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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Karl Rahner and 20th Century Theology
Module Code TP525
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ethna Regan
Semester 2: Ethna Regan
Module TeachersEthna Regan
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module will explore contemporary theological perspectives on the human person, on ethics and on politics, and the dialogue between philosophy and theology intrinsic to these perspectives. It will engage with select texts from the theology of Karl Rahner and examine the impact of his work on the subsequent development of Political Theology, Liberation Theology and Feminist theology. The critique of Rahner that emerges in the theology of Johann Baptist Metz will be analysed, particularly his challenge to Christian theology to face the implications of the Holocaust, together with the later post-liberal critique of modern theology after Rahner.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of theological perspectives on the human person, on ethics and on politics in modern theology
2. Engage with select aspects of the dialogue between philosophy and theology
3. Display a critical awareness of the theology of Karl Rahner and his contribution to the development of other theological movements in the twentieth century
4. Demonstrate an appreciation of the implications of the Holocaust for Christian theology
5. Select from and critique a range of key texts of political, liberation and feminist theologies
6. Display an ability to undertake research and engage in theological dialogue about issues related to the human person, politics and justice, in the academy, church and society

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Total Workload: 0

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Karl Rahner and Transcendental Thomism

The turn to the subject in modern philosophy and Rahner’s Theological Anthropology

The 'Anonymous Christian' and Rahner’s ethics

Johann Baptist Metz: Political Theology after the Holocaust

Theodicy, Suffering and Hope

Liberation Theology: development, critique and contribution to modern theology

Feminist Theology: women’s experience and the experience of God

John Milbank and Radical Orthodoxy: a critique of theology after Rahner

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PresentationSelect readings from primary texts will be discussed each week. Each student will make a presentation on one of these primary texts and submit a written copy of this presentation of a reading.20%As required
EssayStudents will be given a choice of titles based on module texts and themes80%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Joe Egan: 2010, From Misery to Hope: Encountering God in the Abyss of Suffering, Peter Lang,
  • Ford, David with Rachel Muers, eds: 2005, The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology Since 1918, 3rd Ed., Blackwell Publishing, Oxford,
  • Gutiérrez, Gustavo: 1988, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation, 15th anniversary Ed., Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York,
  • Johnson, Elizabeth A: 1993, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse, Crossroad, New York,
  • Metz, Johann Baptist, Translated and edited by J. Matthew Ashley: 2007, Faith in History and Society: Toward a Practical Fundamental Theology, Crossroad, New York,
  • Milbank, John: 1993, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford,
  • Rahner, Karl: 0, Theological Investigations, 23 volumes, Select essays from a number of volumes will be recommended,
  • Rahner, Karl: 2002, Foundations of Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity, Translated by William V. Dych, Crossroad, New York,
  • Regan, Ethna: 2010, Theology and the Boundary Discourse of Human Rights, Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC,
  • 0: Select primary and secondary texts will be recommended for each section of the module,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MATHWRMA in Theology & World Religions
MPTPMPhil (Theology, Philosophy & Music)
TPPMMaster of Arts

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