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

By Michael P. Murphy

A couple of critics and students argue for the suggestion of a quite Catholic number of mind's eye, no longer as an issue of doctrine or maybe of trust, yet really as an inventive sensibility. They determine the combination of highbrow, emotional, non secular and moral assumptions that continue from Catholic trust constitutes a imaginative and prescient of truth that unavoidably informs the artist's ingenious expression. The suggestion of a Catholic mind's eye, although, has lacked thematic and theological coherence. To articulate this instinct is to pass the challenging interdisciplinary borders among theology and literature; and, even supposing students have built worthwhile equipment for project such interdisciplinary ''border-crossings,'' rather few were dedicated to a significant exam of the theological aesthetic upon which those different aesthetics could 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) grants the version, content material, and optic for distinguishing this sort of mind's eye from others. considering the fact that Balthasar perspectives artwork and literature accurately as theologies, Murphy surveys a wide array of poetry, drama, fiction, and picture and units it opposed to critical features of Balthasar's theological application. In doing so, Murphy seeks to increase a theology of feedback. This interdisciplinary paintings recovers the valid position of a different ''theological imagination'' in serious thought, displaying that Balthasar's voice either demanding situations and enhances modern advancements. Murphy additionally contends that postmodern interpretive method, 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 way of juxtaposing postmodern serious methodologies opposed to Balthasar's visionary theological variety, an area is made to be had for literary critics and theologians alike. extra vital, the critic is supplied with the instruments to evaluate, problem, and rejoice the theological mind's eye because it is depicted at the present time.

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Extra info for A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination

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It was a very painful episode that he still felt more than 20 years later. I recall him saying, ‘‘I am still a Jesuit, but I live in exile. ’’ 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.

Be that as it may, deconstruction, while wary of dualism and dialecticism, still tends to be paradoxical and apophatic: it tends to ‘‘propose’’ truth or meaning by ‘‘unsaying’’ it, which strikes critics of deconstruction as the kind binary maneuver that Derrida’s stated aims reject. ’’37 Cezanne grapples, aesthetically, with what is unsayable or, rather, what is uncolorable. There is something beyond the boundary of being (or, in Cezanne’s case, beyond the spectrum of color) that has not been thought of but that needs to be valued.

And if Jean Anouilh is right when he proposes, ‘‘beauty is one of the rare things that do not lead to doubt in God,’’ we need to remember that discussions about beauty are essentially holy and sacred events. And Balthasar knows this well: even though he can traffic in the language of Enlightenment-generated philosophical aesthetics, his is a ‘‘discourse from the knees,’’26 a contemplation, really, that, in its radical adoration of God, honors the wholeness of human experience. Balthasar’s work models the vitality of engaging historical concepts, such as aesthetics.

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