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.
A "basic course in the faith" (the book's original title in German), but definitely not for beginners. The great Jesuit theologian sums up all his previous work with this massive text, designed for seminarians and other advanced students of Christianity. For a generation now Rahner's name has been synonymous with intellectually responsible Catholic orthodoxy, and this work continues that exacting tradition. It starts by locating human experience of God in the transcendent structures of knowledge and freedom: we recognize our own finitude against the "horizon" of the infinite divine presence. Rahner goes on to discuss sin, guilt, and "man as the event of God's free and forgiving self-communication." This leads to revelation and Christology proper, with concluding sections on the Church and some problems of eschatology (such as hell). Rahner presents the arguments for his nco-Scholastic-existentialist interpretation of the creed in thesis form, neglecting, for the most part, both the history of dogma and current controversies. He concentrates on the "eternal" philosophical dimensions of Christianity, which he treats with his usual depth and systematic rigor. Partly because of this, and partly because of its textbook format, this book will strike the average layman as extremely forbidding. Readers willing and able to work their way through its dry and technical language will find it an illuminating overview of modern Catholic theology. (Kirkus Reviews)