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 Fr Aidan Nichols


Say It Is Pentecost

A Guide Through Balthasar's Logic


Preface	ix
1 Introducing Balthasar's Logic	1

2 Being and Truth	9
3	Subject, Object - and God	15
4	Inwardness and Freedom	23
5	Image and Reality	35
6	Being Situated	45
7	Mystery	51
8	Truth Worldly and Truth Divine	55
9	The Johannine 'Entry'	63
10	Logic and Love	67
11	Ana-logic: Tracing the Trinity	69
12	The Self-expression of the Logos	73
13	The Place of the Logos in God	81
14	The Emergence of the World through the Word	91
15	Cata-logic: Fulfilment from God	95
16	The Word Is Made Flesh	101
17	And Made Sin: The Logic of Contradiction	119

18	The Spirit's 'Entry' into Logic	127
19	Christ and the Spirit	131
20	The Holy Spirit, the Interpreter	135
21	The Spirit as Personal Being	139
22	Dyad in the Triad: The Father's 'Two Hands'	147
23	The Spirit and the Church: Logical Preliminaries	161
24	The Spirit and the Church: Subjective and Objective	171
25	The Spirit and the World	187
26	Return to the Father	191

	27	Epilogue to the Trilogy	197
	28	Postword	211

Select Bibliography	213
Index of Subjects	215
Index of Names	225

Or say it is Pentecost: the hawthorn-tree,
met with coagulate magnified flowers of may
blooms in a haze of light

Geoffrey Hill
The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy


With the present work, I come to the end of my task of providing Balthasar's prolix trilogy - Herrlichkeit, Theodramatik, Theologik - with an interpretative summary. The last member of the trio, the theological logic, is also the shortest. But since it contains, in its opening volume, Balthasar's metaphysics and epistemology - a synthesis of Christian Scholasticism and the classical German philosophical tradition, theologically re-worked - it is hardly the least demanding. The effort of understanding is rewarded, however, with a fuller grasp of Balthasar's contentions in the aesthetics and dramatics, as well as in the remaining volumes of Theologik itself.

Readers of my two earlier commentaries,
The Word Has Been Abroad and No Bloodless Myth, will have found some material on and the drama, respectively: enough to explain the terms 'aesthetics' and 'dramatics' which control the sub-titles of these 'Guides'. But of logic as ordinarily understood - whether the traditional syllogistic variety, or the modal logic favoured in the later Middle Ages as again today, or the symbolic logic of the mathematically inclined, they will find little if any trace in Say It Is Pentecost. As with Hegel, Balthasar's logic is his ontology, his study of being - though to be sure there are discussions here of language, in which being comes to expression. Not that the second and third volumes of Theologik - on the difference made to ontology by Christology and Pneumatology - are an afterthought in this respect. For Balthasar, as his (separate) Epilog to the trilogy, also discussed here, points out, understanding of the missions of Son and Spirit not only confirms the judgments about the world's being as divine epiphany made in the opening ontology but also shows the being of the world flowering under the sun of transfiguring grace.

This makes appropriate the choice of title and epigraph, for which I am again indebted to the distinguished poet, my fellow-countryman, Geoffrey Hill. The completion of the present study seems a good time to thank too all those in T&T Clark's publishing house who have made the production of these books so singularly free of heartache. Writing them has sometimes been a labour, but it has been a labour of love on behalf of the faith of the Church which Cardinal Balthasar so signally served.

Blackfriars, Cambridge
Memorial of the Holy Name of Jesus, 2000

Copyright © T&T Clark Ltd, 2001

First published 2001

ISBN 0 567 08752 2

Extracts from "Say it is Pentecost" reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher.

Copyright ©; T & T Clark Ltd 2001

Version: 6th February 2008


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 Fr Aidan Nichols