Later, it would be clear that in the 1960s Rahner was passing quietly into the third stage of his theology. First, there had been the analysis of the believer in light of modern philosophies; then came the theology of God's self-communication present existentially to each man and woman in various modes beyond the electric company of laws and forces.... History now held an important role: the history of salvation beginning for tens of millions of people long before Abraham, of human religions, the history that held a climax in Christ, of the church's forms and ideas. Rahner's theology was moving beyond ecclesiastical difficulties to Christian dialogue with European atheism and Marxism, and then to an even wider "ecumenical" horizon of the world religions, the great issue of the coming centuries. "Contemporary theology must be theology of a world-church.... The plausibility of Christianity for other cultures can no longer be grounded in the superiority of Europe and the West. We must come to a Christianity that has genuinely achieved an inner and essential synthesis with other cultures. There are signs that this is beginning to happen."
Rahner helped me see that the challenges facing Catholicism were much greater than simply absorbing some insights of the Protestant reformers or understanding the trendy terminologies of Tillich or Bultmann. Catholicism had its own history, very broad and very old, and those riches repressed should emerge. The challenge was no longer Protestantism but modernity, and its opportunity lay not in Aristotle's metaphysics and neo-Gothic buildings but in science, person, and worldwide humanity struggling to become aware and free. Above all, he showed how the salvation of a generous God found a positive, visible climax in Jesus, but was not withheld from the hundreds of millions who existed before Plato and Isaiah, or who prayed at a Muslim or Hindu shrine.
In Munich, I did not think about whether Rahner was influencing me (in 1965, in Munich, there were doctoral students who had no interest in Rahner). A great thinker does not have an endless string of new ideas but only a few insights, insights, however, appearing in a kind of code. If the thinker is great, if the ideas are rich and liberating, the teacher's words illumine life. Rahner's lectures and publications held no radical statements about Jesus or the papacy; they were inevitably about something beneath the many things and ideas of Christianity, something implicit, elusive, and luminous, something about the real presence of God in history.– Thomas F. O'Meara, O.P., A Theologian's Journey, pp. 244-45.
Theological Notebook: O'Meara on Rahner
And again: MICHAELMAS! A perfunctory notice of the feast day, while still not really returned to journaling, but I'm nothing if not…
What I've Been Reading Reading List 2014-2015 School Year: I get asked about this every so often, and I'm always willing to recommend a good…
Once again: MICHAELMAS! So I'm still reluctant to let go of this journal, despite the number that the newer Russian owners did on it…