How to become a theologian by Karl Rahner

Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos / Sacrae Theologiae Summa
B.A.C. (Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos) aka Sacrae Theologiae Summa original Latin edition published 1955

When Karl Rahner came to the United States in the 1960s, he gave a talk to some Jesuit seminarians. One of them asked him, “Fr. Rahner, what must one do to become a theologian?” He answered immediately, “The first thing you have to do is master the four volumes of B.A.C.* Then you can begin to become a theologian.”

He added that those four volumes are the best summary of scholastic theology available. Needless to say, the young Jesuit seminarians at the time were rather shocked to hear the famous theologian praise a summary of scholastic and Thomistic theology.

Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.

*B.A.C. = Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, literally “Library of Christian Authors,” the original publisher

The Sacrae Theologiae Summa (The Complete Sacred Theology) is being translated into English for the first time by Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.  Split into 8 volumes, to date six of them have been completed.  The planned 8 volumes are:

  • IA Introduction to Theology.  On the True Religion.
  • IB On the Church of Christ.  On Holy Scripture.
  • IIA On the One and Triune God
  • IIB On God the Creator and Sanctifier.  On Sins.
  • IIIA On the Incarnate Word.  Mariology.
  • IIIB On Grace.  On the Infused Virtues.
  • IVA On Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance and Anointing.
  • IVB On Holy Orders and Matrimony.  On the Last Things.

The currently available volumes are available by mail order only (not by online order) from