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Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity [Paperback]

By Karl Rahner (Author)
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Item description for Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity by Karl Rahner...

With systematic talent unequaled in contemporary theology, Rahner lays out the basic concepts and development of his own remarkable forty-year intellectual journey

Publishers Description
Karl Rahner is one of Catholicism's most influential, and yet difficult to understand, theologians. This remarkably comprehensive volume gives a page by page explanation of Rahner's great summary "Foundations of Christian Faith." With an excellent introduction and helpful indices, this book is an indispensable addition to every theological library.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: The Crossroad Publishing Company
Pages   488
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.04" Height: 1.39"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2000
Publisher   Herder & Herder
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0824505239  
ISBN13  9780824505233  

Availability  0 units.

More About Karl Rahner

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Karl Rahner, S.J., ranks among the top Catholic theologians in the 20th century.

Annemarie S. Kidder, Ph.D. is a German native speaker, professor at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Detroit, and Presbyterian pastor. She is the author and editor of numerous books, among them a collection of Karl Rahner s sermons, prayers, and essays, titled "The Mystical Way in Everyday Life" (2010) and "Making Confession/Hearing Confession: A History of the Cure of Souls" (2010)."

Karl Rahner was born in 1904 and died in 1984.

Karl Rahner has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Milestones in Catholic Theology
  2. Modern Spiritual Masters

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity?

Rahner review  Feb 27, 2008
This book by Karl Rahner, especially the center section on Christ, is the best I have read on Christian theology.
Difficult exposition of Catholic faith  Nov 20, 2006
Karl Rahner is considered one of the leading Catholic theologians of the 20th century.

Rahner is interesting for several reasons, particularly for his strongly apophatic approach to God. This is reflected in this book, where God is considered the 'ultimate mystery' who is above 'all names', obviously echoing Pseudo-Dionysius.

Rahner's style is not the best or the most accessible, and Von Balthasar and Bernard Lonergan are much easier to read. Even Jacques Maritain is somewhat easier to read.

Rahner is not incomprehensible, but the reader will find this work very difficult to read unless they have some background to Rahner's thought, especially his extensive use of terms from existentialist and continental philosophy.

It remains one of his key works though, and needs to be read by any student of Rahner to understand his ideas.
Set the controls for the Heart of the Son  Sep 6, 2005
'Foundations of Christian Faith' is a deceptive title for a book which is in fact an overview of the whole field of Rahner's catholic progressive theology and it is no easy read; I gave an Italian version to a doctor friend who gave up reading it after the first 50 pages because 'it was too difficult'! It is however compulsory reading for anyone interested in the perennial conflict within catholicism between a theology inspired by St.Thomas(based on Aristotle) and St.Augustine(based on Plato). The representative of this latter theology is the Swiss theologian Von Balthasar who wrote his magisterial 'The Glory of the Lord' in response to what he saw as Rahner's 'dilution of the concept of Revelation' amongst other things. The current Pope Benedict XVI, a major theologian himself, is a firm supporter of Von Balthasar's theology which makes Rahner somewhat unpopular in Vatican theological circles today. Rahner, in contrast to the entire catholic approach to theology of the past 2000 years does not start his understanding of Christianity by elaborating upon the tenets of revealed faith, but starts from 'below' ie. from mankind as a species which is open to the supernatural in its very essence and then goes on to show how 'faith' fills this need or 'spiritual vacuum'; the point of conflict here is whether faith is inherent in human nature or is an act of grace (a created spiritual reality which is granted to Man but is not part of his natural constitution). Rahner, amongst other things, even opens out to Eastern religious ideas by stating that 'purgatory' might even be worked out over a series of successive reincarnations - something which clearly has the 'traditionalists' tearing their hair out!! A further difficulty, for the traditionalists, is that he tries to make evolution an integral part of an aspect of his understanding of faith - here I think he's on shakier ground. Placing a/any scientific theory as an integral part of theology exposes it to the risk of collapse should the theory prove (over time) to be false or is replaced by another theory (look at what happened with Galileo!!) - anyone interested can read Kuhn's 'The Structure of Scientific Revolutions'. Rahner's major works are currently out of print - so the 'Foundation' is indispensable reading if anyone wants to come to grips with one of the two 'giants' of modern theology (the other being Von Balthasar).I found this English translation to be excellent and its words have a very strong emotional as well as intellectual impact, which is why I invested in a copy despite having an Italian version. One last thing, Rahner's Jesuit biblical training can clearly be felt. Behind every concept he develops there is always a NT scriptural root, this is not stated explicitly, so be sure you keep the NT firmly in mind when you read him.
This is the culmination of Rahner's life  Sep 23, 2004
Karl Rahner is confounding to most people who only touch him and veer off looking for a more acceptable theology. If you read the early Rahner, you will have difficulty. If you read Rahner's last tome, you will be treated to the fullness of his spiritual development. William Dych is the best English translator of Rahner, bar none! In "Foundations . . . ," Karl Rahner lets down his guard and reveals to the reader, who he has become in his lifetime. He is no longer speaking about God but rather, is telling the listener who God is. There is still the extensive backgrounding and rambling German sentence structure, but once you understand that this text, like all of Rahner's published works, was written from dictation, you will begin to understand just what is missing from the printed word. Even though Dych translates brilliantly and with great insight, not even he can capture the characteristic vocal inflections that made the rambling sentences concise and clear. The reader must supply the drama of the words, understanding that not a word that was uttered has been left out of print. Thus, Karl Rahner is not to be read so much as to be experienced, and this will take some work. But in this way, the reader will suddenly discover what Karl Rahner, in his persuasive and vastly diverse way is attempting to say. This book is well worth hearing, for those who have ears.
Tough transcendental sledding  Aug 23, 2001
Rahner's "Foundations" is a long, bumpy, difficult ride. The concepts are brilliant and challenging. They undoubtedly illuminate the faith of Christians and profoundly portray Catholicism. Rahner's mode of expression, however, is dense and difficult....

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