A collapse of Karl Rahner's personal faith in the possibility of only one cognitively valuable philosophical reflection became for him an impulse to assess the hitherto Thomistic philosophy, revise its attitude to other philosophies and propose a renewal of Thomistic thought in the circumstances of contemporary philosophical pluralism. Such ideas are contained in K. Rahner's manuscript titled Begleittext zu 'Geist in Welt' on which the present article is based. Rahner's programme of a metaphysical renewal of Thomistic philosophy comprises the following stages and tasks: a necessity to recall the content and genealogy of scholastic ideas; the postulate of a living dialogue of Neo-scholasticism with contemporary philosophy; an attempt to find contemporary philosophical problem-matters within the old scholastic tradition; investigation of the reasons of the failure of hitherto 'dialogue' between Neo-scholasticism and contemporary philosophy; elaboration of conditions of a fruitful collaboration between Neo-scholasticism and contemporary philosophy; and finally an attempt to implement the programme of a renewal of scholasticism, a task that was undertaken by Rahner in two of his works: Geist in Welt and Hoerer des Wortes. K. Rahner faced the philosophical (and theological) pluralism of his times with the consciousness that dialogue was not a choice of but a necessity with which culture was confronted. Therefore, in the programme of a metaphysical renewal of Thomism he gave priority to a re-evaluation of the basic self-understanding of Neo-scholasticism as a philosophy (from commenting on Aquinas to thinking creatively with Aquinas) and its previous attitude to modern and contemporary philosophies (from confrontation to dialogue) whereas a revival of scholastic ideas was far less important to him. Rahner was perfectly aware of the fact that in encounter with contemporary philosophies, Neo-scholasticism can no longer assume its previous role of teacher but can only be a partner in a dialogical quest for truth. However, it need not be an 'obsolete partner' if only it conscientiously probes its own philosophical tradition and thereby discovers signs of affinity to the entire philosophical tradition of the West. In an age of dialogue, Thomism need not by any means reject its own tradition, but it should certainly change its attitude toward it: a vital transition is needed from merely using tradition to productively availing ourselves of it; from thinking about Aquinas to thinking with Aquinas, and if necessary - beyond Aquinas. Neo-Thomism can certainly follow the example of Neo-Kantism in its dynamic attitude to tradition - the two having emerged contemporaneously - but it was the latter that managed to maintain a creative distance to its own origins: 'with Kant, against Kant, beyond Kant'.
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