In terms of Hans Urs von Balthasar's quotation, we should first look to the definition of "cosmological," which is a form of "cosmology." Its definition is...
In terms of its relationship to science and religion...
Many, perhaps all, early cosmologies or descriptions of the structure of the world were anthropocentric (focused on the role and fate of human beings) and they envisioned a universe subject to whims of gods.
Historically speaking, then, cosmology
referred to humans relying on "gods"—we can assume this to reference cultures that believed in many
gods, as found in Greek and Roman mythology, for example. These gods were ascribed
the responsibility for creating
the world, as well as controlling the fate of humans, and were responsible for (as an example) occurrences in the natural world, e.g., the cycle of days and even the seasons. Helios was the Greek god believed to be responsible for driving his chariot across the skies—explaining the rising of the sun and the passing of the day into night.
The belief of a single, all-powerful (omniscient) God is found in what we refer to today as religion
...which was developing apart from the beliefs of cultures that worshiped a collection of gods.
Early in the twentieth century, discoveries were made to show that man was not the center of the universe, which subsequently impacted theological beliefs.
As the Earth has been increasingly displaced from the center of the universe and observed phenomena have been increasingly brought under the rule of natural physical laws, humankind's relationship with and understanding of God has required revisions.
With this sense of a "required revision" of God, we can begin to understand Balthasar's concern regarding the changing world view and the altered importance of Christianity—belief in God and tenets of the Christian faith. The phrase...
...has instead absorbed Christianity into itself and left no trace...
...speaks to the loss of a distinction between the natural (that which can be explained through science) and the supernatural, or God, who was traditionally seen as responsible for things mankind could not explain. Instead, Christianity now had no place in the scientific explanation of the universe, and was obliterated. Use of the word "revelation" does not refer to a Biblical revelation, but to an understanding previously not perceived or recognized. Revelation no longer meant...
...God's disclosure of Himself and His will
to His creatures.
Balthasar perceived that revelation was "an outward shell," something that was not an sharing of knowledge through an epiphany
(sudden insight) from God, but simply a scientific explanation that made no
room for a higher power. Ironically, while science had removed mankind from the center of the universe, scientific thought (discovered by mankind
) had become the center of the universe, replacing man's belief in the power of God, and His part in creating the universe and His contributions to the natural world. Balthazar's concern was that God was being replaced by discovers of the scientific community. There was no difference between the natural and supernatural, for there was (it was asserted) no supernatural, i.e., no God, at all.