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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.279) Appendix B

(p.279) Appendix B

Karl Rahner: The Content of Eschatological Assertions

Universal Salvation
Oxford University Press

(p.279) Appendix B

Karl Rahner: The Content of Eschatological Assertions

Rahner's Eschatological Assertions Appendix B

A. List Given in ‘The Hermeneutics of Eschatological Assertions’1

  1. i. The ‘formal principles of a theology of history’:2

    • ‘history is directed towards a definite end’;

    • ‘it reveals an antagonism’;

    • ‘the temporal, the historical is always ambiguous’;

    • ‘the forces at work grow radically stronger’;

    • ‘the forces and epochs of the history of salvation and catastrophe are represented by concrete persons’;

    • ‘sin is encompassed by the grace of God’.

  2. ii. From the above and from humanity's experience of Christ can be derived ‘all that can and may be said objectively in the Catholic theology of eschatology’. For example:

    • ‘time will have an end’;

    • ‘towards the end the antagonism between Christ and the world will grow fiercer’;

    • ‘history as a whole ends with the final victory of God in his grace’.

    This consummation . . .

    • ‘ . . . in so far as it is the incalculable act of God's freedom is called God's judgement’

    • ‘ . . . in so far as it is the fulfilment of the salvation already real, victorious, and definitive in Christ, is called the return and judgement of Christ’

    • (p.280)
    • ‘ . . . in so far as it is the fulfilment of the individual . . . is called the particular judgement’

    • ‘ . . . in so far as it is the fulfilment of the resurrection of Christ

    • . . . is called the resurrection of the flesh and the transfiguration of the world’.

B. List Given in the Sacramentum Mundi Article on Eschatology3

  1. ‘The intrinsically limited character of time and its historical configuration from genuine beginning to a genuine irreplaceable end’;

  2. ‘the uniqueness of every part of the saving history’;

  3. ‘death and the “change” effected as an event by God, as a necessary mode of genuine fulfilment of time (since the Fall)’;

  4. ‘the fact that the end has already come with the incarnation, death, and resurrection of the Logos made flesh’;

  5. ‘the presence of this end as constituting the fact of the victorious mercy and self‐communication of God (in contradiction to a double outcome on an equal footing which would be specified by man's freedom alone)’;

  6. ‘the special character of time now still unfolding “after” Christ’;

  7. ‘the persistent character of this period as a conflict (with Anti‐Christ) which necessarily becomes more intense as the end approaches’;

  8. ‘the question of the convergence of the natural and supernatural finality of man and the cosmos’;

  9. ‘the final removal of the cosmic powers of the Law, of death, etc.’;

  10. ‘the enduring significance of Christ's humanity for beatitude’;

  11. ‘the positive meaning of the inequality of the glory of heaven’;

  12. ‘the vision of God as the abiding mystery (the positive meaning of the incomprehensibility of God)’;

  13. ‘the relation between the heaven of the redeemed and the reprobate world of the demons’;

  14. (p.281)
  15. ‘the positive significance of the persistence of evil and the nature of the latter’;

  16. ‘the metaphysical essence of the glorified body’;

  17. ‘the one “Kingdom of God” of angels and men’;

  18. ‘the true nature of the “intermediate state” . . . which must not be regarded as purely spiritual’.


(1) TI iv. 343–4.

(2) Not intended to be a complete list.

(3) ‘Eschatology’: SM ii. 245–6.