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The Trinity

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The ground-breaking treatment of the doctrine of the Trinity by one of the most important theologians of the century is here reprinted on the 30th anniversary of its orginal publication. In this treatise, Karl Rahner analyzes the place of the doctrine of the Trinity within Catholic theology and develops his own highly original and innovative reading of the doctrine, includ ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by The Crossroad Publishing Company
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Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet that “brevity is the soul of wit.” Roman Catholic author Karl Rahner illustrates the Bard’s statement as he unpacks one of the most complex doctrines of the Christian faith in his continually relevant yet conservatively sized volume The Trinity. Rahner leans heavily on logical processing and parses through Roman Catholic doctrinal statements to formulate the central tenant of his work, that “The ‘economic’ Trinity is the ‘immanent’ Trinity and the ‘immanent’ Trinity i ...more
A milestone in Catholic theology indeed. Rahner's desire to overcome the irrelevance of the traditional doctrine of the Trinity led to this remarkably systematic and consistent retrieval. By an historical analysis showing how reflections on the Trinity became more and more divorced from the concrete reality of the manifestation of salvation in history, particularly in the person of Christ, Rahner shows how, particularly in the medieval period, Christian theology became almost completely centered ...more
Ben De Bono
In authoring this work, Karl Rahner has two main goals. First, to correct methodological errors in regards to the typical Western approach to developing the doctrine of the Trinity. Second, to offer a systematic treatment based on correcting those perceived errors while still being in line with official Catholic doctrine.

His methodological complaints are addressed at the Western traditional in general and at Augustine and Aquinas in particular. He gives special attention to Aquinas’ two treatis
Perhaps, the most muddled and neglected aspect of my theological speculation has been the concept of the Trinity. When folks have tried to pin me down, I've hedged by stating that I like some aspect of Social Trinitarianism, but I have trouble keeping those ideas out of the morass of tritheism. I sort of like the crude analogy of an individual as parent/spouse/occupation, but find it doesn't do justice to the real distinctiveness for Father, Son, and Spirit as indicated in the biblical revelatio ...more
G Walker
Ehhh... I understand that this was (is?) an important book. And Rahner raises brilliant questions... what difference would it make, really (in day to day living or practically in theology) if the doctrine was abandoned, or if we became Binitarian or something else - would it really(!) matter?! The bottom line is for all intents and purposes, we have practically (though perhaps not confessionaly) ignored this key life-giving doctrine... his dictum on the that "the 'economic' Trinity is the 'imman ...more
I found this text to be helpful in explaining how one should properly approach the doctrine of the Trinity. Matters of terminology aside, I believe Rahner convincingly presents his argument that the way the Trinity is in its distinct persons, and the way the Trinity acts by those distinct persons in the world, are related. Perhaps with this explanation more people would, indeed, understand the Trinity without becoming monotheists or tritheists. The Trinity would then be understood in the way it ...more
Michelle Marvin
You need some background in both Rahner and the doctrine of the Trinity in order to appreciate this book... And a large dose of caffeine to muster through Rahner's often abstruse language. That being said, this book is helpful for engaging in a deeper theological understanding of the Trinity, and it is not as difficult to read as some of Rahner's other works.
Rahner once again surpasses my expectations with his work on the Trinity, a classic for any Theology student or anyone wanting to understand. Definitely a tough read, but incredibly worthwhile and satisfying. Be sure to keep his Theological Investigations vol. 1 for reference; I frequently went back and forth in order to understand certain terms and themes.
Wyatt Houtz
Excellent primary on the trinity from a famous catholic theologian.
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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
More about Karl Rahner...
Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity Encounters With Silence The Need and the Blessing of Prayer Spiritual Writings Hearer of the Word: Laying the Foundation for a Philosophy of Religion

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