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Fr Thomas Sharp

PhD student


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PhD student in the Department of Theology and Religion  


Current Research

"Karl Rahner: the Holy Spirit and the consummation of the human person"


One of the main problems faced by anyone attempting to read Karl Rahner is the very real difficulty he presents in terms of basic interpretation. He writes non-systematically in books, essays and homilies. This has meant that commentators on Rahner have often been unable to really grasp the wider vision (or visions!) of his theological work, so that the literature can appear confused, narrowly technical and just as difficult to comprehend as Rahner's own writing.

In this project, I seek to offer a more holistic engagement with Rahner's theological anthropology, placing emphasis on the unity of ontology and eschatology in Rahner's thought. Our constitution, our lived experience of faith individually and in community, and our final eschatological fulfilment all have a fundamental unity in Rahner's work: they are defined by God's self-gift to us. This emphasis on God's self-gift to us is a useful hermeneutical key for understanding Rahner's motivations, his engagement with the tradition and his potential as a resource for the modern church.

Church Ministry

After an initial curacy at Holy Nativity, Chapel House, in the Diocese of Newcastle, since October 2018 I have been Honourary Assistant Curate at Newcastle Cathedral. I am a member of the Society of Catholic Priests (which works to promote catholic evangelism and priestly spirituality within the Church of England) and a member of the Third Order of the Society of St Francis.

In 2018 I co-founded the monknunCofE project, which supports anglican religious communities in sharing their ministry and charism through social media.

Research interests

  • Anglican Theology
  • Catholic Theology
  • Karl Rahner
  • Franciscanism
  • Religious Communities
  • Pneumatology
  • Mariology


Conference Paper

  • Sharp, Thomas (Published), ‘The word alone is the gesture… to refer us to infinity.’ Is there room for non-verbal art in discipleship, according to Karl Rahner?, Catholicism, Literature and the Arts II: Legacies and Revivals. Durham, England.
  • Sharp, Thomas (Accepted), "The Catholic and Evangelical Origins of the Anglican Franciscans: how receptive ecumenism can work and where it might be leading us", The Franciscan Legacy from the 13th Century to the 21st: Assessing the Continuing Significance of St Francis and Franciscan Traditions of Theology, Spirituality, and Action. Durham, England.