Swiss theologian. In 1929 he became a Jesuit. From 1940 to 1948 he was university chaplain at Basle. Here he met Adrienne von Speyr, a medical doctor and mystic; he became the amanuensis of her visions and editor of her works. In 1950 he left the Jesuits to set up a Secular Institute under her inspiration. He was nominated a cardinal in 1988 but died before admitted to the office.
His literary output was enormous and varied. His greatest achievement lay in his incomplete Herrlichkeit (1961–9; Eng. tr., The Glory of the Lord, 1982–91) and its subsidiary volumes. God's glory was seen as the central concept of the biblical revelation, primarily beautiful, then also true and good. This concept broadens the basis of theology by uniting knowledge and love in contemplation.