Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Masson, Robert

Second Advisor

Tallon, Andrew

Third Advisor

Doran, Robert


The word "heart" in Rahner's theology highlights both the central role of affectivity in his work as well his understanding of the heart as the symbol of the whole person, emphasizing the unity of the human person as embodied spirit. This dissertation argues that using Andrew Tallon's understanding of triune consciousness, which highlights the unity and distinction of the affective, cognitive, and volitive intentionalities of consciousness, corrects ambiguities in Rahner's theological understanding of the human person and the person's experience of God which arise from Rahner's reliance on the dyadic (cognitive/volitive) categories of traditional faculty psychology. I presume the insights Rahner has gained through his use of the transcendental method and the turn to the human subject, but the approach to Rahner's theology in this work will be more phenomenological. I presume Rahner's axiom that theology is anthropology and anthropology is theology; in other words, our understanding of the human person and human experience is related to the way we understand God and vice versa. Accepting Rahner's axiom invites the consideration of what effect understanding the human person in terms of triune consciousness has on Rahner's own theology. 1 offer an interpretation of the primary sources and relevant secondary sources on Rahner's theology of the experience of God and the theology of grace using the phenomenological approach of Tallon's theory of triune consciousness. I contend that such a revision of Rahner's theology through this alternative model of the human person is tenable, consistent with Rahner's central influential insights, and phenomenologically and scientifically more credible than the interpretation of his theology through the traditional viewpoint of faculty psychology. I investigate the possibilities that such an interpretation may offer in addressing some of the contemporary critiques of Rahner's theology...



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