Karl-Rahner-Archiv
 
 

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History of the Archive

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In November 1981 Karl Rahner moved from Munich to Innsbruck. The move was influenced by considerations about how his literary estate could be catalogued and preserved at a Jesuit college in order to be available for professors and students for study purposes. At the time, the Jesuit College of Innsbruck offered good conditions for this undertaking.

In addition, he was familiar with the Jesuit College in the “Sillgasse”: In December 1936, Rahner had received his doctorate in theology at the University of Innsbruck and remained there after his habilitation, as Lecturer for Dogmatics and the History of Dogma, from the Winter semester of 1937-38. In July 1938, the entire theological faculty was ousted by the Nazis. After they had confiscated the Jesuit College and imposed a gag-rule on the Jesuits, Karl Rahner moved to Vienna. He was first able to return to Innsbruck in August 1948 and in 1949, he was appointed full professor; Rahner served in Innsbruck for the longest continuous period of his professional life (1948-1963) before being appointed in 1964 to the Chair for “Christliche Philosophie und Weltanschaung” in Munich, as successor to Romano Guardini.

Karl Rahner’s longstanding assistant Adolf Darlap (1924-2007) (1), Professor of Church History at the Theological Faculty Innsbruck, greatly contributed having Karl Rahner’s literary estate housed in Innsbruck (2). After Rahner’s death in 1984, his offices were reconstructed in the Archive of the Jesuit College.

In 1982, the Karl Rahner Archive was legally established by the Society of Jesus and it remains a permanent legal possession of the Upper German Province of the Jesuit Order (since 2004: the German Province of the Jesuits), the Order to which Karl Rahner belonged and remained his entire life. The Archive was housed at the Jesuit College of Innsbruck. After Rahner’s death, the Austrian province of the Jesuit Order withdrew itself as the legal owner of the college in a contract that had been made during Karl Rahner’s lifetime. In an implementation agreement, signed by the Upper German Province of the Jesuits, the Archive was entrusted to the former Institutes of Dogmatic and Fundamental Theology of the Catholic Theological Faculty for their scholarly supervision and evaluation.

The direction of the Archive became the responsibility of the Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Fundamental Theology, Professor Walter Kern SJ (1922-2007). After his retirement in 1989, Professor Karl H. Neufeld SJ became his successor and directed the Archive. (3) His research assistant for more than two decades was Roman A. Siebenrock. (4)

Funding for the Archive was initially made possible by the Karl Rahner Foundation in Munich, and since 1992 through funds for academic research in Vienna. With the appointment of Dr. Siebenrock as Ordinary Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Innsbruck, the position of Director was left vacant and was not immediately filled.

With the impending retirement of Karl H. Neufeld SJ in 2006, the Jesuit Order had to decide about the direction and management of the Archive. In late 2007, the Provincial of the German Jesuits decided to ask the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, which after a number of university reforms was the legal successor of the former Theological Institutes and the theological faculty (which had in part lost its legal standing), for an amicable resolution and cancellation of the contract which had made the Archive available to the University as a permanent loan, in order to be able to transfer the Rahner Archive to the Provincial Archives in Munich. During the transition phase was Professor Roman A. Siebenrock was temporary director of the Archive. The move was made in February 2008 and the Jesuit Provincial appointed Father Andreas R. Batlogg SJ as the new Director.

In April 2008, Fr. Batlogg established an Advisory Board, which, in addition to Dr. Clemens Brodkorb, the head of the Archives of the German Province of the Jesuits, included Professor Albert Raffelt, Deputy Director of the Freiburg University Library and co-editor of Rahner’s Sämtliche Werke.

From 1985, Roman A. Siebenrock, Professor of Dogmatics at the University of Innsbruck, worked for more than two decades as a researcher at the Karl Rahner Archive in Innsbruck. On the twentieth anniversary Rahner’s death in the 2004, he published an article reflecting on his experience in Stimmen der Zeit Special Issue 1: 2004. Reprinted in Andreas R. Batlogg and Melvin E. Michalski (Eds.), Begegnungen mit Karl Rahner: Wegefährten erinnern sich (Freiburg: Herder 2006) 343-358.
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Roman A. Siebenrock - Experiences in the Karl-Rahner-Archive 
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(1) Cf. N. Klein, “Glaube und Theologie in Geschichte: Zur Erinnerung an Alfred Darlap” (22.6.1924- 30.11.2007) in: Orienterung 72 (2008) 10-12.

(2) Cf. A. Darlap, “Das ‘Archiv’ und der ‘Preis’,” in: P. Imhof and H. Biallowons, Karl Rahner: Bilder eines Lebens (Freiburg: Herder, 1985) 172-173.

(3) Cf. Karl H. Neufeld, “Das Karl Rahner Archiv,” in Österreichische Hochschulzeitung Nr. 5 (1991); ibid. Archivio teologico tra diritto, organizzazione e pubblico interesse, in: Institutum Historicam Societatis Iesu (Ed), “Scriptis tradere et fideliter conservare,” Gli archivi come luoghi della memoria nella Compagnia di Gesù. Rome 2003, 131-134.

(4) Cf. Roman A. Siebenrock, “Mitteilungen aus dem Karl-Rahner-Archiv,” in Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 110 (1988) 310-312.
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. Aktuell .
. Rahner Werke französisch .
. L'Église face aux défis de notre temps .
.   mehr Infos  .
. Karl Rahner: Sämtliche Werke Bd. 32/1: Ergänzungen und Register .
. Prof. Dr. Albert Raffelt: Stand der Edition der sämtlichen Werke Karl Rahners .
.   mehr Infos  .


. Rahner Lectures .
. Rahner-Lecture 2016 digitale Publikation .
. Jörg Splett: Karl Rahner – ein Mystiker? Zur Situation des Christen von morgen .
.   mehr Infos  .
. Rahner Lecture 2014: digitale Publikation .
. Karl H. Neufeld SJ: Wie ,tickt' Karl Rahner? Theologisches Erkennen und Argumentieren. .
.   mehr Infos  .
. Rahner Lecture 2013: digitale Publikation .
. Herbert Vorgrimler: Die Lehrautorität der Gläubigen .
.   mehr Infos  .
. Rahner Lecture 2012: digitale Publikation .
. Günther Wassilowsky: Als die Kirche Weltkirche wurde .
.   mehr Infos  .
. Rahner Lecture 2011: digitale Publikation .
. Thomas F. O'Meara OP: Der amerikanische Rahner .
.   mehr Infos  .
. (Ersatz-) Rahner Lecture 2010: digitale Publikation .
. Bernd Jochen Hilberath: Gottesgeheimnis Mensch. Gottes- und Menschenbild in der Theologie Karl Rahners .
.   mehr Infos  .
. Rahner Lecture 2009: digitale Publikation .
. Karl Kardinal Lehmann: Was bleibt von Karl Rahner? .
.   mehr Infos  .


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