Humble Confidence: Spiritual and Pastoral Guidance from Karl Rahner

By Egan, Harvey D. | Theological Studies, September 2015 | Go to article overview

Humble Confidence: Spiritual and Pastoral Guidance from Karl Rahner


Egan, Harvey D., Theological Studies


Humble Confidence: Spiritual and Pastoral Guidance from Karl Rahner. By James J. Bacik. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical. Pp. xi + 185. $19.95.

After more than 50 years of reading Karl Rahner, I would not hesitate to call Bacik's book "the complete Rahner," as it covers every major and minor aspect of Rahner's monumental achievement--except his thesis that the economic Trinity is the immanent Trinity, and vice versa. It is a must-read for those seeking a lucid, nuanced, jargon-free, synthetic overview of Rahner's philosophical, theological, and spiritual writings.

The book's structure illustrates B.'s long fascination with Rahner's method of correlation, a method as significant as, for example, Origen's baptism of Greek philosophy, Augustine's infusion of Western theology with Latin categories and Roman habits of mind, and Thomas Aquinas's appropriation of Aristotle. Rahner's method focused, in part, on the anthropocentric foundation of the truths of the Christian faith. Rahner understood the realities of the faith as the keys that unlock the multiple mysteries of what it means to be a human being: theology is anthropology, and anthropology is theology. Rahner's critical reverence for the Christian tradition, coupled with his keen sense of the needs of the contemporary world, produced a holistic approach to Christianity that makes its truths more intelligible and credible. …

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