Karl Rahner Consultation 2023: “Tilling the Earth”

Lennan published “Tilling the Earth” in 2022.

This year’s Karl Rahner Consultation will feature a panel discussion of Tilling the Earth: Theology for an Unfinished Project by Richard Lennan (Boston College School of Theology and Ministry).  Lennan will join a panel consisting of Mary Beth Yount (Neumann University) and Michael Canaris (Loyola University Chicago).  The discussion will take place on June 19, 2023, within the 77th Annual Convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel in Milwaukee.

In his new book, Lennan argues that the church is quite unlike a precision-crafted, uniform product of an assembly line. Especially considering its rich internal diversity, its messy scandals and setbacks, and its potential for new growth and emerging life, the church is more analogous to an agricultural setting in which God graciously “tills.”

In the language of Lumen Gentium, Lennan describes the church as “the seed and beginning of God’s kingdom” (LG 5).  It holds great promise and also needs care and cultivation.  Panelists will consider the role that human freedom plays in God’s “tilling the earth” and how human freedom resists it.  They will consider how Rahner helps us to better understand this church.

Brandon Peterson (University of Utah) will convene the panel discussion and Michael Rubbelke (St. John’s School of Theology, Collegeville) will moderate it.

To read titles of previously published “Rahner Papers” click here.

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