thread: 2006-08-31 : I think my expectations are screwed

On 2006-09-01, wundergeek wrote:

Joel: Not only am I Catholic, but my best friend is in grad school for Religious Studies. So my answer isn't as awesome as my friend's would be, but I feel sufficiently geeky to take on this question...

Karl Rahner, a famous Catholic theologian, came up with the theory of the "anonymous Christian" - which basically postulates that non-Catholics who live lives of virtue will still be saved after death. This was basically an attempt to reconcile the concept of a loving god with the fact that there are a hell of a lot more non-Christians than Christians (let alone Catholic Christians).

Of course, one could raise the point that to refer to, say, a Buddhist monk as an anonymous Christian smacks of hubris. But Rahner himself said that he hopes that that Buddhist monk would in turn think of him as an "anonymous Buddhist".

This is, of course, a radical oversimplification. There's a really good article here with some good information on Rahner and his theories:


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