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New. Von Balthasar was not satisfied by Kierkegaard's treatment of anxiety (The Concept of Anxiety, 1844) as a psychological state induced by ''the finite mind's horror at its own limitlessness''; he believed it required a dogmatic treatment. Centering all his reflection and all his writing on the center-point of existence, the drama of the Incarnation, von Balthasar seeks in this book to extend our understanding of anxiety into the dimensions of theology and christology. As such, The Christian and Anxiety builds upon von Balthasar's reading of Maximus the Confessor's refutation of monothelitism in The Cosmic Liturgy, a theological development of his spiritual meditation The Heart of the World, and culminates in The Threefold Garland and the concluding volume of Theo-Drama. Von Balthasar defines human anxiety through a sensitive reading of the Old Testament, then shows how in the Incarnation and Passion Christ took that anxiety upon Himself and made it possible for us to participate in ''the fruitful anguish of the Cross, '' the very anxiety of the Holy Trinity for the salvation of the cosmos that motivated the Passion. Perhaps no other contemporary theologian so compellingly marries the dogmatic with the existential as von Balthasar; which (we submit) is what orthodoxy and catholicity is all about.
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