Karl Rahner acknowledged freely that “the anonymous Christian,” as a category, could be problematic. His interest, he stressed, was not in the term but in understanding the universality of God’s grace and the access of all people to grace. Reception of Rahner’s theology of salvation, however, has often neglected this broader framework to focus on the term itself. This article, which engages Rahner’s theology of grace in both its ecclesiological setting and its universal reach, argues that this theology can be an asset to dialogue even in the context of religious pluralism.
The need for reform of the Catholic Church’s structures features prominently in
discussion of the clerical sexual abuse scandal. Less common has been reflection
on the challenge that the crisis presents to ecclesiology, to considering the church
theologically. This article addresses that challenge. It engages three tasks—facing the
church’s brokenness; understanding the church in terms of grace and human freedom;
and facilitating the participation of all the church’s members—that are necessary for
an ecclesiology able to be both realistic and hopeful in the current circumstances.
Book Review: A World Church in Our Backyard: How the Spirit Moved Church and Society. By Simon C. Kim
Lennan A World Church in Our Backyard
How can Christian hope transform ecclesial life and in turn illumine contemporary culture? The articles by Richard Lennan and Dominic Doyle address this question from different perspectives. Lennan develops and spells out the implications of an ecclesiology based on the church as a sacrament of hope. Doyle examines the nature of hope with particular attention