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.

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