European Literature and Theology in the Twentieth Century: Ends of Time

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  • Ends of Time.

WWI was a turning point as it put an end to optimism and confidence in progress and human abilities. Many a theologian deemed trying to link culture and gospel an error. The gospel in fact interpellates, questions and endangers human realisations. There were several trends in the movement. The prevailing one was represented by the Swiss Karl Barth who wrote extensively, in quantity and quality.

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His definite opposition to Nazism also weighed in his favour. Oscar Cullmann deemed the History of salvation the key notion in the New Testament — the revelation is not just part of History, but History itself.


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Other trends and theologians were marginalised over that period, such as the poorly accepted research on the New Testament and on ethics performed by Albert Schweitzer For instance the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer , imprisoned by the Nazis, were studied. In their opinion the core of the gospel holds a call for a thoroughly human life and not a statement of a transcendent God. According to Rudolf Bultmann the New Testament was based on the mythological categories of the antique world, quite different from ours.

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The essence of the evangelical message should be discovered through this outdated mythology. The works of Paul Tillich were translated into French. He sought to associate philosophy with theology but not to interweave them.

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While claiming the respective autonomy of the gospel and of the culture, he tried to link them. The liberation theology from South America, was introduced and supported in France by Georges Casalis , who pleaded in favour of basing theological thought on actual experience rather than on a priori doctrines. Contextualised theologies took into account the various cultures, be they African, Caribbean, Oceanic…as well as everyday conditions of women, urban living, occidental secularisation, economic swindling.

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Hell and madness are never far away, yet the refiguration of time and the breaking in of the transcendent continue to suggest theological possibilities beyond the wastelands of the twentieth century. To those possibilities we look in hope.

European Literature and Theology in the Twentieth Century: Ends of Time

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tentmobilja.cf Buy eBook. Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book The central themes of this collection of essays are the mystery of time past, present and future, and the problem of redemption.

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