Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gawronski, Raymond

Second Advisor

Kurz, William

Third Advisor

Carey, Patrick


Two streams led me to this dissertation, the first was Catholic mystical theology and the second was Trinitarian theology. This preface will chart these two streams and how they came together for me in the Trinitarian mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr. My undergraduate work at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota was in Catholic Studies. Under Fr. J. Michael Joncas I learned that the Catholic vision tries to reach out centrifugally to the whole in order to draw everything centripetally back into the one. He told me early on that I needed to read Hans Urs von Balthasar's Seeing the Form, which is the first volume of The Glory of the Lord. I was not yet prepared for that volume, but I always remembered his urgency when he recommended it. During my undergraduate work, I had the opportunity to study at the Angelicum in Rome where I met Fr. Paul Murray, O.P. He introduced me to the poets and mystical theology, especially T. S. Eliot. Additionally, Dr. Michael Mikolajczak and Dr. Michael Jordan introduced me to the fertile relationship between literature and theology. For them, beauty points to holiness and holiness points to beauty. The fruitfulness of Catholic theology was lived out for me in both Dr. Don Briel and Dr. Chris Thompson. My first class at Marquette was Introduction to Systematic Theology with Dr. Ralph Del Colle from whom I learned that Trinitarian theology is our ultimate concern. Under him, I finally read Balthasar's Seeing the Form. In this work, I found the fruitful commingling of theology and mysticism that I knew was possible. The more I studied the more I saw the Bible at the heart of theology and mysticism. Fr. William Kurz, S.J. showed me how this is possible with his theological, narrative interpretation, particularly in relation to the Gospel of John. Dr. Patrick Carey gave me the opportunity to explore early twentieth-century mysticism in order to provide the necessary background to von Balthasar and von Speyr's significantly different approach. Fr. David Coffey presented me with the full image of the love theology of the Trinity...



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