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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that Lessing’s ditch established the standard for eighteenth-century Christology. By separating the transcendental and the categorical, the Jesus of history was separated from the Christ of faith and all claims about Jesus were restricted to an immanentist sphere. The result is the total separation of Christology from the doctrine of God. Nineteenth-century Christology could be seen as various attempts to resolve the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the transcendental and the categorical. The main solution to this Enlightenment challenge comes from Schleiermacher—but his solution comes at a high price. With one strike, he responds to Lessing and rejects Chalcedon. Schleiermacher becomes the transposition of Lessing’s challenge within theology. Theologians either accept the loss of Chalcedon or must rethink Christology after Schleiermacher. The fate of Chalcedon—and with it, the full meaning that God saves in Jesus―now largely rests with engaging Schleiermacher.

Keywords: Christology, G. E. Lessing, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Enlightenment, Chalcedon

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