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An article for Political Theology.


This paper analyzes the Vietnam War through the lens of Hans urs von Balthasar’s “theological-drama.” According to Balthasar, the unfolding of God’s eternal self-giving illumines creaturely temporality as desperate when turned inward, no longer desiring its eternal fulfillment but rather idolatrously grasping its own immanent meaning. By contrasting Balthasar’s portrayal of divine kenosis with American foreign policy and its “domino theory” view of Southeast Asia, this paper shows how desperation privatizes and colonizes temporal space.

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