Appeared in Fall 1991, Vol. XVII, No. 3

In this his first essay for Faith & reason, Dr. Mark Lowery offers a critique of the thought of Karl Rahner from an orthodox Catholic perspective focusing upon the late Jesuit’s treatment of doctrine.

In the ongoing polemic between revisionist and traditionalist Catholic theologians, Karl Rahner’s monumental project in transcendental method stands on somewhat of a precipice. Many traditionalists who have read his work have respect for the sheer breadth of Rahner’s knowledge of the tradition and his varied accomplishments. But at the same time, traditionalists are acutely aware that Rahner himself in his later work,1 and the majority of Rahner’s interpreters, have fallen off the precipice into some degree of a revisionism that is incompatible with the Catholic faith.

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