Hans Urs von Balthasar, Metaphysics, and the Problem of Onto-Theology
Heidegger's question “How does the god enter philosophy?”, has been echoing and re-echoing in theology so incessantly it may be said to have acquired something like the authority of tradition. The
author argues, first, that the terms in which the critique of ontotheology is framed threaten to evacuate the substance and seriousness of theology ironically by “absolutizing” the reason it seeks to chasten in relation to faith. Second, avoiding the problem of absolutizing human reason requires the reversal of Heidegger’s question, which paradoxically turns out to accord a “certain kind” of primacy to metaphysics. The following paper gives a brief statement of Heidegger’s critique, sketches three potential dangers of that critique, and then suggests how Balthasar’s “metaphysics with a theological point of departure” offers a way to avoid those dangers.
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INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HERMENEUTICS / INSTITUT INTERNATIONAL D'HERMÉNEUTIQUE