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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Dogmatic truth claims historically played a decisive role in shaping the identities of the various branches and denominations of Christianity. The demise of traditional metaphysics through the rise of modern epistemologies during the Enlightenment led to reformulations of ecclesiology in the nineteenth century. This chapter offers a selective survey of these reformulations. Under Kant’s shadow, Schleiermacher and Hegel defended the right-of-residence of the Church in this world while concurring that doctrinal truth claims could no longer be considered the ground and purpose of the Church. Another reactionary strand of nineteenth-century ecclesiology, evident in the Oxford Movement and Vatican I, responded to the onslaught of modern incredulities towards ecclesial dogmas by attempting to restore the primacy of theological ontology over epistemology.

Keywords: Church, dogma, Enlightenment, ontology and epistemology, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schleiermacher, G. W. F. Hegel, Oxford Movement, Vatican I

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