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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2011

Niamh Middleton
Pages 73-90

Existentialism and Operative Grace
The Mystical Morality of Karl Rahner

Karl Rahner believed that orthodox Christology is too often perceived as mythology, irrelevant to the lives of contemporary Christians. As a result, he felt, the role of conversion as the gateway to an authentically Christian morality has been neglected. Influenced by existentialist philosophy and life-stage theories that were popular during his lifetime, Rahner established a basis for a new ethical system that would integrate psychological theory and techniques into his theological existentialism in order to provide a cohesive structure within which individuals can be guided towards conversion. It is the purpose of this article to suggest a theoretical framework for Rahner’s proposed “Existential Ethics” and to make some suggestions for its concretization.

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