Rahner, Karl

Rahner, Karl
   Perhaps the leading Roman-Catholic theologian of the twentieth century, Rahner published a series of influential works including Spirit in the World (1939), Hearer of the Word (1941), Foundations of Christian Faith (1976), and his monumental twenty-three-volume collection of essays in Theological Investigations. Rahner has had a deep impact on the theology of the Second Vatican Council and contemporary Roman-Catholic theology. In contrast to traditional Thomism, which sharply differentiated nature as the foundation of creation from grace as a supplement to it, Rahner inverts the order in his 'transcendental Thomism', thereby seeing grace as the primary reality from which nature is an abstraction. Rahner believes that this inversion provides a basis to explain both human understanding generally as well as the capacity to receive revelation, for both involve the becoming immanent in our understanding of the grace of the transcendent God. Indeed, in all experience and cognition we are in fact experiencing God: even the mundane perception of a chair involves God's grace. Rahner uses this picture to explain the mystery of ongoing human cognition as well as the ground and reception of revelation. This picture also provides the framework for Rahner's theory of the incarnation not as an unnatural Barthian incursion into the natural order, but instead as a fulfilment of the intrinsic nature of being. While Rahner is relatively conservative doctrinally, his dogmatic affirmations do not always stand easily with his method.
   Further reading: Rahner 1961-81, 1978 and 1994

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • Karl Rahner — Karl Rahner, SJ (March 5, 1904 mdash; March 30, 1984) was a German theologian, one of the most influential Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century. He was born in Freiburg, Germany, and died in Innsbruck, Austria. His theology influenced… …   Wikipedia

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