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Von Balthasar

Fr Aidan Nichols

Von Balthasar and the Co-redemption

Aidan Nichols OP

The issues raised in this article are generating so much interest that I have been requested to ask for feedback on them. Any comments made will be much appreciated.

Mark Alder

In looking at what the Swiss dogmatician Hans Urs von Balthasar has to say about our theme, I propose to divide up my materials into three piles, and I shall call these, using a terminology which is my own rather than Balthasar's, but, as I hope to show, the sub-titles illuminate Balthasar's thought:

1. The pre-redemption;

2. The co-redemption strictly so called;

3. The trans-redemption.

I shall preface my account of Balthasar's thinking on these three with a few general remarks about his Mariology, and close with some final reflections.

Balthasar's Mariology in general

What is the
formal character - the methodology, so to speak - of Balthasar's Mariology? Rather than laying down a law that reflection on our blessed Lady must have this or that departure point (usually either Christology or ecclesiology), Balthasar prefers to draw attention to the fact that Marian theology cannot dispense with a story of the Virgin and Mother. It is, he claims, a demand of (any) woman's ontology, her very nature, that she requires a span of time - a narrative space - in which to develop from 'receptive bride' to the mother who both bears and nurtures a child.

Somewhat startlingly, Balthasar declares that narrative - at least in the sense of giving attention to the sequence of individual historical events - is more important in Mary's case than in Jesus: the Saviour's consciousness of his mission developed in a 'straight line', whereas Marys rôle was ever changing in accordance with the needs of her Son whose helpmate she is.[1]

From the mysteries of the Infancy, through the public ministry to Calvary and the Cenacle, her journey follows a zig-zag route. Hence the emergence of the apocryphal lives of Mary of the patristic period or the mediaeval Vitae, and their more chastened modern equivalents.[2] The need to construct a coherent story lìne, Balthasar seems to say, cannot be avoided even in Mariological studies which examine the materials in the light of some major principle in theological doctrine, or do so historically, via the chief epochs of the Church's Marian ponderings.

Balthasar insists - rather puzzlingly at first sight - that while the veneration of Mary in the Church grew exponentially, Marian doctrine has always remained the same. Like Newman, engaged in courteous polemic with Pusey, he finds already in the pre-Nicene age not only an awareness that Mary guarantees the true humanity of the Word but also a mysterious identification of Mary and Church: the two great themes, these, of all Catholic Mariology.

But it soon turns out that what Balthasar means by the continuous identity of Marian doctrine is the undisturbed abiding, in the heart of the Church, of the core-affirmations of that doctrine. He would not deny - indeed, he asserts - that certain further implications required time for their unfolding. Thus, the need to reconcile the absolute primacy of the divine saving initiative with the recognition of the creature's deepest being as responsiveness to the Word, produced a long-lasting debate ln Catholic theology between 'Maculists' and 'Immaculists', closing only in 1854. with Pius IX's ex cathedra pronouncernent on the Conception of the Mother of God.

And again, the difficulty of inter-relating appropriately the operation of the Redeemer and the co-operation of the Woman whose consent to the Word must be consent to all its resonances, all the consequences of the Incarnation, generated that disputatious family of concepts which deal with Mary's assistance to Christ's mediation, and at the beginning of the twenty-first century as in the middle of the twentieth, constitute a special focus of theological attention in the Church. Recalling how a sea of titles for the Mother at the Cross rises (with, say, Co-redemptrix) and falls (with, perhaps, Auxiliatrix), Balthasar speaks in this same marine metaphor of

the ebb and flow, through history, of Mariology's tides; a flood of lofty attributes, titles and venerations is almost necessarily followed by an ebb that restores the level; but the ebb-tide can also seep away, leading to a forgetfulness that is unworthy of theology. [3]

Balthasar evidently believed himself to have lived in an era when Mariology was in low waters. Let us now, then, away from the question of how, in formal terms, he viewed Mariology - a story prompting fresh doctrinal articulation on the basis of abiding core-affirmations - and move on instead to the substance, the theological meat, of his teaching.

Man schämt sich einer Christenheit, die sich heute ihrer Mutter schämt. [4]

One is ashamed for a Christianity which today is ashamed of its own Mother.

This statement, made by Balthasar a few years into the postConciliar crisis (it appeared in an essay in the magazine of his old alma mater, the Benedictine school at Engelberg, between Lucerne and Interlaken) announces what will be an increasingly accentuated theme in his later theology - Mary, the Mother of God.

While by no means entirely absent from his earlier writing, Marian themes came to exercise him more and more as a result of the demands on him of his dirigée and collaboratrix the mystic Adrienne von Speyr, who needed his theological help in order to express her own intuitive inspirations in the fuller form which a priest with a profoundly rooted and wide-ranging ecclesial culture could provide. It will probably never be possible to ascertain with certainty what he gave Adrienne von Speyr and what she gave him. But we can at least say that a surprising number of the leit-motifs of his mature Mariology are already announced by way of overture in her 1948 study Magd des Herren, 'The Handmaid of the Lord'. [5]

The notion that opens Magd des Herren, 'consent',
Zustimmung, will prove to be the key concept in Balthasar's own Marian thinking, and his Mariology reflects her conviction that reflection on the story of our Lady should commence, continue and end here. She writes:

This single, all-encompassing act accompanies her at every moment of her existence, illuminates every turning point of her life, bestows upon every situation its own partlcular meaning and in all situations gives Mary herself the grace of renewed understanding. [6]

It can hardly be coincidence that, in Balthasar's presentation of the story o:f the
Theotókos, what is emphasised is Mary's undivided - single-minded and single-hearted - assent to the unique mission of her Son. At the Annunciation she gave her consent to the Incarnation of the Logos in her womb; on Calvary she assented to the Sacrifice her Son offered for the sins of the world; and with Christ's rising in glory this fiat or act of saying Yes is transformed into unending jubilation. [7]

In Balthasarian Mariology, the theme of consent is like the thread of Ariadne which enabled the Attic hero Theseus to find his way out of the Labyrinth - in our case out of the tortuous ways of speculation onto the broad sunlit uplands not of Crete as in the Greek legend but of divine truth.

The 'pre-redemption'

What, then, does Balthasar have to say about what I called at the start the 'pre-redemption', a phrase which I use to cover the pre-Calvary contribution of Mary to her Son's saving work. The Abbé René Laurentin, in a study of the historic development of Marian titles, showed that the emergence of the term 'co-redemptrix', in the course of the mediaeval period, displaced on older word of prayer and praise, 'redemptrix', which had been used, along with other soteriologically maximalist titles - 'life', 'salvation', 'hope' - as a way of speaking about Mary's rôle in the Incarnation.

Once theological attention passed from Mary's part in the Fleshtaking of the Word to her place on Calvary, and so her part in the Word incarnate's Sacrifice, it was felt inappropriate - confusing and incongruous - to call Mary 'redeemer' in that context, and so in due course the language of 'co-redemption' entered its own. Despite this linguistic history (and I am assuming that Laurentin's researches are fundamentally sound), much early modern and modern discussion of Mary's co-redemption focussed, in fact, on her cooperation in the Incarnation, which establishes, rather, the pre-conditions for her collaboration at the Cross.

True, one might, with many of the Church Fathers, regard the Incarnation as not only the putting in place of the ultimate condition of the Redemption - the moment when the Mediator, the One capable of joining the sundered 'terms' of God on the one hand, and sinful humanity on the other, is constituted in his own being - but also as the actual beginning of the Redemption. [9]

On such a view, the Incarnation is itself redemptive, and all that the victorious Cross does is to sweep away the obstacle of sin which prevents the deployment of the Incarnation's energies. It is not possible to grasp Balthasar's theology, however, unless one regards the coming to be of the redemptive Mediator as simply the virtual inauguration of salvation which only happens in its definitive reality and full efficacy with the Paschal Mystery of Christ's Death and Resurrection - and this is, I would take it, the better view - if perhaps a rather 'Greek' one (since the Byzantine Liturgy, unlike the Latin or the Syrian and Armenian, gives more weight to the Easter cycle than to that of the Nativity. [10]

For Balthasar, our Lady's pre-redemptive rôle would be found not only in her contribution to the Lord's Infancy (though pre-eminently there) but also in continuity with this, through her place in the public ministry of Jesus. As I have stressed, his account of these things - like his comments on what I term the 'co-redemption strictly so called' and the 'trans-redemption' (my phrase for the reception of redemption through Mary) - turns at all points on the concept of consent. How does he see our Lady's pre-redemptive rôle?

There are, to his mind, three considerations which point up the importance of Mary's free consent to the Incarnation. First, in taking flesh in a human mother's womb God must not violate his creature, for this would transgress the most basic Creator-creature relationship. So in the Annunciation he turns to Mary, appealing to her will, waiting (though not for long) for her reply. Secondly, this particular Mother had to be capable of introducing her Child as man into the fullness of Israel's religion, which was the already existing divine revelation to mankind and so would form the indispensable presupposition and background for Jesus's mission. Thirdly, the Incarnation of the Word requires what Balthasar calls 'a flesh that welcomes him perfectly'.

In other words, the matrix into which the Logos entered when he stepped into the created, material realm had to be perfectly disposed to union with himself. Mary's consent, which establishes the co-redemption in the broader sense of that word by inaugurating what I am calling its 'pre-redemptive phase' is conditioned, like the subsequent co-redemptive act at the Cross from which what I am terming the 'trans-redemption follows, by the mystery of her Immaculate Conception, which makes Mary utterly open both to God and to men. In Theo-drama, his 'theological dramatics', Balthasar writes:

As a Mother, she has to mediate - in the requisite purity - everything human that her Child needs; as her Son's companion and bride, she must be able to share his sufferings in a way appropriate to her, and what most fits her for this task is her utter purity, which means that she is profoundly exposed and vulnerable. [12]

As this passage suggests, Mary's consent is not only virginal and maternal. It is also, and Balthasar will emphasise this, 'bridal'. When we speak of her
virginal consent we should be minded to think of our Lady's relation with Israel (she is the perfect 'virgin daughter of Zion'); when we speak of her maternal consent we should be minded to think of her relation with Christ (for reasons that hardly need explaining). When we speak of her bridal consent, we should be minded to think of her relation with the whole of humanity, and indeed the cosmos.

The hypostatic union is a marriage between divine nature and human, for which Mary is not simply a venue. The marriage of divinity and humanity in the single person of the Word incarnate does not take its matrimonial character exclusively from the side of God, for Mary had to give a bridal consent on the behalf of all creation. For Balthasar, it is because Mary is a woman that she can represent the human creation vis-à-vis God. A man (in the sense of a male human being) would have been unable to fulfil this rôle. The reason is that creaturehood has an archetypally feminine quality.

Because the creature is not made in the image of the Father but in the image of the Word, humanity is more primordially receptive than it is creative - just as in the eternal Trinity the Son is primarily receptivity, sheer reception of the Father's life, and only on that basis can he be creative, whether metaphorically so when with the Father he spirates the Spirit or literally so when the world is made through him. So humankind is creative likewise, on the basis of being receptive, and of its two genders, male and female, it is the female which the better represents the substance of human creaturehood in this respect.

Though physiologically speaking, the female contribution to generation is as important as the male, at the level of the human totalities involved it is the woman who receives and the man who gives. And if, in the Incarnation, the part of man is taken by God as giver, this does not render the human recipient of the divine gift passive. As Balthasar puts it, commenting on Mary's fiat:

Let us say rather that this assent is the highest and most fruitful of human activlties, or in terms St Paul might have used, faith is required more fundamentally than works. [13]

When he turns from the Annunciation, the beginning of the pre-redemptive phase of the co-redemption, to the remainder of that phase, Mary's place in the public life of the Saviour prior to his Passion, Balthasar stresses the infinite flexibility her continuing consent to the Incarnation and its redemptive unfolding entails. She does not insist on understanding in advance everything there is to know about her mysterious Son. In
Mary for Today he commented:

Just as Jesus little anticipated the fate that lay in store for him but let it be revealed to him from day to day by his Father, so too would his mother have anticipated little of what was to come: part of her faith (the fulfilment of the faith of Abraham) was always to accept God's dispositions. [14]

Mary is called to enter after Jesus the night of the senses - the rupture of physical contact with her Son, and also the night of the spirit - the breakdown of understanding of him. Here we see Balthasar's indebtedness to the Carmelite school, For these phrases ('night of the senses', 'night of the spirit') are taken from the ascetical and mystical theology oÍ John of the Cross.

The most original aspect of Balthasar's theology of Marian consent during the public ministry is his interpretation, precisely by means of these Sanjuanist phrases, of the 'distancings' between Jesus and Mary: such moments as the losing of the Child in the temple; the rebuke at the marriage-feast of Cana; the declaration that the true mother is whoever does the will of the heavenly Father, all of which have been seen by much Protestant exegesis as indicative of a low Mariology on the part of the evangelists and which Catholic exegesis has had to vindicate from such a charge.

Like typically Protestant exegesis, Balthasar interprets these moments as definite turnings away of the Son from the mother. But, unlike such exegesis, he regards these self-removals of Jesus from Mary as invitations by the Son to the Mother, whereby he calls her to enter with him into the experience of abandonment which will come to its climax at the Cross. There, at least in Balthasar's theology of Calvary, the abandonment of Christ revealed in paradoxical fashion the perfect loving union of Abandoner and Abandoned, as Father and Son in the Holy Trinity.

So here too Jesus is engaged by these negative actions in the most suplatively positive activity: he is transforming his mother's faith from simply being the faith of Israel (though the faith of Israel in uniquely fulfilled form) into being a 'cruciform faith', a faith of the kind that will typify the Church. Precisely by turning away from her he teaches her the demands of his mission and what is golng to be her share in the mission of that Church she will personally embody.

He shows her the way her fiat will have to persevere through darkness and incomprehension. And this lays the foundation for the Mother's future collaboration with the Son, her rôle in tbe co-redemption strictly so called, and this in turn establishes through her the basis for the Church's co-operation in redemption, what I am calling in its Marian foundation, the 'trans-redemption'.

The co-redemption strictly so called

At the Cross the movement of Mary's continuing consent reaches its climax in her receptive yet supremely creative standing by. In his theological dramatics Balthasar writes:

This is the only way the New Eve can be the helpmate of the New Adam. He bears the guilt of all mankind before the Father.... (but) he makes room for the very different contribution of his mother. What she has to do is painfully to let his suffering happen, by her own suffering letting his suffering happen in her. [15]

Now the notion that, at the Cross, what Mary was doing was a unique form of
consenting is by no means special to Balthasar. It is found, indeed, in no less common a source than the concluding Marian chapter of Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution of the Second Vatican Council on the Church. There we read of the 'consent', consensus, 'quem in Annuntiatione fideliter praebuit, quemque sub Cruce incuntanter sustintuit', 'which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and sustained unwaveringly beneath the Cross'. [16] And again, on the moment of the Atonement, from the same chapter, but this time more fully:

Ita etiam Beata Virgo in peregrinatione fidei processit, suamque unionem cum Filio fideliter sustinuit usque ad crucem, ubi non sine divinio consilio stetit, vehementer cum Unigenito suo condoluit et sacrificio. Eius se materno animo consentiens; ac demum ab eodem Christo Jesu in cruce moriente uti mater discipulo, hisce verbis data est: Mulier, ecce filius tuus.

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced ln her pilgrimage of faith, and loyally persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, suffering grievously with her only-begotten Son. There she united herself with a maternal heart to his sacrifice, and lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. [17]

The question is, then, not whether she consented, but what sort of consent was this and how may its implications be gauged.

Here are the elements of Balthasar's answer to this question (or questions).

1. Though there is no need to present Mary as consenting to the Atonement on humanity's behalf - for that is done by Jesus himself, nevertheless, to the extent that Marys consent at the Annunciation was a pre-condition of the Incarnation it cannot (at the Cross) simply be engulfed by the human 'Yes' of Jesus.

2. Mary renews her fiat from a position of both proximity to the Crucified and distance from him. As we shall see in a moment this is key to the spirit in which Balthasar would accept some form of the co-redemptrix title and so any hypothetical Church dogma of Co-redemption. At the Cross, Mary is both close and distant, and this is fitting, for, so Balthasar explains

When speaking of the fruitful consequences of Calvary in the fourth volume of the dramatics, Mary's 'Yes' at the Annunciation had included, so it now appears, not only the coming Saviour but also all who stand in need of (ín St Lukes words) the 'redemption of Israel'. Precisely as the Immaculate, she is in complete solidarity with sinners, endlessly at their disposal. It is in this optic that we must contemplate her standing at the Cross's foot. Balthasar writes:

Hidden behind the multitude oí sinners, embracing them all, she is objectively closest to him: she makes his suffering possible and guarantees its goal. Now, however, he can only see her as the farthest from him; this is how he
must see her. He is forsaken absolutely, and the only way of fellowship with him is to take leave of him and plunge into forsakenness. He must withdraw from his mother just as his Father has withdrawn from him: 'Woman, behold your Son'. [18]

3. That the Son is accompanied by a witness to God's atoning action means that the revelation of the Trinity on the Cross cannot be expounded on the basis of the Crucified alone. This witness, the Mother of the Lord, is an icon of the fruitful receptivity by which the Son greets the love of the Father in the Holy Spirit.

It is because she witnesses in her poverty, the humiliation of which the Magnificat speaks, standing behind sinners and with them, that she is able to receive the measureless outpouring of the Son on the Cross in his sacrifice of praise and petition to the Father, and receive it in such a way that she becomes the Bride of the Lamb and the Womb of the Church - a - 'nuptial relationship that begins in the utter forsakenness and darkness they both experience'. [19]

The upshot of these three points is that some version of co-redemption language may be used so long as we are sensitive to the paradox it contains. We can trumpet Mary's share in the victorious Passion of Christ only if we keep in mind that she lived out that sharing in the spirit of the Beatitudes, that the triumphant vindication of which she spoke in the Magnificat continued to be conditioned by the utter 'lowliness' which she ascribed to herself in that canticle.

Balthasar's provocative way of putting this is to say that at the Cross her Yes was to her own helplessness and that, consigned to John, she is despatched to apparent uselessness in the work of salvation. The qualifier apparent here brings me to the last stage in my exposition of Balthasars thinking, what I call the 'trans-redemption'.

The trans-redemption

The seeming sterility, or apparent uselessness, of Mary's state at the Cross in fact concealed its opposite. What was actually happening was that Mary was becoming the womb in which the dying incarnate Word was placing the seed of the Church. The whole fruitfulness, the total transformative power of the Church began at that moment in Mary's consent to the redemptive Sacrifice. In Balthasar's words, the Word 'finally and definitively becomes flesh in the Virgin-Mother, Mary-Ecclesia.

It is for him vital that in our Lady the Church herself consented to the Redemption, and continues to consent in, with, and through, Mary's never retracted Yes to the death of her Son, such that redemption not only once upon a time but ever afterwards passes through - trans - Mary.

As Balthasar sees things, the God-man did not want the Church to consent to, and share in, his atoning Sacrifice simply after the event, when it was all over. He wanted the Church to be contemporary with the event, so that from the very beginning the sacrifice of Calvary was inseparably that of Head and members. Even in the utter dereliction of Calvary he did not wish to act without the accompaniment of the Church. And this Mary provided. [21]

Through the supreme renewal ot her virginal, maternal and bridal consent, as offered in the poverty and darkness of the place by the Cross, Mary is enabled by the Holy Trinity to give birth to the Church continually throughout the ages. She allows herself to lose everything personally her own - including her Son - so that all that is hers may be 'expropriated', given over to the members of the Church.
[22] As Balthasar puts it in his exegesis of the mysteries of the Rosary:

Mary-the-Church keeps no grace for herself; she receives grace in order to transmit it. This is what a mother does. We are the chiidren of Mary's fruitfulness, and her fruitfulness has been given her that she might receive and fulfil the fruitfulness of her Spouse. [23]

Some concluding remarks

It is obvious that Balthasar's theology is not conducted in the Neo-Scholastic fashion in which the theology of co-redemption at the high point of its production, the 1950s, was carried on.
[24] It is, much of the time, a theology which moves forward by the exploration of images, or by plotting the dramatic relations which seem to connect the various figures of the divine 'play' of salvation.

It is not without argumentative elements, but its main service consists in setting forth certain intuitions which theologians of a more conceptual stamp may cast into more rigorous form. One might take the analogy of a scientific theory whose imaginative constructlon is the more basic and important step, even though it cannot be taken with full seriousness until the procedures of verification proper to the scientific community have been applied to it.

A doctrine of co-redemption concerned to integrate Balthasar's intuitions - something which should only be done, of course, if they can be said already to serve as instruments for expressing the faith-consciousness of the Church, the Great Paradosis of revelation - would want to do justice not only to what I have been terming the co-redemption strictly so called, the events on Golgotha, but also to what I have called the pre-redemption and trans-redemption.

To include our Lady's rôle in the Incarnation keeps within the scope of the wider concept of co-redemption that original Annunciation consent which is the focus of the most ancient theologies of this subject. To extend the purview of the doctrine to the communication of redemption through Mary as embodiment of the Church would incorporate within the doctrine the idea of Marian mediation of the grace of Christ. Yet the centre of the doctrine should surely be the Happening on the Hill.

My account has concealed from you the fact that Balthasar did not favour the use of the word 'co-redemptrix', though upholding in idiosyncratic form the substance of the common doctrine. His anxieties about the diffusion of the term in a popular context are widely shared, not least because of the changing fortunes of that all-important prefix 'co' at least in English. Its meaning is shifting from the original sense of accompaniment to a modern connotation of equality.

But that is not to say that no acceptable periphrasis can be found. 'The Redemptive Collaboratrix' is a bit of a mouthful but hardly more so than the name a lady in a grotto once confided to Bernadette Soubirous: 'The Immaculate Conception'.

Personally, for what it is worth, I have come to look more favourably on the proposal of a dogmatic definition than when I first heard of the revival of the suggestion. The principal doctrinal - as distinct from pastoral - merit of such a definition would be, I think, its enabling the Marian proclamation of the Church to address not only the beginning of definitive salvation (as is done in the dogmas of the Conception, Motherhood and Virginity), and not only definitive salvation's outcome (as is done in the dogma of the Assumption), but the key moment of definitive salvation itself, the Paschal Mystery.

The Orthodox urge that there should be no proclamation about Mary, since her place is in the secret heart of the mystery of the Church, not in the Gospel kerygma heralded to the world. This point of view would have bewildered the Fathers of Ephesus who thought it best to speak about who God is in Christ by way of discourse about Mary whom they proclaimed to be the Bearer-of-God.

This Ephesian strategy can be extended. If our intellectual eye is too weak to take in the overall dimensions of the salvation wrought on the Cross and its triumphant display in the remaining acts of the Paschal Mystery - and surely it is too weak, since these are the events whereby the Incarnate One remade the world - we can at least speak of how they registered in the human response of Mary and their fruitful consequences in the Woman whom the Man who sits at the Father's right has crowned. In some not only beautiful but penetrating words of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna:

Why is it that theology finds the centre of its heart in the heart of a woman who is Jesus' mother? Mary is the guarantor of Christian realism; in her it becomes manifest that God's word was not only spoken but heard; that God has not only called but man has answered; that salvation was not only presented but also received. Christ's is God's word, Mary is the answer; in Christ, God has come down from heaven, in Mary the earth has become fruitful. Mary is the seal of perfect creatureliness; in her is illustrated in advance what God intended for creation. [25]


1 H. U. von Balthasar,
Theo Drama.Theological Dramatic Theory, 111. Dramatis Personae: Persons in Christ (Et San Francisco 1992), p.293. Cited below as 'TD'.

2 Balthasar had in mind here such works as P. Gächter,
Maria im Erdenleben. Neutestamentliche Marienstudien (Innsbrück 1954); F. M. Willam, Maria, Mutter und Gefährtin des Erlösers (Freiburg 1963).

3 TD 111, p. 297. I draw in this section of my essay on material used earlier in A. Nichols, O. P.,
No Bloodless Myth. A Guide through Balthasar's Dramatics (Edinburgh 2000), pp. 112-113.

4 H. U. von Balthasar, 'Marienverehrung heute' , Titlisgrüsse 55. 1 (1968), pp. 2-6.

5 A. von Speyr,
Handmaid of the Lord (Et New York 1955).

6 Ibid., p. 7.

7 J. Saward,
The Mysteries of March. Hans Urs von Balthasar on the Incarnation and Easter (London 1990), pp. 61-81.

8 R. Laurentin,
Le titre de Co-rédemptrix. Etude historique (Rome-Paris 1951).

9 J.-P. Jossua, O. P.,
Le salut, Incarnation ou mystère pascal? Chez les Peres de L'Eglise de saint Irénée à saint Léon le Grand (Paris 1968)

10 G. Rémy, 'Le Christ Médiateur dans l'oeuvre de S. Thomas d'Aquin',
Revue Thomiste XCIII. ii (1993), pp. 183-233, and here at p. 230. A 'Greek view': see R. Taft, S. J., 'L'apport des liturgies d'Orient à l'intelligence du culte chrétien', in P. de Clerck (ed.), La Liturgie, lieu théologique (Paris 1999), pp. 97-122, and here at pp. 108-109.

11 H. U. von Balthasar,
Au coeur du Mystère rédempteur (Paris 1980), p. 55.
Cited below as 'ACMR'.

12 TD 111, p. 323.

13 ACMR p. 58

14 H. U. von Balthasar, Mary for Today (Et Middlegreen 1987) , p. 16

15 TD 111, p. 369.

Lumen Gentium, 62.

17 Ibid., 58, with allusions to John 19, vv. 25 and 26-27.

18 H. U. von Balthasar,
Theo-Drama. Theological Dramatic Theory, IV. The Action (Et San Francisco 1994), p. 356.

19 Ibid., p. 358.

20 Ibid., p. 361.

21 ACMR, p. 54.

22 H. U. von Balthasar,
The Glory of the Lord. A Theological Aesthetics, I. Seeing the Form (Et Edinburgh and San Francisco 1985), p.341

23 Idem.,
The Threefold Garland (Et San Francisco 1982; 1988), p. 137. And more widely, B. Leahy, The Marian Principle in the Church according to Hans Urs vonBalthasar (Frankfurt 1996).

24 See, e.g., The 'Bulletins mariales' furnished by Père Jean-Hervé Nicolas in the pages of the
Revue Thomiste in the years surrounding the dogmatisation of Mary's Assumption.

25 Words spoken at the 1986 Fatima Symposium on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, cited in M. Miravalle (ed.),
Contemporary Insights on a Fifth Marian Dogma. Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate. Theological Foundations 111 (Goleta, CA, 2000), p. 6.

The above paper was given at the Interntional Symposium on Marian Coredemption on Thursday 24th February 2000 held at Ratcliffe College, Nr. Leicester, England.

Version: 6th February 2006

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Von Balthasar

Fr Aidan Nichols