Karl Rahner: Theology and Philosophy by Karen Kilby

By Karen Kilby

Karl Rahner is likely one of the nice theologians of the 20th century, recognized for his systematic, foundationalist strategy. This daring and unique booklet explores the connection among his theology and his philosophy, and argues for the potential of a nonfoundationalist examining of Rahner. Karen Kilby calls into query either the admiration of Rahner's disciples for the overarching solidarity of his notwithstanding, and the too effortless dismissals of critics who item to his 'flawed philosophical staring element' or to his supposedly sleek and liberal entice adventure. via a lucid and important exposition of key texts together with Spirit on this planet and Hearer of the be aware, and of issues akin to the Vorgriff auf esse, the supernatural existential and the nameless Christian, Karen Kilby reaffirms Rahner's importance for contemporary theology and provides a transparent exposition of his proposal.

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Rahner, on the other hand, is trying to establish how we do think rather than how we may think: he wants to show that we all do think in a way that some people in fact do not seem to think, that we all operate within an awareness of which not everyone is aware. Where Kant’s object is to show the legality (to borrow his metaphor) of a certain pattern in our thought, then, Rahner’s is to establish its existence. ” The Kantianism in Spirit in the World is not as express—one does not tend in the same way to find a whole series of Kantian tags (a priori, 40 Transcendental transcendental, and condition of the possibility)—but it is nevertheless pervasive (perhaps more so than in the later work) and it is signaled by the repeated asking after the possibility of what has just been established.

Spirit in the World 27 The first stage in the argument, then, is to show that the Vorgriff is a condition of the possibility of the use of concepts, of the subsumption of particulars under universals. ”42 Now, in order for the form to be recognized as potentially the form of other matter, it must, Rahner reasons, be recognized as limited in the “concretion” of form and matter, in the particular sensibly intuited thing in which it is given. The question becomes, then, how can the form be known as limited in the individual form–matter synthesis in which it is first met?

What is clear, in any case, is that this analysis of the question of being cannot function, as Rahner at least at times seems to present it, as an argument which beginning from nothing save what is inescapable and undeniable proceeds to lay a foundation for metaphysics. The second, more detailed and explicit argument for the Vorgriff is developed in the third chapter of the main part of Spirit in the World, the chapter on abstraction. e. 38 In making such judgments we are able to subsume a particular (the particular tree, table, or red thing) under a universal (the concept of tree, table, or redness).

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