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Dialogues between Faith and ReasonThe Death and Return of God in Modern German Thought$
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John H. Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449277

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449277.001.0001

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Dialectical Theology (Gogarten, Barth, Bultmann)

Dialectical Theology (Gogarten, Barth, Bultmann)

(p.205) Chapter 8 Dialectical Theology (Gogarten, Barth, Bultmann)
Dialogues between Faith and Reason

John H. Smith

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the moment of protest and cultural crisis initiated by Friedrich Gogarten, Karl Barth, and Rudolf Bultmann in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Gogarten was one of the intellectual fathers of the movement that came to be called “crisis” or “dialectical” theology. He challenged the notion of a “continuity” between modernity and Protestantism and insisted, like Barth, that theology must include logos, rational investigation and discourse. Bultmann is concerned to show the significance of God's status as both wholly other and yet in contact, through the divine Word, with the world of man. This chapter considers how these three thinkers assessed the situation of modernity (as it unfolded over some four centuries from 1500 to 1900) and how they expressed their rejection of this situation in order to offer a new approach to religion and God.

Keywords:   cultural crisis, Friedrich Gogarten, Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, dialectical theology, modernity, Protestantism, logos, God, religion

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