Blog Series on Twentieth-Century Theologians

The Resurrection—Tischbein, 1778.
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I’ve mentioned philosophy professor Win Corduan’s series on modern theologians before, and he’s now helpfully collected all of the posts in one place for easy reading.  These are nice introductions to these theologians’ ideas and works, and he also points out where their ideas intersect with philosophy.

For example, writing on Wolfhart Pannenberg,

Pannenberg’s doctorate was in philosophy, but when the opportunity came for him to teach theology he quickly had to “throw together” a habilitation thesis (to qualify for university teaching) in theology.  This “hastily” produced book, Jesus-God and Man (1968) , turned out to be a huge hit and will probably remain the one for which he is best known.  In this book he attempted to construct a Christology “from below,” which means that he started with the man Jesus and then showed that this man was (is) God incarnate.

Crucial to this argument is the resurrection of Christ, and Pannenberg went to great lengths to show that it was a historical event.  He also calls it a mystery, but when I asked him about using that term, he explained that he had in mind the fact that ultimately the very natures of death and life are mysterious to us. He did not mean to whittle back on the historicity of the resurrection.  That assertion caused a bit of consternation among the Bultmannians in the audience.

Now, the crucial term to understand Pannenberg’s theology is “proleptic.”  That term means that something is not yet here, but we are already benefiting from it.  Thus, Pannenberg argued that the Kingdom of God is not yet here, but it is already present among us proleptically, as guaranteed by the resurrection.  How is this different from what [Jurgen] Moltmann was saying?, you might ask.  Pannenberg does not resort to equivocal language.  In keeping with the Scotist roots to which we alluded above, the hope to which he refers has actual biblical content.

The posts are nice, short summaries of the theologians’ most important ideas and writings.

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  1. Pingback: Sensus Divinitatis News - Blog Series on Twentieth-Century Theologians

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