The Consummation of an Individual History of Freedom

Morwenna Ludlow

in Universal Salvation

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780198270225
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600661 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

 The Consummation of an Individual History of Freedom

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This chapter aims to explain Rahner's complex idea of the perfection, or consummation of the human individual. He stresses that it has two aspects: immanent consummation (individuals determine their fate through human freedom and decision) and transcendent consummation (the transforming grace of God). Paradoxically, he tries to collapse the distinctions between these two aspects (which seems to point to universalism and leads to his controversial notion known as ‘anonymous Christianity’) whilst still maintaining the possibility of humans rejecting God. The chapter explores how Rahner links his philosophical analysis of human perfection to the classical Christian doctrines of heaven and hell. Similarly, his discussion of the possibility of making decisions for or against God after death is connected with the concepts of indulgences and purgatory.

Keywords: anonymous Christianity; consummation; decision; grace; heaven; hell; immanent; perfection; purgatory; transcendent

Chapter.  16202 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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