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Karl Rahner: Theologian of Grace
- Narrated by: Richard Lennan
- Length: 4 hrs and 51 mins
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"Grace itself is everywhere and always." (Karl Rahner)
Encounter the towering thought of Karl Rahner (1904-84), one of the most significant voices in Catholic theology in the 20th century. An extraordinarily productive and creative theologian who wrote over 5,000 works, he played a central role as a theological advisor to the bishops at Vatican II. His influence continues to live on in the church and world today.
In this 12-lecture course, you will journey through Rahner's life, thought, and works. Under the guidance of Rahner expert Fr. Richard Lennan, you will explore his theology of grace, which lies at the heart of his works. As you will come to see, Rahner's approach to grace stresses the encounter between God and humanity, an encounter that takes place in every dimension of human life. You will examine how Rahner developed an understanding of God's mystery, the dynamics of the Trinity, and the human person as the recipient of God's grace.
Rahner's work includes all the principal theological themes - Trinity, church, sacraments - but what makes his theology so powerful is his constant reference to the presence of grace in human history. For Rahner, therefore, spirituality is not simply a theme of his writings but is rather at the heart of all that he writes. Karl Rahner's powerful theology will help you encounter God's profound presence in history and our world today.
"Karl Rahner is a vitally important theologian who still has important things to say for the 21st-century Church. Richard Lennan is both an expert on Rahner's thought and inspiring teacher able to get complex ideas across in a way that makes them clear and attractive. What better combination could there be for this lecture series? Get [his course] if you want to understand your faith more richly." (Philip Endean, S.J.)
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good teacher bad material
Dr. Lennan does a great job presenting with his rather notable Australian accent, it was wonderful.
The material however was another animal. It starts with Rahner not being a systemic theologian. His outlook is frusteratingly incomplete and does not deal with most of the chief arguments against it.
As a result, It leaves the reader wondering whether or not Rahner considered these issues in his own writings.
In the course, it mentions that Rahner failed his doctoral defense. This seems altogether likely considering the strange mischaracterization of Scholastic theology and Catholic theology in general.
Throughout the course, it seemed is though he were competing against a straw target that he created himself. Often times, it seems as though he drew a line of delineation that never existed.
Whereas this may seem to reinforce the significance of Rahner's contribution to Catholic theology, to the discerning student, it serves to undermine the thinker in the 1st place. It removes the legitimacy of the initial premises from Rahner's arguments.
I was only familiar with his writings in directly before this course, his contributions being fairly clear in some parts of the documents of Vatican II. Taking this course, it serves to land less credence to Rahner's arguments in general and his contributions to Vatican II more specifically.
Again, for a discerning student, the class can be very frustrating because the primary concerns and counter arguments seem never to be dealt with. Runners chief competing outlook would be the scholastic, Tomistic, School of thought. Those positions are seldom if ever dealt with. It makes the entire view of Rahner to be unreliable as a result.
It does not help that after such an ignoring of a chief argument against his position, Dr. Lennan proceeds down the rabbit hole of what turns into, for the student, Rahner serial speculation. This serial speculation is compounded upon itself until the student is not even on the same planet from which he began.
The effect is an emotive, dreamlike, surrealistic walk down speculation avenue with German theologian sensibilities. That is unappealing.
1 person found this helpful
Brilliant and concise summary of Rahner's theology
Got this audiobook as a refresher having studied theology at university some years ago. I found it very accessible and very balanced. Richard Lennan is an excellent speaker (it appears that these were a series of talks) and he knows how to make the most difficult concepts intelligible (obviously, noone downloading this book would expect a light listen). Some background in theology certainly helps, but I can imagine that any one interested in knowing more about this important 20th-century figure would not be dissapointed - more likely, they would be encouraged to read Rahner in his own words (shamefully, there is hardly anything resembling this on audible at the moment - hopefully that will change soon).
1 person found this helpful