Within the Near Eastern Context
I. Introduction and General Methodological Remarks
Various questions might come to mind when one reads the title of this work: “The ‘Other’ in Karl Rahner’s Transcendental Theology and in George Khodr’s Spiritual Theology within the Near Eastern Context”. Reading the title, one may ask: Who is the ‘Other’? What factors really make the ‘Other’? What about Rahner’s transcendental Theology and its relation to non- Christians? Is there anything left to say about Rahner’s ‘Anonymous Christian’ after all the discussions about it? What about Khodr’s spiritual theology and its relevance to the Near Eastern context? Why this topic today? Isn’t it possible for the Near East to concentrate on its own theology regardless of the ‘Other’? What benefit is there for the theology of the Near East, or what benefit is there for the ‘Other’, from relating the two together? I come from a context in which both Christians and Muslims live together (the Near East). As we reach the end of the first decade of the 21st century, having already almost fourteen centuries of Christian-Muslim relations behind us, there is still need to go into the question of the ‘Other’ in depth theologically, since for Near Eastern Christianity throughout these centuries Islam has remained the ‘Other’. Even though Christians and Muslims shared the common life experience in the Arab world, yet this could not move the doctrinal rigidity of either side. While in the West, where in the nineteenth century Eastern Studies appeared and developed, the traditional doctrinal approach concerning world religions remained nonetheless unmoved.1 The...
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