WELCOME to the von Balthasar Seminar Discussion Forum - Philip McShane OP - 20 Oct 02

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Welcome to the Autumn 2002 von Balthasar Seminar!

I have advertised this seminar as follows:

The Glory of the Lord: Reading the Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar —A Seminar lead by Fr. Philip McShane OP—

This seminar will read and discuss the first volume of Hans Urs von Balthasar's great theological trilogy: The Glory of the Lord. We will meet every week (and not every two weeks, as with my previous von Balthasar reading seminars) on Wednesday evenings from 7.30-9.00 p.m., beginning 23rd October, 2002 and finishing on Wednesday 11th Dec. 2002—making eight meetings in all. The seminar will continue with the same book in January 2003.

The Seminar will be given by Fr. Philip McShane OP. Fr. Philip is an Irish Dominican, formerly based at St. Mary’s Priory, Tallaght, where he has been leading seminars on von Balthasar since 1991. He is now Novice Master for the Irish Dominicans and lives in Limerick. The von Balthasar seminar, with varying membership over the years, has read thirteen volumes of Balthasar’s trilogy. While waiting for the translation of the final two volumes, we have decided to go back to the beginning. If you are new to Balthasar, this is a very good place to start!

Reading von Balthasar introduces one to the central themes of Catholic theology. The work is serious and sustained. It is, however, written with a passion and conviction and, at times, a poetry of expression, that holds the interest even of those who find him intellectually difficult.. Who Should do this Seminar? This seminar should be stimulating and helpful for those who already have some experience of doing theology or philosophy and who wish to spend time reading and discussing one of the finest theologians of the 20th century. To read von Balthasar is to reread Western Civilization from a theological point of view.

The Book for the course is: Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics. Vol. I, Seeing the Form (T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1982), ISBN 0 567 09323 9. This book will be available in the seminar itself at a special reduced prices of €40 (usual price €58). This same book will be used again from January—May 2003.

The cost of this eight week seminar is €50 (not including the book)

The program for the seminar is as follows: Meetings on Wednesday evenings, 7.30-9.00 p.m. in St. Mary’s Dominican Priory, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24 (tel. 01/404 8100) from Oct. 23rd—Dec. 11th 2002.

1. Wednesday, Oct. 23rd: Read up to p. 34 of enclosed photocopied text. Available at special seminar cost of €40. 2. Oct 30: pp. 34-57 3. Nov. 6: pp. 57-79 4. Nov. 13: pp. 79-127 5. Nov.: 20: pp. 131-155 6. Nov. 27: pp. 155-190 7. Dec. 4: pp. 190-219 8. Dec. 11: pp. 210-241

Links: Those with an internet connection can read discussions of von Balthasar at:




Our own seminar will be able to communicate online. I will give out the details at our first meeting.

If you have any further questions about the seminar, please contact me: Fr. Philip McShane OP at: Dominican Priory, Glentworth St., Limerick, tel. 061/412333 or, on Wednesdays at St. Mary’s Priory, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24, tel. 01/404 8100—or e-mail me at:


-- Anonymous, October 20, 2002


Anne Marie Lee. 19th Nov. 02

Dear Philip and Group, Whew! I've just managed to get in here after a lot of hassle. My incompetence of course. Blessings on tommorow nights session, I'm sorry I can't be there. Reading the prescribed passage for tomorrow I am caught up in several places. I'm always going on about 'Knowing'. It is a certain kind of knowing so I like what Von Balthasar says about knowledge on end page 134 and to end of first paragraph on p.134.

What he says about Christianity regarding itself as being worthy of belief, last paragraph on p.139 and first eight or so lines on p.140. and the rest of p 141 from "The Mystery of God proclaimed by the Church...." These are of interest to me, I would love to be there to discuss them. Just now I haven't the time to write what I want to say about these passages. Dympna, if you are taking notes I'd really appreciate a copy. Blessings Anne Marie

-- Anonymous, November 19, 2002

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