Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

The Concept of Form in Hans Urs von Balthasar's Theological Aesthetics

Author:ZHANG Jun, Associate Professor, Shaanxi Normal University; Postdoctoral Researcher, Fudan University



In introducing the traditional western concept of form into his theological aesthetics, Hans Urs von Balthasar focused on Jesus Christ, the form of revelation. In von Balthasar’s theological aesthetics, the existence of form means beauty, and the form of Christ, as the highest form of revelation, is the highest beauty, the archetype of beauty. The introduction of “form” into Christian aesthetics, making it both a transcendental and immanent concept, was an important theoretical step by von Balthasar. Von Balthasar’s theological aesthetics were constructed around this concept of form, and form is the core theme of his theological aesthetics. Unless we understand clearly this concept and its aesthetic meaning, we cannot enter into Balthasar’s theological aesthetics. 



Hans Urs von Balthasar, Theological Aesthetics, Form, Beauty


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