Church Fathers are no better off than Protestants who refuse to see beyond the Bible.

"Adolf Harnack... averred that the Fathers injected the fateful elixir of Hellenization into the lifeblood of the Church, weakening the faith with a foreign substance and distorting the Christian world-view by force-feeding it with Plato's abstract terminology of essence and (static) being.

"...are Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox believers any different, formally speaking, when they extend the era of fidelity by just a few centuries, and then place the fateful turn down the wrong road a bit later?" (p. 108)

Do Roman Catholics think that a turn down the wrong road happened after the Church Fathers? Who thinks this? Where is it stated in the Catechism? Rather, it is quite a different matter to say that the Fathers existed at a time of vibrant closeness to the historical origin of Christianity, and that as such their pre-philosophical age worldview is valuable in a special way. Mischaracterization of Catholic attitudes is a tactic that I do not appreciate. Catholics are not trapped in the past like Protestants whom state "only Scipture is the source, the true well-spring from which the living waters of faith will flow." The implication being made by this quote on page 107 is that Catholics are making the same mistakes as Protestants by drawing a line in the sand after the Church Fathers, but this can only be said about a Catholic Church that does not exist. The actual Catholic Church has no equivalent to the Protestant view of there being no "true well-spring" after Scripture. It is implied that Catholics say that the "well-spring" stops after the Church Fathers, but actually the well-spring has continued to flow richly in Church councils, infallible statements by the pope, and numerous saintly writings, including those of doctors of the Church who lived long after the Church Fathers. There is simply no basis for claiming that Catholics who place special emphasis on the time of the Fathers are guilty of the same wrong as Protestants who assert Sola Scriptura. Oakes does quote the question "...are Catholics different *when* they extend the era of fidelity..." (by a few more centuries than the Protestants), but if this were not meant to apply broadly there would be no point in saying it, and so I interpret it as a wider jab at Catholic appreciation of the Fathers (made all the more seemingly unlikely because of Balthasar's deep background in Patristics, but a jab is a jab nonetheless.)

"Are we really served by romanticizing the time of the Fathers?"
(p. 108)

If I were wry enough, clever enough, to think I could be understood by saying it, I might reply by asking whether or not we are "really served" by considering the time of the Fathers to be a historical low point. The reply would swiftly be launched: "Nobody is saying that! You have mischaracterized our point of view!" And, from the opposite pole, this is my reply as well. (Considering the use of rhetorical techniques in these pages, it is ironic that the claim is made in this book that there are "enough" rhetoricians among the Church Fathers (p.129). )

With all this being said, you might think the book should be despised, or that Balthasar's theology should be despised. Not so! I merely caution the reader ahead of time that this book is not completely objective (as no book can be) and that there are what appear to be inaccurate claims within the pages, or rather mischaracterizations (similar to those which may be found in Fr. Bouyer's 'Liturgical Piety'.)
Strongly recommended  Jun 24, 2001
It is simply the best introduction to Balthasar's thoughts. I didn't understand what is really going on with the 'Analogy of Being' business in medieval theology until I find this book. (Not that I understand it well right now, but at least I finally find a systematic introduction that makes sense to a contemporary reader.)

The writing, while sometimes dense, has the rare clarity that makes you feel like you learn and understand something more after reading every paragraph. It is a very refreshing book in this way.

Superbly written summary and analysis of Balthasar's work.  Oct 30, 1999
Oakes captures and transmits the beauty of Balthasar's rich and complex theology in this clearly-written and inspiring volume. This book moves one to prayer, to the silent contemplation of God, the Father, Son and Spirit, the Loved One of Balthasar. Oakes, like the theologian he so lovingly studies, has an astounding knowledge of everything -- philosophy, theology, history, culture, science. Everything! I heartily commend this book!
A well-written introduction to a most complex theologian  Feb 10, 1999
This eminently readable book provides an excellent introduction to the thought of this most difficult figure, making him accessible in a way that many other books on Balthasar have not. Moreover, it does not fall into the trap of "hagiography", that is, of being excessively admiring and blindly uncritical, which has typified so much of what has been written on Balthasar.
The best "foundational" book on Balthasar available.  Oct 31, 1998
This is an excellent summary of Balthasar's work, beautifully written with the non-expert in mind. Every course on Balthasar should be using this as a main text. I wish I had had it ten years ago when I first began reading Balthasar seriously. Bravo, Father Oakes!

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