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Rahner, Karl (1904–1984)

  1. Harvey D. Egan S.J.

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1136

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

S.J., H. D. E. 2011. Rahner, Karl (1904–1984). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Karl Rahner has been aptly called the 20th century's “Church Father” and “quiet mover of the Roman Catholic Church.” Born in Freiburg (Breisgau), Germany, Rahner entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1934. After advanced studies in Freiburg (where he attended seminars taught by Martin Heidegger) and Innsbruck, he taught theology at Innsbruck (1949–1964). During this period, he was appointed one of the official theological experts (periti) of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) — a council whose theological outlook he profoundly influenced. He then became successor to Romano Guardini (d. 1968) in the Chair of Christianity and the Philosophy of Religion at the University of Munich (1964–1967) and was later appointed professor of dogmatic theology at the University of Münster (1967–1971). After retiring from university work, he lived at the Jesuit writers' house in Munich (1971–1981) and afterwards in Innsbruck, and continued his unrelenting worldwide lecturing, writing, and pastoral activity until his death a few weeks after his 80th birthday.


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