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Karl Rahner: Theologian of the Graced Search for Meaning (Making of Modern Theology) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   388
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.95"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1993
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800634004  
EAN  9780800634001  

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Item Description...
The select bibliography neatly organizes the vast work by and on Rhner and the selected texts are creatively chosen, strategically beginning not with Rahner's philosphical anthropology but with the spiritual life. Together they comprise something of a mini summa of Rahner's contributions to the chief areas of theology.

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More About Karl Rahner & Geffrey B. Kelly

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kelly is Professor of Systematic Theology and Chairman of the Department of Religion at La Salle University, Philadelphia.

Geffrey B. Kelly currently resides in Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Theology of grace and spirit  Jun 20, 2004
This volume on the works of Karl Rahner is part of a series by Fortress Press entitled 'the Making of Modern Theology: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Texts'. Each of the volumes in the series focuses upon one particular theologian of note. These volumes are of use to students, seminarians, ministers and other readers interested in the development of theological ideas in the modern and postmodern world. Each volume is a reader of key texts from the theologian highlighted - the text entries are annotated a bit by the editors, and the editor of each volume provides an introduction setting the general stage for context and understanding.

Editor Geffrey Kelly describes Rahner as being a theologian of grace, particularly the search for the meaning of life and grace. Rahner is one of the leading theologians of the twentieth century to hold significance in both Catholic and Protestant circles; a priest whose dissertation was rejected at first, he became one of the most prolific and enduring (and, according to many a student and scholar alike, one of the most difficult to understand) theologians of the twentieth century. Rahner's work is so voluminous and so broadly encompassing of the entire discipline of theology together with history, philosophy, literature and more, that it is difficult for many to get a grasp on his thought.

Geffrey Kelly tells of the poll in the late 1970s in which North American theologians were asked the greatest influence on their thinking -- Rahner was second only to Tillich and Aquinas (he ranked ahead of Luther, Augustine, and many others), even among theologians of all denominations. Rahner, a Jesuit priest, combined his ministry with his education very early, studying for his doctoral work in the area of metaphysics. His exploration through Kant and Marechal (who developed influences of Fichte, Blondel and Rousselot into a synthesis) led him to the conclusion that the entire world is filled with the grace of God, the source of all human desire, truth, and meaning.

His dissertation rejected because it was 'too much Heidegger, and not Catholic enough', Rahner transferred to the discipline of theology rather than philosophy. His teaching and scholarly career was interrupted during the second world war, when he served in various capacities including being a minister to the victims of bombed cities; this influenced him in ways that are reflected in some of his writing immediately after the war. Later, Rahner would be a theological expert in attendance at Vatican II, but traditionalists would often wonder if Rahner was too liberal, too influenced by philosophy or other religions, or too radical in his thinking. He was frequently criticised by the church hierarchy, including having Cardinal Ratzinger denounce one of his last books. Cardinal Ratzinger is head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a twentieth-century name for what was once called the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Ratzinger's denunciation was not the first for Rahner, but his work always survived, and still survives.

Geffrey Kelly's sixty-page introduction to the volume gives a brief biography, weaving in details of the development of his ideas and writings, as well as an extensive section of broad overviews of Rahner's thought by topic. Kelly pulls texts from the full range of Rahner's writings, developing the full range of systematic theology topics (grace, revelation, doctrine of God, Christology, ecclesiology, etc.) as well as some practical theological aspects (prayer and spirituality).

Each volume in this series also has a selected bibliography section -- this one for Rahner is divided into several sections: bibliographical resources (this section is longer for Rahner than for any other theologian in the series); primary works of Rahner in English; autobiographical works; dictionaries and encyclopedias; secondary scholarship about Rahner and his ideas; and a listing of the twenty-two volumes of Theological Investigations. The book is well indexed, with indexes for subjects and for names. This is a very good book for scholarship. Much of Rahner's work was in German (as is evidenced by the bibliography); some of his later work was in English -- thus, much of the work here is in translation.


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