Following the standard academic calendar, the Accademia Balthasar offers a selection of weekly seminars available to university students and researchers upon request. The subject material of these courses can vary greatly, ranging from philosophy to theology to literature, and typically has roots in the works of our authors of reference or in the vast cultural milieu of Hans Urs von Balthasar.
For those interested, comprehensive catalogues of past course themes and
session details are available in the archives below.
Hans Urs von Balthasar: The Christian State of Life
10:30 - 12:20
The sole purpose of the book The Christian State of Life, which is the basis of our course, "is to provide a comprehensive meditation on the foundations and background of St. Ignatius’ contemplation on the 'Call of Christ,' on the answer we must give if we want 'to give greater proof of [our] love', and on the choice explicitly demanded of us: either to follow Christ our Lord to 'the first state of life, which is that of observing the commandments,' of which he has given us an example by his obedience to his parents; or to follow him to 'the second state, which is that of evangelical perfection,' of which he has given us an example by leaving his family 'to devote himself exclusively to the service of his eternal Father.' And this so that we can ‘arrive at perfection" - which is, of course, the perfection of Christian love - 'in whatever state or way of life God our Lord may grant us to choose'." (Hans Urs von Balthasar)
Confession in Modern Literature
8:30 - 12:20
In the Prolegomena of his Theodrama, Balthasar presents some classics of Christian literature that illustrate man’s existential question about his own life and shows how they bring out the theme of the “confession” of sins before another, witness to the truth before God.
In this perspective we propose to analyze the pages where some authors of world literature describe a kind of “confession,” understood not primarily as a sacramental process but as an attitude of openness and transparency and therefore of admission of one’s guilt. Here some of the themes that will be treated: the sin of pride (Chesterton), the fight of the spirits (Bernanos), the relationship between confession and truth (Dostoevsky), between justice and mercy (Brecht and Calderon de la Barca), the solidarity of sinners (Schneider), the prevenient grace (Hugo, Manzoni), resignation or true confession (Eliot), the confession from the shore of eternity (Wilder, Lewis).