Hans Urs von Balthasar, Metaphysics, and the Problem of Onto-Theology

D C Schindler


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 Heideggers question, which paradoxically turns out to accord a certain kind of primacy to metaphysics. The following paper gives a brief statement of Heideggers critique, sketches three potential dangers of that critique, and then suggests how Balthasars metaphysics with a theological point of departure offers a way to avoid those dangers.

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