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Universal SalvationEschatology in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner$

Morwenna Ludlow

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270225

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198270224.001.0001

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(p.278) Appendix A

(p.278) Appendix A

Karl Rahner's Seven Theses for an Eschatological Hermeneutics1

Universal Salvation
Oxford University Press

(p.278) Appendix A

Karl Rahner's Seven Theses for an Eschatological Hermeneutics1

  1. 1. The eschata are still in the future in a very ordinary and empirical sense.

  2. 2. God's omniscience includes his knowledge of future events; although man's situation affects the extent to which he can receive God's revelation of the eschata, such revelation is not of events which are a priori beyond human understanding.

  3. 3. The sphere of eschatological assertions is determined by:

    • (a) the fact that the eschata are hidden;

    • (b) man's historicity.

  4. 4. From Thesis 3 it can be seen that knowledge of the future is knowledge of the futurity of the present . . .

  5. 5. . . . hence eschatological statements are derived from man's present experience of salvation.

  6. 6. The following further consequences result:

    • (a) eschatological assertions about heaven and hell are not on an equal footing;

    • (b) eschatological statements are both individual and universal;

    • (c) there need be no antagonism between imminent and distant expectations of the parousia;

    • (d) Christ is the hermeneutical principle of all eschatological assertions;

    • (e) the above principles, together with a theology of history, enable one to say everything about eschatology.

  7. 7. One is consequently able to distinguish between form and content in eschatological assertions.


(1) A summary of the six theses in ‘The Hermeneutics of Eschatological Assertions’: TI iv. 323–46.