Ernst Troeltsch and Liberal Theology: Religion and Cultural Synthesis in Wilhelmine Germany

Paperback | October 15, 2001

byMark Chapman

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This is the first discussion in English of the ethical implications of German liberal theology in the early years of the twentieth century. It avoids pejorative interpretative categories (such as `culture protestantism'), seeking instead to understand a much neglected period on its own terms.The leading figure, Ernst Troeltsch (1865-1923), is treated as a `public theologian', engaging at many different levels with his social and political context and trying to ensure that religion could continue to shape the future course of history. To understand his context he made use of the toolsof the emergent discipline of sociology and also entered into dialogue with philosophers and historians. Troeltsch's public theology is contrasted with other liberal models of theology, particularly those of the New Testament scholar Wilhelm Bousset and the systematic theologian Wilhelm Herrmann,who were far more reluctant to engage seriously with their context and as a result isolated religion from its wider social and intellectual setting. Troeltsch's theological solution is also compared with Max Weber's sociological response to the problems of modernity: Troeltsch's ideas of culturalsynthesis are seen as both constructive and critical and as having much to contribute to contemporary social and political theology.

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This is the first discussion in English of the ethical implications of German liberal theology in the early years of the twentieth century. It avoids pejorative interpretative categories (such as `culture protestantism'), seeking instead to understand a much neglected period on its own terms.The leading figure, Ernst Troeltsch (1865-19...

Mark Chapman is a Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Ripon College, Oxford.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.51 inPublished:October 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199246823

ISBN - 13:9780199246823

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"Chapman elaborates Ýthe subject¨ in a meticulously researched and clearyl argued monograph."--Religious Studies Review"Chapman's book is an important and compelling contribution to the study of Troeltch. His scholarship is richly illuminating and thorough, and his style is concise and lively. An astute, fascinating, and hihgly recommended scholarly treatment of a theologian whose relevance for the present, asChapman argues, should be made as clear as possible."- The Journal of the American Academy of Religion"Mark Chapman's Ernst Troeltsch herewith joins T. Gorringe's Karl Barth (1999) and C. Harrison's Augustine (2000) as the third figure in this estimable series." Chapman "provides an attractive, well-written discussion of the era's issues; for the scholar, it is a fresh, creative, "contextualized"retrieval of Troeltsch and early 20th-century liberal theology."--Theological Studies