The whole Christ for the whole person : a comparative and critical study of the doctrine of personhood in Hans Urs von Balthasar and the doctrine of sanctification in T.F. Torrance in light of their Trinitarian theology
This thesis is a comparative study of the nature of personhood according to Hans Urs von Balthasar and the nature of sanctification according to Professor Thomas F. Torrance. We argue that both von Balthasar and Torrance develop Christological and Trinitarian anthropologies which centre on our participation in the obedience of the Son. Participation in Christ is understood differently given their anthropological assumptions. In chapter one we examine von Balthasar's anthropological assumptions regarding the distinction between the individual and the "theological person", the searching nature of man, and the various tensions of our existence, and death which prevents any solution for man's transcendent nature. In chapter two we explore Torrance's idea of the image of God, his understanding of man's contingency, the notion of the person, and the effects of the fall on man. In chapter three, we discuss von Balthasar's Christology of mission which overcomes the anthropological tensions and death by liberating our freedom for participation in the Trinitarian life. Through participation in the Son's mission, we become persons, acquire a uniqueness, a form, our true identity and name. In chapter four we examine Torrance's emphasis upon the vicarious nature of sanctification, first looking at the context in Israel and the extent in terms of the whole man assumed by Christ. We discuss the notion of fallen humanity, as well as the dynamic nature and Trinitarian dimensions of sanctification. In the final chapter we compare and contrast their Christological and Trinitarian approaches to anthropology given their underlying presuppositions. We mention various influences and experiences which shape to some degree Torrance's and von Balthasar's approach to their themes as well as important complementary contributions to a fuller and richer theological anthropology.