John Saward

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John Saward (born in 1947) is a Roman Catholic priest. He is a fellow of Greyfriars and associate lecturer at Blackfriars at the University of Oxford in England. He previously held the posts of lecturer in dogmatic theology at St Cuthbert's College, Durham (1980–1992), Professor of Systematic Theology at St Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1992–1998), Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the International Theological Institute, Gaming, Austria, and Visiting Professor in Systematic Theology and Christology in the same institute.[1]

Saward completed a BA in (philosophy and psychology) (St John's College) and a postgraduate diploma in theology (St Stephen's House) at the University of Oxford in 1969. In 1973 he completed MA and M.Litt. degrees, also at Oxford, the latter for a thesis on "The Theology of Death". Ordained an Anglican priest in 1972, he was chaplain and a Junior Research Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford. He was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1979. He was later ordained in the Roman Catholic Church under papal dispensation which accepted his marriage to his wife Christine (they have three daughters).[2] He is parish priest of Saint Gregory & Saint Augustine's near Oxford, England.[3]

Saward's published works include The Mysteries of March: Hans Urs von Balthasar on the Incarnation and Easter (1990), Redeemer in the Womb: Jesus Living in Mary (1993), Christ is the Answer: The Christ-centred teaching of Pope John Paul II (1995), The Beauty of Holiness (1996), The Way of the Lamb: The Spirit of Childhood and the End of Age (1999), Cradle of Redeeming Love: The Theology of the Christmas Mystery (2002) and Sweet and Blessed Country: The Christian Hope for Heaven (2005). He has been responsible for the English translations of works by Hans Urs von Balthasar, Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn.[4]

Saward has been described by Father Aidan Nichols as "the Balthasar of the English-speaking world".[citation needed] However, in recent years, Saward appears to have come to share the growing unease among some Catholics about the nature and origin of Balthasar’s theology. In his 2005 work, The Sweet and Blessed Country, he describes Balthasar’s theory of universal hope as “a kind of blasphemy”.[5] Alyssa Pitstick, one of the Swiss theologian's critics, studied under Saward at the International Theological Institute.

Saward’s work has been evolving not only in content but also in method and style towards a form which combines "ressourcement" with the rigour of scholasticism. Sacred art also plays a prominent role in this method.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Father Saward's page on Christendom Awake
  2. ^ See note one.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
  4. ^ See Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  5. ^ The Sweet and Blessed Country p. 100. Page 99 attributes the "blasphemous" view described by Saward to Balthasar, whose book on hell, Dare We Hope: That All Men Be Saved is footnoted on page 179