Karl Rahner?


#1

In my volunteer work I finally met a dyed-in-the-wool faithful Catholic, who by the way has left my (Jesuit) parish because it’s too liberal. She’s been giving me an earful! She’s had a few heated discussions with a young & angry priest here regarding the divinity of Christ, and he advised her that she should read Karl Rahner.

Does this say something about the parish, if that’s what the pastors read?


#2

[quote=caroljm36]In my volunteer work I finally met a dyed-in-the-wool faithful Catholic, who by the way has left my (Jesuit) parish because it’s too liberal. She’s been giving me an earful! She’s had a few heated discussions with a young & angry priest here regarding the divinity of Christ, and he advised her that she should read Karl Rahner.

Does this say something about the parish, if that’s what the pastors read?
[/quote]

And what is wrong with reading him ? Cardinal Ratzinger read a great deal of him. I don’t think that’s turned him into amoral monster :slight_smile:

It’s always easy to condemn, if one knows only one side of a story.

BTW: “liberal” by whose definition ? And in what respects ? Criticisms of others are not valid merely because they are made.
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#3

Karl Rahner had a lot to do with the more modern (and in my mind more realistic) Catholic theological outlook on the possiblity of salvation for non-Catholics and non-Christians. I agree with his theological POV. I just can’t believe that a God of mercy would send people to Hell merely because of their non-Catholic status.


#4

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Certainly, Rahner’s ideas-thinking-writings had, have and will continue to have a big impact on the modern Catholic Church. He was quite the theologian and philosopher, and respect is certainly due him for his hard work and dedication to the Church.

From what I’ve read, though, he is a bit of a “mixed bag” when it comes to judging his overall orthodoxy. Like a number of influential Catholic minds of the past 50 years, he seems to have become caught up in a “progressivism” that saw Vatican II, and the era surrounding V2, as a true point of departure (and perhaps, more importantly, as an opportunity for departure) for Catholic thought and religion, from what it had been for the past 19+ centuries.

What is my “meter stick” for orthodoxy? For practical purposes, I would suggest that any given Catholic teacher/theologian/philosopher/writer’s stuff be compared with the teaching collected in the 5 most influential Catholic catechisms of the past 1000 years. Do his or her positions fit within the spectrum of thought provided by the catechism-collection? The degree to which they do or don’t could, I think, be a measure of the overall orthodoxy or heterodoxy of the individual in question.

The catechisms I have in mind are:

(1) the “Aquinas Catechism”
(2) the Catechism of the Council of Trent (a.ka. the Roman Catechism)
(3) the Baltimore Catechism (teacher’s edition, or “level 4”)
(4) the Catechism of Pope Pius X.
(5) the current Catechism of the Catholic Church

Please see the Nazareth Master Catechism for more information.

Also, the following articles might be helpful for giving you a feel for some of the positives and negatives regarding Rahner’s work:

Retrieving Rahner for Orthodox Catholicism

The Century after Rahner

Non-Infallibility: The Papacy And Rahner

Modern Misconceptions About the Eucharist

Private Revelations: Some Theological Observations by Karl Rahner, S.J.

Ratzinger assistant clears Rahner orthodoxy doubts

Re-examining Karl Rahner’s Legacy: Congress Marks the Centenary of Theologian’s Birth

I hope this is in someway useful to you, caroljm36.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#5

[quote=HelpingHands]Karl Rahner had a lot to do with the more modern (and in my mind more realistic) Catholic theological outlook on the possiblity of salvation for non-Catholics and non-Christians. I agree with his theological POV. I just can’t believe that a God of mercy would send people to Hell merely because of their non-Catholic status.
[/quote]

I like his “unstuffiness” - the fact he’s not a writer of manuals; also, his failure to be out-of-touch; though he could express himself more clearly. Manuals have their uses, but they do tend to oversimplify complex and rich issues. I’ve read far more of Ratzinger than of Rahner - I would like to read Rahner properly; there are lots of people I want to read properly :slight_smile:


#6

I read a book called Roman Catholicism, which tries to debunk our faith. The protestant writers in their spoke favorably about Karl Rahner. 'Nuff said.


#7

What my friend was saying was that the priest explained to her that Christ was not born divine but became so during life…I think that’s the nub of it. She thought it a heresy and questioned it and was advised to read Rahner.


#8

[quote=dafalax]I read a book called Roman Catholicism, which tries to debunk our faith. The protestant writers in their spoke favorably about Karl Rahner. 'Nuff said.
[/quote]

I think it is fair to say that the kind of Protestants who engage in fundamentalist attacks on Catholicism would lack the sophistication to understand Rahner.


#9

[quote=caroljm36]What my friend was saying was that the priest explained to her that Christ was not born divine but became so during life…I think that’s the nub of it. She thought it a heresy and questioned it and was advised to read Rahner.
[/quote]

There is some interesting discussion as to the implications of Christ’s divinity in this thread.


#10

[quote=Catholic2003]. . .interesting discussion as to the implications of Christ’s divinity in this thread.
[/quote]

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

As a “companion” resource to the discussion in that thread, I highly recommend the following work by the late Fr. William Most, which is freely available on-line:

The Consciousness of Christ

The research and conclusions presented in Most’s book are germane to this discussion about Rahner too, as the original post for this thread concerned questions raised about Christ’s divinity.

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the book’s preface:

The Consciousness of Christ: “Preface”

“Can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain? Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain. Show me there’s a reason for your wanting me to die. You were far too keen on where and how, and not so hot on why.”

So speaks Jesus Christ Superstar, the day before the great Passover. Obviously He is presented as being quite ignorant not only of who He is – there is no trace of awareness that He is divine, if indeed the author of Superstar thought Jesus was divine; and Jesus does not even know the fundamental reason for His dying, to redeem and save mankind by atoning for sin.

Nor only popular rock musicals express such egregious error. Many scripture scholars today do much the same, e.g., “The New Testament gives us no reason to think that Jesus and Paul were not deadly serious about the demonic world… I do not believe the demons inhabit desert places or the upper air, as Jesus and Paul thought… I see no way to get around the difficulty except by saying that Jesus and Paul were wrong on this point. They accepted the beliefs of their times about demons, but those beliefs were superstitious.” (R. E. Brown, in St. Anthony’s Messenger, May 1971, 47-48) . . .

Enjoy!

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#11

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