Karl Rahner's Theological Aesthetics

Karl Rahner's Theological Aesthetics

PETER JOSEPH FRITZ
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 312
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qdqhm
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  • Book Info
    Karl Rahner's Theological Aesthetics
    Book Description:

    This innovative book discloses Karl Rahner's foremost achievement: discovering and delineating an ethos of Catholicism, a multi-faceted and comprehensive approach to life in Christ. Karl Rahner's Theological Aesthetics does so by placing the German Jesuit and his teacher, philosopher Martin Heidegger, into a richly detailed dialogue on aesthetics. The book treats classic Rahner topics such as anthropology and Christology. But it breaks new ground by exploring themes such as angels, Mary, and the apocalypse, juxtaposed with analogous philosophical topics in Heidegger.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2594-4
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. A NOTE ON INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-22)

    People know Karl Rahner as a Catholic theologian who once studied with Martin Heidegger. They may be aware that the period of study was the summer of 1934 through the summer of 1936. Then they may think that Rahner developed an “existentialist” theology out of his encounter with the Heidegger ofBeing and Time(1927). For almost all readers of Rahner, the story stops there. I am writing this book because if the story stops here, it has already gone horribly wrong.

    Philip Endean once wrote, “It is not that Rahner’s theology has been tried and found wanting; it has...

  7. 1 RAHNER’S AESTHETICS
    (pp. 23-64)

    Before we can consider the proposal that Rahner presents the Catholic sublime, we must establish that his corpus relates somehow to aesthetics and to the sublime. Chapters 1 and 2 accomplish this task. The first exposes Rahner’s aesthetics, and the second the beginnings of Rahner’s view of the sublime. The present chapter argues three points: (1) Rahner’s encounter with Heidegger’s writings and teaching bred in him an affinity for aesthetics; (2)Geist in Weltlays the philosophical groundwork for theological aesthetics, even if Rahner does not say this; and (3) Rahner’s incipient aesthetics assimilates the best while resisting the worst...

  8. 2 RAHNER’S SUBLIME
    (pp. 65-109)

    Before heidegger delivered his famous lecture “The Origin of the Work of Art,” he offered his first course on Friedrich Hölderlin. Before Rahner wroteGeist in Welt, he attended this course on Hölderlin. The Heidegger ofKant and the Problem of Metaphysicsopened for Rahner the notion of metaphysics based on the imagination, and thus the possibility for Rahnerian aesthetics. The Heidegger of the Hölderlin lectures introduced Rahner to a way of thinking that would help him to specify his aesthetics. Rahner’s aesthetics would disclose a Catholic version of the sublime, which would resist modern subjectivity along the lines of...

  9. 3 RAHNER AND THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE
    (pp. 110-156)

    When rahner’s supporters and critics alike characterize him as a theologian of a “turn to the subject,” they assume a few things: (1) “subject” equals “spirit”; (2) “subject” equals the post-Cartesian subject; (3) “spirit” thus equals the subjectivity of the post-Cartesian subject. Depending on the commentator, Rahner has been praised for adopting or blamed for capitulating to the modern spirit. My focus in this chapter lies in constructing a counterpoint to these readings of Rahner.

    The two foregoing chapters have worked to disarticulate Rahner’s understanding of subjectivity inGeist in Weltand other texts from modern subjectivity. This chapter continues...

  10. 4 RAHNER REFOUNDING THEOLOGICAL LANGUAGE
    (pp. 157-204)

    The convergent-divergence between Rahner and Heidegger covers the general area of an opposition to modern subjectivism. That point is now well established. The following two chapters will specify this insight by elaborating the themes of language and history, respectively.

    These topics first arose in chapter two, when I exposed Heidegger’s first Hölderlin course and observed what Rahner stood to gain from it. The Heideggerian sublime, as it takes shape in the first Hölderlin course, grounds itself in the poet’s unique relationship to language and history. The poet founds history by communicating the mysterious language—“hints”—of the gods. As we...

  11. 5 RAHNER’S APOCALYPSE
    (pp. 205-260)

    This fifth and final chapter further elaborates Rahner’s version of the sublime by relating it to the theology of history. Rahner’s sublime has its roots in his aesthetics inGeist in Welt.His understanding of history reflects this aesthetic perspective. The amplification of his aesthetics yields his sublime. His theology of history, likewise amplified, is apocalyptic. These statements demand a preliminary explanation.

    InGeist in Welt,Rahner presents the human imagination as opened from within by God, who moves through it. In his later theology of history, Rahner contends that history is propelled from within by God, who draws it...

  12. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 261-266)

    This Book’s introduction outlined three main contributions that the chapters to follow would make: they would reveal Rahner as (1) a theologian of a turn away from the modern subject, (2) a theological aesthetician, and (3) resistant theologically and philosophically to Heidegger. Each chapter has worked toward all three. I argued that the three can be pursued successfully only if one pursues them together. From the start, in chapter one, I showed how Rahner resists modern subjectivism (contribution 1) by developing an aesthetic (sensibility-oriented) account of subjectivity (2) modeled largely on, while critically reshaping, Heidegger’s re-vision of Kant’s doctrine of...

  13. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 267-280)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 281-286)