The Caroline Chisholm Library

The Caroline Chisholm Library is a Catholic theological lending and reference library situated in central Melbourne (Level 3, 358 Lonsdale St - opposite St Francis Church). Opening Hours are 11am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

All members of the public are welcome to browse the library, use it for reference purposes or attend lectures. Persons interested in borrowing books can become library members (membership forms are avaliable at the Library).

The library catalogue is available online at the Library's website at

This blog will give details of events at the library, text of talks given at the library as well as reviews of books in the library collection.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Book Review - “Engagement with God” by Hans Urs Von Balthasar.

“Engagement with God” by Hans Urs Von Balthasar.

The far ranging scale and erudition of the Swiss theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar’s (1905-88) thought can sometimes daunt even the most adventurous reader.

This compact volume however, provides a lively and accessible entry point to von Balthasar’s “theo-dramatics”. This theo-dramatics is in part his response to liberal humanism and to totalising systems such as Marxism. It recovers the notion that human history and experience is situated within the drama (ultimately comedic) of God’s active and revelatory commitment to His creation.

This volume summarises some of the key ideas that are contained in von Balthasar’s five volume series “Theo- Drama” which in turn is part of massive trilogy of works.In the drama of Creation, Redemption and Glory therefore the Triune God is not a remote producer- but the author, director AND actor.

Von Balthasar challenges Christians to follow Christ- not by our initiative in “imitating” him- still less by our adopting some vague and selective list of “Christian values” but by immersing ourselves radically and personally through sacramental, mystical and practical avenues into life of Christ crucified. Only this will overcome the rift that has come about in the modern Christianity – between contemplation and action, between liberty and law and between the world and the Church.

This shorter work provides a valuable addition to the Library’s Von Balthasar collection that has been augmented gradually as our collection funds and donations permit. 

Anna Krohn.

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