Pauline Dimech explores whether and to what extent we may attribute authority to the saints, but also how we may ensure that it is the saints, and not the scoundrels, whose influence persists and whose memory endures. The thing that drives her research is the thought that history is full of examples of individuals who held positions of official authority that they did not deserve. Dimech is convinced that Hans Urs von Balthasar can help us clarify the issues surrounding the authority of the saints. Besides establishing Balthasar's involvement with the enterprise, this book tries to establish the theological foundations upon which the authority of the saints would have to be based in theory, and, possibly, already, however implicitly, based in practice. ""Students of Balthasar, be they Catholic or not, in leadership positions in the Church, in ministry, following the baptismal call of the faithful, will find this book challenging. Dimech's work stirs up the pot already brewing through contemporary debates on Balthasar. . . . This book daringly advances an important area of research in Balthasar studies which it is hoped will stimulate much more debate and discussion in the academy and Church as a whole."" --Dominic Robinson, SJ, from the foreword ""Pauline Dimech has done something impressive: in the crowded field of von Balthasar scholarship, she has identified a key question which has so far received no sustained study. Many have commented on the significance of the saints for von Balthasar's theology, but no one before Dimech has given sustained attention to the vital question of their authority. This well-written monograph, then, represents a significant contribution to the literature, and should stimulate further work in the study of von Balthasar, and in Catholic theology more generally."" --Karen Kilby, Bede Professor of Catholic Theology, University of Durham ""An outstandingly helpful critical synthesis--sure to be a source of fresh insight not only for students of von Balthasar, but for all who seek a deeper understanding of the ecclesial context of theology and of the integrity of theology and spirituality."" --Mark A. McIntosh, Endowed Chair of Christian Spirituality, Loyola University Chicago Pauline Dimech is a Lecturer and Researcher in Dogmatic and Fundamental Theology, as well as in Religious Education, at the University of Malta.