Hans Urs von Balthasar - Die Antwort des Glaubens
Book

Die Antwort des Glaubens The Answer of the Faith

The short pieces collected in this volume were written in the 1970’s and ‘80’s to help explain the Christian faith to young people in Germany. They cover a variety of topics with the aim of answering questions and objections common among younger seekers. Short in scope and simple in execution, these texts illustrate Balthasar’s concern for pastoral outreach and the promotion of vocations.

CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLD RELIGIONS (1979)
A Rapid Survey
1. The Two Hemispheres
2. The Three “Abrahamic Faiths”
3. Varieties of Christianity
4. One World Religion?

[Translations: French - Italian - Slovenian - Czech]

“WHAT DOES THE CHURCH HAVE TO DO WITH MY FAITH?” (1978)
A Dialogue
1. Prelude
2. A Few Months Later
3. A Step Further
4. To the Point

[Translations: French - Italian - Czech]

HOLY SCRIPTURE (1986)
1. What a Book!
2. Books of Wisdom, “Folly of God”
3. God’s Folly is Wiser Than Men (1 Cor 1:25)
4. Is the Bible “God’s Word”?
5. God’s Word in Human Words
6. Who Owns the Bible?
7. “Old” Testament and “New”?
8. How to Read the Bible
9. Self-evidence and Ecclesiality
10. Two Dimensions of Reading

[Translations: French - Italian - Slovenian]

GOD AND SUFFERING (1984)
The Questions
I. Human Answers
1. Defeatism
2. Rebellion
3. Laying on of Hands

II. In the Light of Christianity
1. Not a Theory
2. Divine Praxis
3. The Uniqueness of God’s Praxis
4. Action und Passion
5. God and Suffering

[Translations: French - Italian]

PRAYER (1980)
1. Where is My Origin?
2. Two Temptations and Their Overcoming
3. Prayer in Mission
4. “Everything You Ask for in My Name I Will Do.”
5. “If You Only Knew the Gift of God!”

[Translations: English - French - Italian]

EUCHARIST - A GIFT OF LOVE (1986)
1. Abbilder der Liebe - und ihr Urbild
2. Liebe - bis zum Äußersten
3. Das Hochzeitsmahl: Wer ist eingeladen, wer lädt ein
4. Geschenke nimmt man sich nicht
5. Das Unscheinbarste ist das Kostbarste
6. Alles ist Gabe

[Translations: French - Italian - Slovenian]

FOLLOWING JESUS - POOR, CHASTE, OBEDIENT
1. Opening the Horizon
2. The Human Foundation
3. How Does Jesus Justify His Claim?
4. Forms of Life in the “Counsels”
5. Objections
6. On the Fear and the Courage to Commit for Life

[Translations: French - Italian - Slovenian]

VOCATION (1966)
[Translations: English - French - Italian - Spanish]

In today’s world we see two clearly demarcated zones of religiosity. The Western hemisphere is characterized by revealed religion: Judaism, Christianity and (deriving from these first two) Islam. The dominant idea here is that of a free, personal God who without any need conceived the world and brought it into existence: as a non-divine other that nonetheless necessarily bears the mark of its origin and is thus an “image of God.” In the East, on the other hand, we find numerous varieties of a basic pattern governed by the idea of an impersonal divinity, a primal ground that necessarily “appears” in the (somehow unreal) multiplicity of the world, but must be sought beneath the veil of appearance. . . . In both cases, you have a naturally religious subject. The difference is that, in the West, religious man was confronted by a divine revelation in history, whereas this was not the case in the East, where the movement is essentially from religious man to the divine Absolute. . .  There is a common feature, though: Man knows that at the core of his existence is relation to God (or the Absolute) — whether he understands himself (in Western terms) as an “image of God” or (in Eastern terms) as a temporarily veiled, alienated “appearance” of the Absolute.

From “Christianity and the World Religions”