Karl Rahner SJ (1904-1984), perhaps the most influential figure in twentieth-century Roman Catholic theology, believed that the most significant influence on his work was Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. This book casts significant new light on Rahner's achievement by presenting it against the background of the rediscovery of Ignatian spirituality in the middle decades of the twentieth century. It offers a fresh and contemporary theological interpretation of Ignatian retreat-giving, illuminating the creative new departures this ministry has taken in the last thirty years, as well as contributing to the lively current debate regarding the relationship between spirituality and speculative theology.
This life-work crystallizes and clarifies the major developments in Catholic thought and practice before and after Vatican II. Each chapter focuses on an essential theme -- theology, spirituality, scripture, social justice, ecumenism, priesthood, apostolate of the laity, women in the church, medicine and ethics, crisis in the church -- and illuminates them through stories, experiences, and insights. Anyone interested in understanding the watershed history of Catholicism in the 20th century will value Walter Burghardt as a reliable guide and fascinating companion.
"The autobiography...does not cover the complete life of Ignatius. It begins abruptly in 1521 at the great turning point in the saint's life, his injury in the battle of Pamplona when the French occupied that town and attacked its citadel. It then spans the next seventeen years up to the arrival of Ignatius and his early companions in Rome. These years are the central years of Ignatius's life. They are the years that open with his religious conversion and that witness his spiritual growth. They are the years of pilgrimage, to use his own designation, of active travel and searching, and of interior progress in the Christian life. They are the years of preparation for the establishment of the great religious order he will found and for its dynamic thrust in the turbulent Europe and the expanding world of his day."--