Telling the Christian story - by Karl Rahner and me

  • Augustine Shutte Department of Philosophy University of Cape Town


The intelligibility of the Christian story depends upon it being told in words that do not presuppose faith; good theology depends on good philosophy. The foundation of Rahner's philosophy is his insight into the transcendent character of human nature, and thus also of the power that alone can bring about our existence or fulfilment. The incommensurability of creator and creature is experienced by us most fully in interpersonal relationships of love. Consequently all human history must be seen as the history of God's self-communication to us, as 'salvation history'. For Christians this self-communication of God is fully achieved, and so unsurpassable, in the person and life of Jesus. The result is the possibility of a true and universal community of humanity in a death-transcending life with him. The Church is the sign of Jesus' - and so God's - continuing 'real presence' with us. It is also an instrument for realising this unity and union, together with all other religious and spiritual traditions to a greater or lesser degree.