Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Whittle, Sean 2016. What might a non-confessional theory of Catholic education look like?. Journal of Beliefs & Values, Vol. 37, Issue. 1, p. 93.

  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: May 2006

2 - Rahner’s transcendental project

from Part I - Spiritual, Philosophical, and Theological Roots


Karl Rahner's accomplishment consisted in putting Catholic philosophy and theology on a transcendental footing. The undertaking spanned some fifty years, from his matriculation in philosophy at Freiburg University in 1934 to his death at Innsbruck in 1984. From beginning to end, the driving force behind the project was the seriousness with which Rahner regarded the transcendental turn in modern philosophy.


Rahner’s program unfolded in two stages, the first philosophical and the second theological. (Only the former is the focus of this essay.) The first stage occupied him from 1934 to about 1941 and found expression in two works, Geist in Welt (1939) and Hürer des Wortes (1941). The first of those two texts marshaled central elements of the work of Kant, Rousselot, Mare´chal, and Heidegger for the goal of reformulating Thomism – its epistemology, philosophical anthropology, and metaphysics – as transcendental philosophy. In the second stage, which occupied him from the 1940s onward, Rahner used the transcendental Thomism of the first stage as the basis for rewriting Catholic doctrine as transcendental theology.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge Companion to Karl Rahner
  • Online ISBN: 9781139000802
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *