Papers 2019

Karl Rahner Consultation 2019

Karl Rahner’s Theology provoked reflections on how “Another World Is Possible: Violence, Resistance, and Transformation,” which was the theme of the June 6-9, 2019 convention in Pittsburgh of the Catholic Theological Society of America.  Brandon R. Peterson (University of Utah) convened the “Karl Rahner Consultation,” a regular part of the convention, and Susan Bigelow Reynolds (Emory University) moderated the session.

Jakob Karl Rinderknecht considered Rahner’s views on ecclesial failure.

The first of two presentations at the Consultation was offered by Jakob Karl Rinderknecht (University of the Incarnate Word).  He titled his paper “Another World is Present: Rahner’s Theology of the Church after Failure.” In 1974, said Rinderkneckt, Karl Rahner provided an account of how we can recognize God at work in Protestant ministries.  The Catholic Church had previously judged Protestant ministries as invalid due to schism. Rahner’s work in 1974 contributes to the contemporary conversation about structural reform of the church after its failures responding to clerical sex abuse, said Rinderkneckt.  Such failures, he said, may be “serious enough to split the church from the Kingdom.”  In a work entitled Vorfragen zu einem Ökumenischen Amtsverständnis, Rahner drew out several principles for thinking about the church as the locus of God’s work despite its repeated failures.

David A. Stosur examined Rahner’s concept of the liturgy of the world.

The second presenter at the Consultation was David A. Stosur (Cardinal Stritch University).  His paper was titled “Rahner’s ‘Liturgy of the World’ as a Hermeneutic of Another World that is Possible.” Stosur explored Rahner’s conception of the Liturgy of the World in light of the convention theme. Employing Rahner’s hermeneutics of worship, he defined violence as a denial of the cosmic liturgy, transformation as conversion to it, and resistance as the stance opposing the denial. Resistance to violence, he said, entails solidarity with all humanity in liturgical participation and in action for social justice.  Stosur also considered (1) Rahner’s concerns with the nature-grace relationship, human freedom, and the economic Trinity, (2) Metz’s critique of Rahner from the standpoint of political theology, and (3) the connection with Teilhard’s “Cosmic Mass” in light of contemporary cosmology.

Heidi Russell (Loyola University Chicago) responded to the papers by Rinderkneckt and Stosur.

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