From Luther to Kierkegaard, from Heidegger to Sartre, the theme of anguish has dominated both philosophy and spiritual theology. In our "societies of depression" where individuals confront their own loneliness, this theme has recently regained its intensity.
In these dense and luminous pages, he is not content merely to show how much this feeling is profoundly inscribed in the heart and the word of God—from the Psalms to the Gospels—but he enters into intimate dialogue with contemporary thought and in particular its existentialist expression. For Balthasar, the Christian faith does not offer a ready made response, but is simultaneously a journey through the torment of the cross and the liberation from fear by the gift of grace. In the wake of a Bernanos, or a Péguy, Balthasar emphasizes how much confidence in God leads to a hope which is inexhaustible.