ERNST TROELTSCH’S THE ABSOLUTENESS OF CHRISTIANITY (1902)

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    Abstract

    Ernst Troeltsch was one of the most influential intellectuals of the late Wilhelmine Empire and the early Weimar Republic. He considered his book The Absoluteness of Christianity (first published in 1902) the starting point of his work. The issue at stake here were the consequences of the historical turn in the humanities for theology. This turn implies a new phase in the history of Christianity, as Troeltsch wrote to his colleague Adolf Harnack. Troeltsch was harshly criticized for this point of view by, among others, Karl Barth, who deemed Troeltsch’s dogmatics idle and non-binding talk. This essay argues that Troeltsch’s attempt to historicize theology and to come to appraisals on the basis of socio-historical research has to be taken seriously, unless one is prepared to pay the prize of the marginalisation of the discipline.
    Translated title of the contributionERNST TROELTSCH’S THE ABSOLUTENESS OF CHRISTIANITY (1902)
    Original languageDutch
    Pages (from-to)227-235
    Number of pages9
    JournalNederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift
    Volume68
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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