Next Article in Journal
Intertwined Sources of Buddhist Modernist Opposition to Ritual: History, Philosophy, Culture
Next Article in Special Issue
Ekklesia and Ecumenism in the Body of Christ: Unity from the Ground-Up
Previous Article in Journal
New Representations of Religion and Belief in Schools
Previous Article in Special Issue
Ecumenical Ecclesiology in its New Contexts: Considering the Transformed Relationship between Roman Catholic Ecclesiology and Ecumenism
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Karl Rahner and the Elusive Search for Christian Unity

Theology Department, Gannon University, 109 University Square Erie, PA 16541, USA
Religions 2018, 9(11), 365;
Received: 6 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 17 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecumenism and Ecclesiology: The Challenge of Unity and Difference)
PDF [194 KB, uploaded 17 November 2018]


Despite his prominence within the landscape of theology, Karl Rahner is largely absent in ecumenical discourse. This is surprising considering the concern he shows for both the church’s unity and ecumenism throughout his writings. Rahner’s understanding of unity and diversity and their relationship to one another has the potential to provide important resources for the contemporary ecumenical movement and the goal of visible unity. This article examines Karl Rahner’s theological understanding of ecumenism and the relationship of ecumenism to the realities of unity and diversity. This article explicates Rahner’s theologies of symbol and unity as prerequisites for understanding and developing the relationship between unity and diversity. The unity of the Church is fundamentally a symbolic reality in the process of “becoming”. View Full-Text
Keywords: Karl Rahner; ecumenism; church; ecclesiology; unity; diversity; symbol Karl Rahner; ecumenism; church; ecclesiology; unity; diversity; symbol
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Dart, E.S. Karl Rahner and the Elusive Search for Christian Unity. Religions 2018, 9, 365.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top