Personal Identity and Wholeness: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Reflection on Mission

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to argue the way the fundamental aspects of von Balthasar’s distinctive theological aesthetic and dramatic model of human personal identity and wholeness fit together around his key perception of ‘mission’. Based on the perspective of von Balthasar’s theological thought, a human being becomes a ‘unique person’ when encountering God in contemplative seeing. It is within contemplative seeing that one comes into contact with one’s ‘Idea’, which is realized when one’s personal identity is fully developed, and which it is one’s ‘life form’, a life telos received from God, to conform to. Thus, in this essay I will show that how the fundamental components of von Balthasar’s distinctive theological aesthetic and dramatic model of human personal identity and wholeness fit together around his core concept of ‘mission’. I argue that one’s personal identity is offered with one’s mission, and so that it is impossible for an individual to obtain an identity by anyone apart from God. What is needed to bring a human life to fulfilment—to become ‘whole’—is the acquisition of one’s specific ‘personhood’, which is given to one, along with one’s mission, by God.



Author Information
David Sheng-Yu Peng, Taiwan Baptist Christian Seminary, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ECERP2017
Stream: Religion - Mysticism, Faith, and Scientific Culture

This paper is part of the ECERP2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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