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Heaven Opens
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Adrienne von Speyr was one of the most important mystical theologians of the last century, heralded by figures like John Paul II and T.S. Eliot. However, her work has been eclipsed in many ways by her personal connection to Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. Heaven Opens provides one of the first comprehensive accounts of von Speyr's theology, MatthewLewis Sutton argues that the eternal, immanent relations of the Triune God ground the mystical theological vision of von Speyr. Rooted in this vision of divine love, von Speyr's work is an account of the opening of heaven, a revelation of the Trinity's interior life turned outward to the world, that links intimately to the sacraments, prayer, the church, and the ethical life of obedience. In von Speyr's mystical theology, God as Triune journeys to us in order to brings into the inner life of the Trinity. Here, von Speyr's work is for the first time given an independent hearing, expositing its content, features, and connections, and assessing its contribution to contemporary Catholic theology.
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About the Author

Matthew Lewis Sutton is assistant professor of systematic theology at St. John's University in Queens, New York.

Reviews

"In this significant monograph, Matthew Lewis Sutton brings expositional clarity and conceptual rigour to the extensive textual legacy of Adrienne von Speyr. It is a real accomplishment that this is achieved without any unnecessary sacrifice of the vibrancy and immediacy of her Trinitarian mystical theology. But perhaps the greatest achievement of this volume is to demonstrate that von Speyr's contemplative work is worthy of attention and study, not simply as an adjunct of the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, but in its own impressive right." Paul T. Nimmo University of Aberdeen "Hans Urs von Balthasar is increasingly acknowledged as one of the greatest theologians of the Christian tradition. Unquestionably, he was master of Western civilization as few have ever been and brought all into the key of Christ. His spiritual mentor in this vast undertaking was Adrienne von Speyr, whose work von Balthasar held to be more important than his own. Karl Rahner famously observed that the Christian of the twenty-first century would be a mystic - or not be at all. Adrienne von Speyr models this for us: she was gifted with a 'cataract of mystical graces.' Matthew Lewis Sutton's deep penetration into her mystical gifts offers an excellent introduction to her unique vision and also helps hit the 'reveal codes' button for von Balthasar's theology." Raymond Gawronski Dominican School of Philosophy &Theology, Berkeley, CA "This book has the potential to do for Adrienne von Speyr's theology what Father Edward Oakes's Pattern of Redemption did for Hans Urs von Balthasar's in the mid-1990s, in this case by accessibly introducing Adrienne to a generation of students and scholars. Focusing on the center of her thought - the opening of heaven through Christ's obedience so that we can share even now in the relationships that characterize the life of the divine Trinity, in light of her own experience of mystical penetration into the Father's sending of the Son and Spirit - Matthew Lewis Sutton ably presents Adrienne's teaching on the full panoply of theological topics. The convergence of her theology with von Balthasar's is striking." Matthew Levering Mundelein Seminary "Matthew Lewis Sutton's thorough, unpretentious, and lucid introduction to the person and work of Adrienne von Speyr is now the standard guide in English. Indeed, I suspect it will remain the standard for many years to come. If you're looking for an excellent introduction to Adrienne von Speyr, look no further." Rodney Howsare DeSales University "Matthew Lewis Sutton's explication of Adrienne von Speyr's insight into Christian spirituality untangles the style of the mystical writer, giving the reader access into the deep vision of this contemporary woman, which is too often dismissed as simplistic due to her uncomplicated language by some and as impenetrable due to her circular manner of her writing by others. Sutton's work uncovers wealth within subtlety and gives access to a truly inspired writer for sincere seekers of God's presence in the world. It is a must-read for those who have approached von Speyr but found her difficult to follow." Justin M. Matro Saint Vincent Seminary

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