life of Karlk Rahner, German theologist and roman Catholic Philosopher. Looking and discussing on some of his views and philosophies and those that had an influence upon his life such as St. Thomas Aquinas and Kant.
Karl Rahner, 1904-1984
Philosophical thinkers have theorised for many centuries on the role of happiness and the way in which good may be seen and the role of good will in the make up of humanity and society as well as the role of morals and intents. Immanuel Kant can be seen as a philosopher that built on the older philosophical ideas regarding the role of good actions and good will.
Kant created the ' categorical imperative' which was the determination of goodness by way of looking at the action, he stated "Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law"(Kant 88)
When we consider epistemological arguments we are looking 'the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity'.
Therefore we can see that there are many arguments that may be put foreword, but in considering them proof may e difficult to obtain. The knowledge of our own existence is one that is undeniable, with the initial words 'I think, therefore I am' we have seen the beginning of a chain of thought that extends outwards.
However, there are may events to which we may argue knowledge, but there is a problem with the tangible evidence, many individuals would are that there is indisputable proof for us to understand the existence of god, but here we need to look at the evidence for our knowledge, and how accurate that knowledge is.
Thomas Aquinas was the first to publish his thoughts on this subject, but was the first of many (htm#Causality). After consideration and examination many other philosophers and theologians have reached exactly the same conclusion as Aquinas's theory of Causality as the ultimate proof f Gods existence (htm#Causality). This is that nothing can be created from nothing, therefore everything which is in existence must lead from something else back to an original form of some sort (htm#Causality).
We have seen how two great thinkers have discussed life and religion but there is another great philosopher of the modern world that has taken these views and produced his own theories and studies.
Karl Rahner, is noted by many as being one of the most diligent and foremost Roman Catholic Theologians of the Twentieth Century. Rahner was born in Frieburg, Baden on the 5th of March 1904, he attended the local academic high school at the local Gymnasium, from there he entered the Jesuit order in 1922 (McGrath, 1993).
The seminaries for the priesthood took place at Feldkirch in Austria between the years 1922 and 1925 then at Pullach near Munich between 1925-1927 and Valkenburg, Netherlands between 1929 and 1933 (McGrath, 1993).
Rahner was ordained as a priest in 1932 and attended the University of Freiburg to participate in the German existentialist philosopher Martin Heidegger, it was here that he was heavily influenced in his beliefs and views (McGrath, 1993).
Furthermore, Rahner too his doctorate in 1936 at the University of Innsbruck. The doctoral thesis was his own interpretation of the thoughts of St. Thomas Aquinas, indeed this thesis was published as the Spirit of the World in 1939 (McGrath, 1993 and Anonymous, 1996).
The majority of his career up until 1971 was spent teaching a systematic theological theory course at Innsbruck, Pulland and the Universities of Munich and Munster. During the second world war Rahner was active with his pastoral working Vienna and in the area around the Bavarian country side (McGrath, 1993 and Anonymous, 1996).
Rahners main philosophies and influences were those of Immanuel Kant, a German 18th century philosopher, Heidegger, and the Belgian Jesuit Joseph Marechal. Marechel was the founder of the school of transcendental Thomism which advocated the insights and views of St. Thomas Aquinas yet still manages to analyze the understandings of the human mind in the relative light of critical philosophies of Kant (McGrath, 1993 and Anonymous, 1996).
After his official service as a papal theological expert between the years of 1960 to 1965 and also during his seat on the Second Vatican Council; Rahner found his influence gaining at a remarkable rate.