WELCOME to 'The von Balthasar Seminar' Discussion Forum - Philip McShane OP - 7 Jan 02

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You have arrived at the Internet Discussion Forum for 'The von Balthasar seminar'. This seminar has been running at the Dominican study centre in Tallaght Village, Dublin, Ireland, for many years. For the first time now (January 2002) it is venturing onto the Internet.

My name is Philip McShane OP. I am a Catholic priest and a member of the Dominican Order. I can be contacted at: The Priory Institute, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24, Ireland (tel. 01/404 8100) on Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings. Otherwise I am at: St. Saviour's Priory, Limerick (tel. 061/412 333). My email address is: philipmcshane@hotmail.com.

I started running seminars on Hans Urs von Balthasar's works in 1991. The great Swiss theologian (1905-1988) was one of the finest theologians of the twentieth century and author of a massive and daunting theological 'Summa' in three parts, comprising seven, five and three volumes respectively. A changing group (with a few almost permanent members!) has met, read and discussed the first two parts of this great work. Now we are reading the first volume of the third part of his trilogy, a book entitled: 'Theologic: I: Truth of the World' (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2000). We hope to continue with volume II 'Truth of God' and volume III 'The Spirit of Truth' as they are translated in coming years.

The von Balthasar seminar meets at: The Priory Institute, St. Mary's Priory, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24, Ireland. It meets every second Wednesday evening (with an extra week's gap at Easter) from 8.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. We begin anew on January 9th 2002 and continue on Jan. 23rd, Feb. 6th and 20th, March 6th and 20th, April 10th and 24th, May 8th and 22nd -- making ten (10) meetings in all. The cost of the seminar (which is calculated by the Priory Institute on the basis of the number of meetings) is 65 Euro (if you are also doing the 'Experience into Words' seminar with me on the alternate Wednesdays, the combined cost of the two seminars is 100 Euro).

The reason for opening this discussion forum is that Balthasar can be difficult and we are not able to cover all the difficulties in our meetings. This forum can be, in the first place, a question and answer site for any kind of difficulty, major or minor--e.g. the meaning of particular words and foreign language phrases, or of technical theological or philosophical terms. However, we can range as broadly as we like and take up topics, react to von Balthasar himself or to one another as we read through his book. It is not entirely up to myself to answer questions. Anybody can have a go!

For the moment, this is a private discussion forum for members of the von Balthasar seminar. Please do not give the password to people outside the group. If we do decide to open it up for wider participation, we will first discuss it ourselves.

The Internet Address of this discussion forum is (all one continuous 'word'):


The password (as you must already know to have arrived here) is:


Now that you are on the Internet, you might like to look up some material on von Balthasar. To get you started, here are a few links. Just highlight them, copy them and put them in the 'Address' space on your browser and hit 'Enter' to go there:



There is in fact another von Balthasar open discussion group on the Internet. There are some pretty substantial contributions in that group. However, our own group will be focused on our own task, which is reading a particular book. It is also possible that we will generate more discussion than has occured in that other group I am referring to. You can have a look at it at:


For a further collection of links see (all one 'word'):


I look forward to our questions and answers and our to our developing discussions in this forum.

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2002

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