Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Prolepsis of God’s Revelation in History

Since the 1960’s, a different theological project that is concerned with the classical quest for ultimate truth again has emerged. The foremost among its proponents is Wolfhart Pannenberg, a former student of Barth. The German theologian sought to propose correctives to what he perceived to be increasing privatization of modern theology as a merely subjective sphere sheltered from public scientific or historical inquiry. The retreat of theology into a cultural ghetto owes much to a post-Enlightenment mindset which views authority and claims of truth with suspicion. For Pannenberg, systematic theology ought to be a discipline in search for universal truth that illumines all human knowledge. As such, theological statements ought to be boldly open to rational inquiry of the historical basis on which they rest.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Schleiermacher: Dawn of Liberal Theology

Schleiermacher: Dawn of Liberal Theology

The seed that Schleiermacher planted would blossom into the liberalism that dominated Protestant thought in the early 20th century. In the autumn of 1797, Schleiermacher began to be connected with a circle of young Romantic friends devoted to aesthetic, literary and philosophical interests. It was to such Berlin bohemians who were influenced by idealistic spirit of the age, rather than skeptical rationalistic materialists, that he wrote his first book On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers. Not only was religion despised due to popular misunderstanding, his main concern was directed to clarify its essence and clear away confusions of substituting religious piety “for a mess of metaphysical and ethical crumbs” courtesy of the Age of Reason.