Papers 2021

Karl Rahner Consultation in 2021: “All You Who Labour”

Erin Kidd will speak on epistemic justice.
Erin Kidd will speak on epistemic justice.

This year’s Karl Rahner Consultation will feature two presentations related to the theme of work.  They will take place on June 11, 2021, from 11:00-12:15 (Pacific Standard Time) within the online convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Erin Kidd (St. John’s University, New York) will present a paper titled “Seeking Epistemic Justice.”  The paper will employ Rahner’s concept of “witness” and recent philosophical work in epistemic injustice to provide a “theology of testimony.”  Rahner argued that testimony has a theological character, whether or not the content is explicitly religious.  In bearing witness one offers oneself in the hope that the other will respond.  Theological wisdom emerges when a person’s testimony is received by the community.  Testimonial injustice, a concept first developed by Miranda Fricker, arises when people are not believed as a result of prejudice against their identity.  The paper proposes that such injustice leads to “theological harm.”  Kidd equates it with the epistemic and spiritual harm that is done when the community does not receive a person’s testimony.  Terrence Tilley (Fordham University) will respond to the the paper.

Terry Tilley will respond to the two papers.
Terry Tilley will respond to the two papers.

Karl Rahner’s Work on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven” is the title of a paper by Mark F. Fischer (St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo).  In 1951, Jesuit censors denied Rahner permission to publish an almost 400-page work in German, Assumptio Beatae Mariae VirginisThe censors found the work too speculative and “insufficiently grounded,” and it did not appear until 2004.  It might seem that Rahner’s lack of success in publishing his work on the Assumption was an example of fruitless labor.  The paper will argue, however, that the book’s interpretation of the dogma of the Assumption — and especially its “theology of death” — laid the foundation for much of Rahner’s later work, including his soteriology, Christian anthropology, and Christology.  This seeming failure also suggests that theological labor has a metaphysical dimension as the transmission of spirit.  Terrence Tilley will respond to the paper.

Mary Beth Yount (Neumann University, Philadelphia) will moderate the Rahner Consultation, and Kevin Patrick McCabe (Seton Hall University) will convene it.

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