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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Most nineteenth-century Christians continued to take the divinity of Christ for granted, but, following the Enlightenment challenge to biblical and ecclesiastical authority and the rise of historical consciousness, the focus of theologians shifted to his humanity. Schleiermacher shared the rationalist rejection of supernaturalism and was critical of Chalcedon’s ‘two natures’ conceptuality but defended the divinity of Christ in terms of his perfect humanity. His presentation depended on the substantial historicity of the Fourth Gospel which was undermined by subsequent historical criticism. Strauss separated belief in divine immanence from the historical figure. Others built their historical sense into incarnational theologies, but following Renan (1863) lives of Jesus could scarcely acknowledge his divinity. The erosion of scriptural authority was widely contested and orthodox reactions reaffirmed the dogma. That pointed ahead to more recent attempts to integrate tradition and modernity rather than choosing between them.

Keywords: Friedrich Schleiermacher, F. C. Baur, D. F. Strauss, Albrecht Ritschl, Wilhelm Herrmann, Martin Kähler, Incarnation, kenoticism, liberal Protestantism, historical Jesus

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