Making the Fundamental Option Fully Free: How Human Capabilities Help Clarify Rahner’s Conception of Justice

In his Theological Investigations article, “The Dignity and Freedom of Man,” Karl Rahner writes, “The personality of [the human] . . . requires of necessity a certain space for realizing itself.” What defines this “space” and how does it relate to Rahner’s understanding of justice? This article addr...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Philosophy & theology
Main Author: Petrusek, Matthew R.
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
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Published: [2017]
In:Philosophy & theology
Year: 2017, Volume: 29, Issue: 2, Pages: 433-460
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Rahner, Karl 1904-1984 / Justice / Nussbaum, Martha Craven 1947- / Capability approach
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Summary:In his Theological Investigations article, “The Dignity and Freedom of Man,” Karl Rahner writes, “The personality of [the human] . . . requires of necessity a certain space for realizing itself.” What defines this “space” and how does it relate to Rahner’s understanding of justice? This article addresses this question by placing Rahner’s under-developed conception of justice, particularly as it relates to the fundamental option, in constructive dialogue with the language of human capabilities of Martha Nussbaum. Capabilities provide a moral framework for specifying the concrete meaning of the “space” necessary for one to freely say “yes” to God and neighbor, which gives greater depth and specificity to Rahner’s conception of justice. Both Rahner and Nussbaum recognize freedom as foundational for individual flourishing. The article concludes by recognizing how Rahner’s theology can also enrich Nussbaum’s conception of justice, particularly in relation to the question of moral motivation.
ISSN:0890-2461
Contains:Enthalten in: Philosophy & theology
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.5840/philtheol201782888