Including Amendments Passed on June 7, 2008, June 12, 2010, and June 7, 2014



This association shall be known as the KARL RAHNER SOCIETY. Its purposes shall be to promote the study of Karl Rahner’s writings; the publishing of critical editions in English of his works; analyses, through scholarly dialogue as well as publication, of interpretations of his thought, as well as of works which carry forward the spirit of Rahner’s enterprise, primarily but not only in the fields of theology and philosophy; and collaboration with other scholarly groups concerned with his work. In this way, the Society hopes to make a contribution to the ongoing reception and assessment of Karl Rahner in Church and society.


Membership in the Society shall be either active, associate, or honorary.

(a) Active membership is open to all those who possess the doctoral degree from an accredited institution in theological or related studies, and have been actively engaged in at least one of the purposes of the Society. In exceptional cases, active membership can be given to those whose scholarly achievements are considered as meeting the standards customarily demanded for the doctorate.

(b) Associate membership is open to those who are pursuing doctoral studies from an accredited institution in theology or related fields, and who manifest an interest in at least one of the purposes of the Society.

(c) Honorary membership is conferred, upon recommendation of the Steering Committee, by majority vote of the active membership present at the annual business meeting in recognition of special services to the Society.

(d) Friends of the Society of Karl Rahner will include those interested parties who do not belong to any of the above categories but have a vested interest in the scholarship of Rahner.  These members will be non-voting members.


1. The officers of the Society shall comprise the Steering Committee. It will consist of a Coordinator, three elected members, and two ex officio members (the Editor of Philosophy and Theology and the webmaster).

(a) The coordinator shall have a three year term, which may be renewed.  He or she shall send to the members one month prior to the convention a notice of the following year’s theme and solicit proposals for specific topics.

(b) The coordinator shall also be responsible to post a call for papers with the Catholic Theological Society of America (unless a specific decision to solicit papers from targeted scholars has been made prior to the annual meeting).

2. Elections and voting in general shall be governed by the following provisions.

(a) Active members alone shall be eligible to vote and hold office. Election to office shall be by a simple majority vote of those present at the annual business meeting. The officers shall be elected for a term of three years. It is understood that the outgoing Coordinator shall normally advise the newly elected Steering Committee, and attend their meetings, to insure continuity. In case this is not possible, then one of the other outgoing members of the committee shall be asked to volunteer.

(b) If any vacancy shall occur among the Steering Committee membership, it shall be filled by a two-thirds majority vote of the remaining committee members. It may also be filled by a majority vote of the active members of any business meeting of the Society.


1. The regular meetings of the Society shall be held each year at a time and place to be designated by the active members through a simple majority vote at the annual business meeting.

2. The regular meetings shall consist of a scholarly meeting, to pursue one, several, or all of the Society’s purposes, as well as a business meeting, to conduct the remaining business of the Society.

3. At the business meetings of the Society, the active members present shall constitute a quorum.

4. Special meetings may be called, by the Steering Committee, or by a petition of one-fourth of the total active membership. The active membership must be given notice of this at least fifteen days in advance.


1. It is understood that the Steering Committee and/or a simple majority of the active membership at a business meeting may appoint an appropriate committee to pursue the purposes of the Society.

2. This Constitution may be amended at any business meeting of the Society by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the active members present. Notice of such proposed amendment must be given to the active membership not less than one month in advance of such meeting.




1. The Coordinator shall chair meetings of the Society and of the Steering Committee, and will facilitate the fulfilling of the latter’s’ responsibilities. He/she shall be able to represent the Society, when authorized to do so by the Steering Committee.

2. The Steering Committee will be responsible for the proper functioning of the Society, on behalf of the Society’s membership. This particularly entails providing for the annual call for papers, the refereeing the same, soliciting papers for the official journal and annual meeting and refereeing the same, providing for the advance mailing of the papers chosen for discussion at the annual meeting, providing for the membership dues and annual renewal, and advertising the news and affairs of the Society in an appropriate way.

3. The Steering Committee will seek contact with other learned Societies committed to the purposes of the Society.

4. In the event that the meetings of the Society are held in conjunction with and/or under the auspices of other societies (e.g., The Catholic Theological Society of America), the Steering Committee will be responsible for establishing the proper contacts.

5. It is understood that the members of the Steering Committee will be in regular contact with one another throughout the year.  The coordinator shall call a meeting of the Steering Committee at least once a year at a time close to the annual meeting of the Society.


1. Papers discussed at the regular meetings of the Society will be published in the official journal. It is understood that this journal currently is the annual Karl Rahner issue of Philosophy & Theology (Marquette University Quarterly), through mutual agreement between the Society and that journal’s editorship. (This latter policy is subject to periodic review by either or both parties.)

2. The Steering Committee will also referee and solicit articles for the official journal of the Society which are concerned with the work of the Society. It is understood that any scholar, but especially members of the Society, are encouraged to submit articles.

3. The Society will also publish a website.  The Steering Committee shall appoint the webmaster for a term of three years.  The content of the web site will be reviewed annually by the Steering Committee.

4. As occasion warrants, the Steering Committee and/or active membership through simple majority at the business meetings, will determine whether other publications are necessary or desirable, and actively promote their publication.


1. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the Constitution or By-Laws of the Society.

2. All active and associate members are asked to pay an annual fee for membership. It is understood that this brings with it an annual subscription to the official journal, the annual call for papers for the Society’s regular meeting, an advance mailing of the papers to be discussed at the annual meeting, and other benefits agreed upon by the Society’s active membership through simple majority at the annual business meeting.  Active membership and its privileges, with the exception of the subscription to the official journal, may be maintained after retirement without payment of the annual membership fee.


These By-Laws may be amended by vote of the majority of the members present and voting at any business meeting, provided that the proposed amendment was included in the call to the meeting, or was submitted at the previous annual meeting, or is recommended by a two-thirds vote of the Steering Committee.


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