Chalcedonian Personalism published

patterson-chalcedonian-coverWe all have a sense of what it means to be a person, but how do we conceptualize that intuition? What is the connection between a person and their human nature? Where does mind fit in to the picture? This book draws upon the work of Joseph Ratzinger and Hans Urs von Balthasar, both of whom developed a perspective on these questions that is grounded in the early Church’s teaching on Christ and the Trinity. The possibilities of that teaching for understanding human personhood were generally lost for about fifteen centuries, but Ratzinger, in a bold assertion, believes that its retrieval has the power to challenge and reshape the whole of human thought.

The first part of the book offers an account of how von Balthasar and Ratzinger arrived at their theological understanding of personhood, paying particular attention to nineteenth- and early twentieth-century personalist thought. The second part draws out a number of the implications of this work and, in doing so, makes use of recent psychological theory. Finally, as a means of bringing into the picture the related philosophical notions of self, freedom and the soul, the book introduces and explores the concept of a «semblant».

Available for purchase here.

Colin Patterson teaches at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Melbourne. His work covers the areas of moral theology and theological anthropology, with a focus on the intersection of theology with psychology. His doctoral studies, carried out in Rome, examined the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Stanley Hauerwas. Since then he has published on bioethics and the science/theology interface. Prior to being received into the Catholic Church in 2004 and the commencement of his academic work, he worked as a psychologist and as an ordained minister of the Uniting Church in Australia.

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