Fortress Press

Embodied Words, Spoken Signs: Sacramentality and the Word in Rahner and Chauvet

Embodied Words, Spoken Signs

Sacramentality and the Word in Rahner and Chauvet

Rhodora E. Beaton (Author)

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The twentieth century witnessed renewed interest in a Roman Catholic theology of the word. The contributions of Karl Rahner and sacramental theologian Louis-Marie Chauvet demonstrate the Roman Catholic conviction that the word is fundamentally sacramental: it has the capacity to bear God’s presence to humanity.

Rhodora Beaton examines the work of Rahner and Chauvet to articulate the relationship between word and sacrament within the context of language, culture, and an already graced world as the place of divine self-expression, and analyzes the implications for Trinitarian theology, sacramentality, liturgy, and action.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9781451469257
  • Format Paperback
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 208
  • Emerging Scholars category Theology
  • Publication Date January 1, 2014


"In an ecumenical spirit, Rhodora Beaton masterfully surveys two twentieth–century giants of the Catholic tradition—Karl Rahner and Louis-Marie Chauvet. Offering a theology of the proclaimed word that bursts forth from a graced world, Beaton’s Embodied Words, Spoken Signs opens out into theologies of preaching and language, ritual and embodiment, creation and Trinity. An excellent contribution to systematic theology, liturgical theology, and ecumenical theology."
—Edward P. Hahnenberg
John Carroll University 

"Deeply researched and beautifully written, Rhodora E. Beaton’s book not only offers a magisterial assessment of the works of Karl Rahner and sacramental theologian Louis-Marie Chauvet but is also a timely and remarkable contribution to our understanding of the sacramentality of the word and world. As such, it is an impressive scholarly achievement."
Nathan D. Mitchell
University of Notre Dame

"Embodied Words, Spoken Signs makes a significant contribution to overcoming the long-term divide in Catholic theology between word and sacrament. Rooted in the classic insights of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, Rhodora E. Beaton draws on the sacramental theologies of Karl Rahner and Louis-Marie Chauvet to craft a creative contemporary reading of the claim that words of faith proclaimed and heard in the power of the Spirit are ‘audible sacraments.’ An excellent resource for ecumenical reflection on the power of the word in a world in which sin abounds, but grace abounds still more, this volume will prove valuable for scholars, students, pastors, and preachers from a wide variety of Christian traditions."
Mary Catherine Hilkert
University of Notre Dame
"A welcomed new voice for sacramental and fundamental theology, Rhodora E. Beaton has provided a much-needed scholarly treatment of the revelatory nature of liturgically proclaimed word. With its original entree into two of the most important twentieth-century theologians building on chapters surveying major historical contributors, this lucid book will serve as a reliable text for students and professionals alike."
Bruce T. Morrill
Vanderbilt University

"Rhodora E. Beaton has given us, in this intelligent, fair, and fresh book, a genuine ecumenical gift.  Both Luther and Calvin are read accurately and profoundly, in company with excellent scholarship on the Reformation, against the background of Augustine and Aquinas, as laying important groundwork for Schillebeeckx, Rahner, and Chauvet.  The resultant emerging Roman Catholic theology of the sacramental word is one that we all need now."
Gordon W. Lathrop
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
"After exploring the Theology of Word expounded of Rahner and elaborated by Chauvet, Rhodora E. Beaton develops her Theology of Word, reverencing its context both in the ritual event and in the sacrament of created reality. Beaton’s approach is welcome and timely as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II’s Declaration on Divine Revelation and ponder anew how the Word becomes flesh in our day."
Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ 
Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

"Appreciating the sacramental nature of God’s word is crucial for our understanding how God is revealed to us. By placing the theologies of Rahner and Chauvet in conversation with four giants of the Christian tradition (Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin) Rhodora E. Beaton has succeeded in providing a valuable guide to a contemporary theology of the relation between word and sacrament that has significant ecumenical implications. Other important theological issues like revelation, grace, Christology, Trinity, and ecclesiology are illuminated along the way."
John F. Baldovin
Boston College