Reinterpreting Rahner: A Critical Study of His Major Themes

Reinterpreting Rahner: A Critical Study of His Major Themes

Reinterpreting Rahner: A Critical Study of His Major Themes

Reinterpreting Rahner: A Critical Study of His Major Themes

Synopsis

Probably no theologian has exercised so profound an influence on Catholic theology during the last half century as Karl Rahner. Patrick Burke examines the structure of dialectical analogy as it appears in each of the major themes of Rahner's theology--as an indispensable key to the correct interpretation of his thought. He also exposes a tension within the system that needs to be addressed if the complex balance of Rahner's vision is to be fully understood

Excerpt

Probably no theologian exercised so profound an influence on Catholic theology during the last half of the twentieth century as Karl Rahner. By his historical and theological research before the Second Vatican Council, he contributed mightily to the foundations of the so-called new theology that was finally to win acceptance from the Council Fathers. During the council, he actively participated as a peritus in the drafting of many conciliar decrees, and in the years subsequent he tirelessly interpreted the council's intentions to the world in books, articles, and lectures translated into innumerable languages. He was undoubtedly one of the great synthetic thinkers of the twentieth century, and his theology was and remains an outstanding achievement.

Although the vast majority of his work consisted in individual articles and lectures that were only subsequently collected and published together, Rahner's theology is rightly recognized as a theological system because of the fundamental unity that runs throughout his writings. the key to this unity of approach lies in a foundational structure of thought that is revealed in the philosophical works with which he began his intellectual career and that is apparent throughout his theological development. His early philosophical works Geist in Welt and Hörer des Wortes are

Geist in Welt, 2d ed., edited by Johannes Baptist Metz (Munich: Kösel, 1957),
henceforth referred to as Geist. Because of the substantial changes made to the
text by Metz in the second edition of Hörer des Wortes, almost all references will
be to the first edition (Munich: Kösel, 1941), henceforth given as Hörer 1. When
necessary, references to the second edition (edited by J. B. Metz, 1963; rpt. Mu
nich: Kösel, 1985) are given as Hörer 2. References to Rahner's work in the
notes are to the original German editions, but for quotations I use published
English translations where such translations exist and cite them in the notes.
Those texts for which I do not cite a specific translation have not been translated
officially yet. Quotations of Geist in Welt, Hörer 1, and Hörer 2 come from the
following translations: Spirit in the World, revised by J. B. Metz, translated by
William Dych (London: Sheed and Ward, 1968); Hearer of the Word, translated by
Joseph Donceel (New York: Continuum, 1994); and Hearers of the Word, revised
by J. B. Metz, translated by Ronald Walls (London: Sheed and Ward, 1969).

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