Philosophy and Theology 13 (2):339-361 (2001)

The following article is both a reminder to those interested in the development of the doctrine of universal salvation that it has a long history, and an exercise in historiography of Karl Rahner’s relationship to a seventeenth century Spanish Jesuit theologian, Juan Martînez de Ripalda. Rahner’s thesis known as the “supernatural existential” has Jesuit antecedents in the thought of Ripalda and his magnum opus entitled De ente supernaturali. After some historical contextualization of Ripalda we will focus on Rahner and offer possible reasons why the “Molinist” thought of Ripalda with respect to the possibility of salvation for non-Christian persons was so important for his own work. The article will then provide a critical study of Rahner’s reading of Ripalda and point out some key areas of difference in theological approach between the two Jesuits who, almost four hundred years ago, asked similar questions and came to the same answers using very different methodologies
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0890-2461
DOI 10.5840/philtheol200113216
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