Truth is a symphony


‘Continuing a tradition started by Pope Paul VI with the nomination of Padre Giulio Bevilac-qua and Padre Jean Danielou as cardinals, Pope John Paul II, in June 1988, added the name of Hans Urs von Balthasar to the list of future cardinals. However, on June 29th, von Balthasar was unable to receive the symbols of his office from the hands of the Pope, three years earlier, on Ju-ne 26th, he had died, following in dignified silence the call of Our Lord, in coherence with the al-most proverbial discretion endo-wed upon him by his inclination towards meditation and passion for the life of prayer, study and quiet. The significance of his nomina-tion as cardinal lies undoubtedly in his role of staunch sup-porter of the Faith, not as a stronghold or fortress, but by sapiently illustrating its beauty and variety, which Balthasar played in the difficult decades following the Vatican Council. The exhibition, taking, as a star-ting point the many important meetings with a wide variety of people which characterized Balthasar’s life, seeks to investiga-te and present a theological me-thod which draws its strength from the unity of the whole and the multiplicity of the parts. Uni-ty very obviously is represented by Christ, Alpha and Omega, the Light and the Way, ‘the insupe-rably highest Being’, as Balthasar wrote, the ‘id quod maius cogitari nequit, because He is God’s word to the world and the humblest service of God which satisfies so fully every human aspiration”. Multiplicity is represented by the many human forms which express the facets of Christ. Music, literature, philosophy and the founders of the Church are drawn together in the sympho-ny of truth. The exhibition aims to display the fertility and originality of theological method which has slowly evolved over the years influenced by its contact with emi-nent personalities of this centu-ry, such as Guardini, Przywara and De Lubac, all animated by a genuine Catholic passion. There are two sections of illu-strative panels with explanations and quotations. The first ‘Life and meetings’, accompa-nies the visitor around the pla-ces which were important to Balthasar’s life and development, Lucerne, Vienna, Lyons and Ba-sle. This is followed by a descrip-tion of his cultural background and of the many influences upon it, that of music (Schu-mann, Wagner, Strauss, Mahler, Mozart, Bach and Schubert), of outstanding scholars (Fessard, Daniélou, Bouillard, de Lubac, Bouyer and Guardini), of intel-lectuals (Claude, Peguy, Bernanos and Biondel), of the works of Calderon and Goethe, the spirituality of St. Ignatius, Saint John of the Cross and the me-ditations of the founders of the Church, and of the bond formed with Adrienne von Speyr. The second part of the exhibi-tion is a guide to the writings of Balthasar, arranged in the order of the ‘programme of work’ set out by Balthasar himself. The citations from his works are ac-companied by reproductions of paintings of Fra Angelico.’


20 Agosto 1989 - 27 Agosto 1989


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions