new book - una donna nella chiesa

Last year, a new book about Adrienne von Speyr, Adrienne von Speyr: Una Donna nella Chiesa, was published in Italian by Marcello Paradiso, an Italian theologian, who is a priest in the diocese of Termoli-Larino.

The book provides a wonderful summary of the major themes of Adrienne’s thought focused on her spirituality of vocation, confession, and obedience. From what I can understand from the work, Marcello advocates for Adrienne as a gift to the church’s continued need for reform and growth through a closeness to the mystical and spiritual traditions of the church.

For my Italian readers, I highly recommend this work and look forward to your comments about it as I presently do not speak or read Italian very well. If you would like to review this work and be published on this website, please send your interest to me on my contact page. Until then, enjoy this new scholarly work on Adrienne. Godere!

best bibliography in english

I am pleased to announce the most comprehensive bibliography in English of Adrienne von Speyr.

This accomplishment is significant in that it gathers together the complete catalog of Adrienne in English. This page will be updated frequently to help grow the next era of scholarship on Adrienne. She has been and will be such a gift to the Church. Will you step in?

Please support this research by donating. Thank you.

best secondary bibliography

Long in progress, I am pleased to announce the most comprehensive secondary bibliography on Adrienne von Speyr ever available.

This accomplishment is significant in that it gathers together the not yet connected scholars of Adrienne who are needing each other to grow toward the next era of scholarship on Adrienne. She has been and will be such a gift to the Church. Will you step in?

Please support this research by donating. Thank you.

jacques servais - scholars of adrienne series

Padre Servais 24 2 2017.JPG

As we enter even deeper into this series of scholars of Adrienne series with the first and second, let’s enter into this new and special scholar.

I would like to introduce probably the one scholar who has been the most present spiritually to the movement of Adrienne in the Church. Please meet this wonderful scholar, Fr. Jacques Servais, S.J.. In spiritual, academic, and ecclesial works, Fr. Servais, a Jesuit with the highest academic credentials, has grown the significance of the spirituality of Adrienne, especially for young adult men through his Casa Balthasar and his new endeavors with the Accademia Balthasar. While I have not yet met Fr. Servais in person (we came close when I visited Rome in 2005), I have met several people touched by him, such as Fr. Justin Matro, O.S.B. and Nicolas Faguer. These good men presented the goodness of Fr. Servais. I am so thankful and I know you will be when you begin to enter his scholarship and ecclesial mission. Enjoy!


  • “Should We Engage Ourselves in the World or Make Ourselves Indifferent to All Things?,” Communio: International Catholic Review 32(2005):430–51
  • “The Evangelical Counsels and the Total Gift of Self,” Communio: International Catholic Review 31(2004):362–78
  • “Finding God in All Things,” Communio: International Catholic Review 30(2003):209–81
  • “Mary’s Role in the Incarnation,” Communio: International Catholic Review 30(2003):209–81
  • “La Dottrina teologico-spirituale della Preghiera secondo Adrienne von Speyr,” in I Quattro Universi di Discorso: Atti del Congresso internazionale Orationis Millenium. June 24–30, 2000 at the Cura di Giuseppe de Gennaro, L’Aquila (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2002)
  • “Freedom as Christ’s Gift to Man in the Thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar,” Communio: International Catholic Review 29(2002):556–78
  • “A Response from Jacques Servais,” New Oxford Review (September 2002):36–42
  • “Per una Valutazione dell’influsso di Adrienne von Speyr su Hans Urs von Balthasar,” presented at the XIV Colloquio Internazionale di Teologia, May 25–26, 2000, in Rivista Teologica di Lugano 6(2001):67–88
  • “Per una valutazione dell’influsso di Adrienne von Speyr su Hans Urs von Balthasar,” Rivista teologica di Lugano 6(2001):67-89
  • “Confession as a Sacrament of the Father of Mercy According to Adrienne von Speyr,” Communio 26(1999):343-57
  • “La Confession, Sacrament du Père de Miséricorde selon Adrienne von Speyr,” Communio: Revue Catholique Internationale 23–24(1998/99):103–118
  • “The Lay Vocation in the World according to Hans Urs von Balthasar,” Communio: International Catholic Review 23(1996):656–76
  • “The Ressourcement of Contemporary Spirituality under the Guidance of Adrienne von Speyr and Hans Urs von Balthasar,” trans David Louis Schindler, Jr. Communio 23(1996):300-321
  • “Ressourcement de la vie spirituelle aujourd’hui sous la conduite d’Adrienne von Speyr et de Hans Urs von Balthasar,” in Vermittlung als Auftrag: Vorträge am Symposion zum 90. Geburtstag von Hans Urs von Balthasar 27.–29. September 1995 in Fribourg (Schweiz), ed. Hans Urs von Balthasar Stiftung. (Freiburg im Breisgau: Johannes Verlag Einsiedeln, 1995)
  • “Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Continuing Youthfulness of the Exercises,” Communio: International Catholic Review 21(1994):331–43
  • “The Community of St. John,” trans. Michael Waldstein, Communio 19(1992):208-19
  • “Adrienne von Speyr, l’inspiratrice méconnue,” France catholique (November 8, 1991):17–18

barbara albrecht - scholars of adrienne series

Continuing from my first post in this series highlighting scholars of Adrienne, our next scholar is the important early reader and friend of Adrienne, Barbara Albrecht.


  • Durchblick in Texten, vol. 1 of Eine Theologie des Katholischen: Einführung in das Werk Adrienne von Speyrs. Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag, 1972.
  • Darstellung, vol. 2 of Eine Theologie des Katholischen: Einführung in das Werk Adrienne von Speyrs. Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag, 1973.


  • “Speyr (Adrienne von),” in Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique, doctrine et histoire, XIV (Paris: Beauchesne, 1990)
  • “Une femme dans l’Église: Adrienne von Speyr (1902–1967).” Vie consacreé 47 (1975): 33–45.”
  • “Kirche als Geheimnis des Lebens in der Sicht Adrienne von Speyrs” Christliche Innerlichkeit 10 (1974): 31–42.

balthasar on adrienne

Hans Urs von Balthasar

Here is a complete collection of Hans Urs von Balthasar's writings on Adrienne von Speyr. This list does not collect his citations of her in his own works or his introductions to her books. The primary works are his books First Glance and Our Task, which are so very essential to understanding both Balthasar and Adrienne. Enjoy!


  • Erster Blick auf Adrienne von Speyr (Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag Einsiedeln, 1989). Translated as First Glance at Adrienne von Speyr, trans. Antje Larry and Sergio Englund (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1981)
  • Unser Auftrag: Bericht und Weisung (Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag Einsiedeln, 2004). Translated as Our Task: A Report and a Plan, trans. John Saward (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994)



  • Adrienne von Speyr und ihre kirchliche Sendung. Akten des römischen Symposiums (27-29 September 1985), edited by Hans Urs von Balthasar, Georges Chantraine, and Angelo Scola (Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag Einsiedeln, 1986). Translated as La mission ecclésiale d'Adrienne von Speyr. Actes du colloque romain (27-29 septembre 1985) (Paris: Éditions Lethielleux and Culture et Vérité, 1986)


  • “Adrienne von Speyr (1902-1967). Die Miterfahrung der Passion und Gottverlassenheit,” Geist und Leben 58(1985):61-66
  • “Adrienne von Speyr et le sacrement de penitence,” Nouvelle Revue Théologique 107(1985):394-403
  • “Adriennes Charisma,” in Adrienne von Speyr und ihre kirchliche Sendung. Akten des römischen Symposiums (27-29 September 1985) (Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag Einsiedeln, 1986), 173-78. Translated as “Le charisme d'Adrienne,” in La mission ecclésiale d'Adrienne von Speyr. Actes du colloque romain (27-29 septembre 1985) (Paris: Éditions Lethielleux and Culture et Vérité, 1986), 187-93.
  • “Das literarishe Werk Adriennes von Speyr,” in Adrienne von Speyr und Ihre Spirituelle Theologie: Die Referate am Symposion zu ihrem 100. Geburtstag 12. - 13. September 2002 in Freiburg im Breisgau, ed. Hans Urs von Balthasar Stiftung (Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag Einsiedeln, 2002), 125-31
  • “Theologie des Abstiegs zur Hölle,” in Adrienne von Speyr und Ihre Spirituelle Theologie: Die Referate am Symposion zu ihrem 100. Geburtstag 12. - 13. September 2002 in Freiburg im Breisgau, ed. Hans Urs von Balthasar Stiftung (Einsiedeln: Johannes Verlag Einsiedeln, 2002), 138-46

michele schumacher - scholars of adrienne series

Michele Schumacher

michele schumacher - scholars of adrienne series

The mission of this website is dedicated to advancing the theological study of Adrienne von Speyr. As such, I am beginning a new series on highlighting the best scholars who have and who are working on understanding the world of Adrienne von Speyr. The first scholar I would like to highlight in this series is Dr. Michele Schumacher, a private docent on the theology faculty of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, who has been a regular speaker and writer for important Catholic institutions and publications in Europe and the United States.

Dr. Schumacher’s most important work so far on Adrienne is her excellent study A Trinitarian Anthropology: Adrienne Von Speyr and Hans Urs Von Balthasar in Dialogue With Thomas Aquinas, published by CUA Press in 2014, and will stand for a very long time as the definitive work on Adrienne’s theological anthropology. Of the many things I love about this book is the in-depth study of the intimate connections of the theologies of Adrienne and Balthasar.

As you will see below, she also has very many articles and chapters demonstrating her great accomplishments with furthering the theological study of Adrienne. Enjoy!

Select Bibliography (in English)



  • "The Meaning of Freedom and the Redefinition of Marriage," Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 18(2015):113-122
  • "Ecclesial Existence: Person and Community in the Trinitarian Anthropology of Adrienne von Speyr," Modern Theology 24 (2008): 359-385
  • "A Speyrian Anthropology: The Expansion of Human Liberty to the Measure of the Divine," in Wisdom and Holiness, Science and Scholarship: Essays in Honor of Matthew L. Lamb, ed. Michael Dauphinais and Matthew Levering (Naples, FL: Sapientia Press, 2007), 315-352
  • "A Speyrian Theology of the Body," in The Virgin Mary and Theology of the Body, ed. Donald Calloway (West Chester, PA: Ascension Press, 2005), 255-292
  • "The Nature of Nature in Feminism, Old and New: From Dualism to Complementary Unity," in Woman in Christ: Toward a New Feminism, ed. Michele Schumacher (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004), 17-51
  • “Leben in der Begegnung der Gaben. Die existentielle Theologie Adriennes von Speyr“ Internationale katholische Zeitschrift Communio 6 (November-December 2003): 601-614
  • "The Concept of Representation in the Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar," Theological Studies 60 (1999): 53-71

new primary domain, new primary mission

About a decade ago, I began this website as a way to share my doctoral research on Adrienne von Speyr. Here was my first post. That original idea has grown into being an international hub for connecting scholars, saints, speyrians, and so many others interested in Adrienne von Speyr.

I wish I could share the diversity and beauty of all those that have visited and learned from this website. For me, I have met all kinds of people in and outside the church that are fascinated by Adrienne — such as high ranking church officials, discerning atheists, intense mystics, exploring theologians, simple priests, exuberant sisters, and so many wonderful friends. Wow. The Lord has used this website for so much good in the church. And It all began with that one small yes to the inspiration to make a website devoted to Adrienne von Speyr

As this website enters into its second decade, I would like to guide this work into a new domain:

The original works great as well as the other variants,, and

The reason for the change is to make this website more clear about from whom we are learning, about whom we are talking, and for whom we are advocating.

Adrienne is a world, a saint, and a doctor of the church. I will speak more about these missions soon and I’m so excited to share about this news, but all in proper ecclesial time - Lent before Easter.

This website has been a passion and mission for me. The cost of this website is a worthy cause. I strive for designed beauty and substantive writing. All together this website costs $260 for one year of website domain management via and also website design via These services are the best that I have found for consistent, safe, and beautiful hosting of this important mission. If you find this website valuable for yourself and others, please consider donating here.

Adrienne von Speyr with Medical Students

Thank you.

Please find all you need here at and may God bless another decade of devotion to the study of Adrienne von Speyr. May she pray for us and this mission to know the Lord more fully and follow him more closely.

would you please share my book

Heaven Opens: The Trinitarian Mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr, my book is available.

“Sutton’s deep penetration into Adrienne’s mystical gifts offers an excellent introduction to her unique vision and also helps hit the ‘reveal codes’ button for von Balthasar’s theology.” - Rev. Raymond Gawronski, S.J.

I don’t write here to sell books, but do share what I create in my writing and teaching. My newest book captures the foundation of my theological and spiritual work as I develop the profound mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr. You can find out more about it here.

If you’ve read my book, would you please considering sharing it with others by reviewing it in journals or online?

“In this significant monograph, Sutton brings expositional clarity and conceptual rigor to the extensive textual legacy of Adrienne von Speyr. It is a real accomplishment.” Dr. Paul Nimmo

All your help sharing my book gives me support to work on the next book, which will be available soon. I can’t wait to share this new one with you.

“This book has the potential to do for Adrienne von Speyr’s theology what Father Edward Oakes’ Pattern of Redemption did for Hans Urs von Balthasar’s in the mid-1990s, in this case by accessibly introducing Adrienne to a generation of students and scholars.” Dr. Matthew Levering

Please read and share my book. You can find it in print and as an ebook. Thank you for caring to share these ideas.

review of my book

The kind, Cyrus Olsen of the University of Scranton, reviews my book, Heaven Opens:

"The central thesis of the book is that the fulfilled mission of the Son opens heaven “to the Trinity and reveals the original image of the eternal, immanent relations of triune love”. Given that the bulk of von Speyr’s work is untranslated, Sutton’s study of the German and French renders a great service to the church and the academy in English-speaking contexts. ... Von Speyr needs an apologist capable of accounting for her analogical imagination if her trinitarian theology is to be taken more seriously today. ... Sutton may be poised to deliver an account."

Review PDF here. Citation: Cyrus P. Olsen, III (2014). Horizons, 41, pp 401-402 doi:10.1017/hor.2014.66

Buy my book on amazon or learn more here.

he descended into hell

"Your Son, Father, let himself be sent beyond his death on the Cross into hell, into that most abandoned, most desolate region in which no living man has ever set foot. He did this in order to share better in all your mysteries, in order to show you that he is never complacent in your service, in his love for you. He offered you the "extra" by going even farther with his descent into hell. Father, since we know what your Son suffered and endured for our sake out of love for you, let us prove ourselves grateful for it. Moved by the same love that you give to your Son in the Holy Spirit, let us attempt to offer to you and to him everything we do and suffer, hope for and love, in a manner pleasing to you. Do not let the grace of your Son be wasted on us. Let our answering Yes resound with such ringing finality that you can accept it as an irrevocably valid word. You can really hear it as such, because the overflowing love and grace of your Son that are bestowed upon us guarantee that his own powerlessness to go on will be inserted where our feeble powers fail, in order thereby to round out our mere attempt to an actual accomplishment, indeed, to his accomplishment, which he presents to you, to your eternal light, through his descent into darkness."

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and Men, pg. 66 - 67

a trinitarian anthropology by schumacher

Available now from Catholic University of America Press is the new book project from Michele Schumacher, a private docent at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Her book, A Trinitarian Anthropology: Adrienne von Speyr and Hans Urs von Balthasar in Dialogue with Thomas Aquinas will have much to contribute to von Speyr and Balthasar studies. I've always enjoyed her work like Women in Christ: Toward a New Feminism and I know you will too when you are able to read this important new book. You will find it on amazon.

Congratulations to Michele for this magisterial work!

the name adrienne

In my professional writing I often I will refer to Adrienne von Speyr as ‘von Speyr.’ Even though she took the surnames of her first (Dürr) and second (von Kaegi) husbands, she was published under her maiden name. While it is also common to use her name Adrienne, I choose to use the more common, English academic practice of using her surname.

On pronoucing her last name “Speyr,” one can say “spair”, “spire”, or “schpair” depending on which language one is speaking, be it English, German, or Swiss, respectively. I tend to use the Swiss style "schpair".

In my personal or informal writings, I refer to her as Adrienne. The Community of St. John chose to use first names with the personal pronoun du.

preorder my new book

We are two weeks before my book ships. I believe so strongly in this book and its impact for the scholarly and spiritual study of Adrienne von Speyr and Hans Urs von Balthasar. If you haven't preordered, please do so. You will be supporting me certainly (a good thing, I hope), but also supporting your further growth in deepening your faith in what our Lord has revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

His love endures.

Please preorder Heaven Opens: The Trinitarian Mysticism of Adrienne von Speyr.