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Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Karl Rahner is one of Catholicism’s most influential, and yet difficult to understand, theologians. This remarkably comprehensive volume gives a page by page explanation of Rahner’s great summary Foundations of Christian Faith. With an excellent introduction and helpful indices, this book is an indispensable addition to every theological library.
Paperback, 488 pages
Published January 1st 1982 by The Crossroad Publishing Company (first published 1976)
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If you want to be sure that you hav read the most important work by one of (if not the) mot important philosophical Catholic theologian of the twentieth century, this is it! Do not let the subtitle fool you, though. Although "an introduction to the idea of Christianity" this magnum opus of Karl Rahner, SJ is no introductory book - or perhaps it is introductory in the way that Thomas Aquinas says that his Summa Theologica is an introduction to the basics!

Rahner is perhaps best known for his corr
An important book in terms of recent theological developments.

The Roman Catholic Church divided at the time of Vatican II into two mainstream lines of theological thought. Rahner led the leftist or progressive side that rallied behind him. Joseph Ratzinger (who later became pope) led the opposition.

Rahner was an integral theologian at Council. His central ideas are spelled out in this volume. The primary concern is with the notion of grace or the "supernatural existential" or the "pre-conceptu
In the mid-20th century, Karl Rahner was one of the most important Catholic theologians and Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity serves as a digest of the themes which were so brilliantly pursued by this scholar. The easiest way to describe this book is to say that it is a transcendental theology in the sense that his primary thesis is that human beings are the only ones who know that they are finite, but that those who know existentially that they are fini ...more
Russ Booton
This book was a challenge, but a rewarding one. I don't think I could have comprehended it without another book, The Foundations of Karl Rahner by Mark Fischer -- a very useful summary / paraphrase. There was a lot in this book I loved. His emphasis upon humanity's capacity for transcendence was something I pondered for weeks. His explanation of the Trinity is very helpful (the best I've read, I think), and I've still working through his Christology in my head. I certainly enjoyed his exploratio ...more
Tom Phillips
This was perhaps my hardest read, ever. Fr. Rahner writes like a philosopher, meaning almost unfathomable. But, as with some other of the great works I've read, I read this for the passages of flight out of philosophy and deep theology, into the mystical and the mystical had a great deal to do with living each day.
Lucas Grubbs
Although it took an entire academic year of engaging with this text to finally "get it" (and even then there is much more to explore and understand) the reward was that it changed and revolutionized the way I understand my Christian faith. Never have I encountered a more humane approach to our relationship with God and Christ. Never has God and humanity been made more beautiful and real to me. Thank you Rahner for causing a tent revival of the soul.
This book had not written for normal people sondern for experts.I Think it is too hard to understand his idea. I have read the german version of this book and found it too hard. I try to read more and more and learn more about his idea. But his centeral idea in this book is anonymus christian and it is based on "selbsmitteilung Gottes".
All of the philosophical heaviness and technical vocabulary we've come to expect from a 20th-century, German-speaking theologian, but without any of the dynamism or charm of his Protestant counterparts.
Chris Danes
Extremely hard to read,not least because KR invented a technical language of his own. Nonetheless if you can get past that it's the standard work on Existential Neo-Thomism. As though we care.
Claudio Laferla
Rahner is also one of my favourite authors. He is deep. As indicated, this is a reference book which should be frequently consulted. A 'must have' in my opinion.
Thomas Dimattia
Marc said it well, though I might add that this is an essential book for for any reasonable thinker who wants to understand why Christ is such a mystery.
Dec 27, 2012 Linda added it
Are you kidding? Can't understand a word!!! If you can slog through, the concepts are incredible.
A great introduction into the modern Catholic academic understanding of Christian faith
Gerry Riguera
Another fine work of one of the most influential Jesuit theologians.
Bjørn Peterson
Some of the best explanations of Catholic "grace."
Dense reading - but worth the effort!
And this. My two Karls
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mysticism 1 1 Dec 01, 2012 10:02AM  
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Karl Rahner, SJ (March 5, 1904 — March 30, 1984) was a German Jesuit and theologian who, alongside Bernard Lonergan and Hans Urs von Balthasar, is considered one of the most influential Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century.

He was born in Freiburg, Germany, and died in Innsbruck, Austria.

Before the Second Vatican Council, Rahner had worked alongside Yves Congar, Henri de Lubac and Marie-D
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“For a Catholic understanding of the faith there is no reason why the basic concern of Evangelical Christianity as it comes to expression in the three “only's” should have no place in the Catholic Church. Accepted as basic and ultimate formulas of Christianity, they do not have to lead a person out of the Catholic Church. . . . They can call the attention of the Catholic church again and again to the fact that grace alone and faith alone really are what saves, and that with all our maneuvering through the history of dogma and the teaching office, we Catholic Christians must find our way back to the sources again and again, back to the primary origins of Holy Scripture and all the more so of the Holy Spirit.” 2 likes
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