Friday, 5 September 2008

Intellectual Roots of Liberalism

The title isn't mine, but fine - my article appeared in the Daily Episcopalian (related to the In Depth Group where I present monthly discussion material). Some interesting comments, but of course I am saying that Barth and Bonhoeffer are not liberal, nor is even Tillich or Bultmann in the same way the nineteenth century people were. Barth took from Ritschl, but all of the twentieth century theologians created a special and closed off space for Christology: Ritschl only started with Christology but could not maintain it. I'm sure too those liberal elements go well back, the difference is that these nineteenth and twentieth century theologians were facing a secularising world, and the Church-universal culture that earlier theologians could rely upon (easier to uphold a widespread Incarnation) was not available to Ernst Troeltsch, who could only treat such as a disappearing history. He was also right about another, Enlightenment and after, individualist approach to faith that was neither Church nor sect.

No comments: