Chapter

13. Rahner, von Balthasar, and the Question of Theological Aesthetics: Preliminary Considerations

James Voiss

in Finding God in All Things

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780823228089
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236954 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823228089.003.0013
13. Rahner, von Balthasar, and the Question of Theological Aesthetics: Preliminary Considerations

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Hans Urs von Balthasar's theological project has often been juxtaposed to Karl Rahner's theological methodology and optimistic tenor. If Rahner was hopeful about the Catholic Church's engagement with modernity and the progress of Vatican II, von Balthasar was highly critical of what he called the epic pretensions of the modern theological project. Von Balthasar's starting point in theological aesthetics is a markedly different starting point than Rahner's Transcendental Thomism. The two theologians, often at odds in their theological judgment of the other's work, continue to represent two competing visions of theological investigation today. This chapter offers a conciliatory reading of Rahner and von Balthasar and argues against the notion that Rahner lacks a theological aesthetic. In effect, it helps both to expose the somewhat artificial gap that exists between Rahner and von Balthasar's theology and to extend paths in which future Rahner scholarship might lead.

Keywords: Hans Urs von Balthasar; Karl Rahner; theology; theological aesthetics; Catholic Church; epic pretensions

Chapter.  5458 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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