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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In their Christological response to Schleiermacher. Pannenberg, Bulgakov, and Balthasar each attempt to appropriate Schleiermacher’s response to Lessing’s ditch while rejecting his take on Chalcedon. Schleiermacher’s solution to Lessing’s ditch was to put forward a ‘closed’ ellipse between person and community, floating ‘above’ history and yet not touching the transcendental. Pannenberg appropriates this through his notion of God’s self-revelation, Bulgakov through his understanding of sophiology, and Balthasar through the radiant quality of beauty. When it comes to Chalcedon, Schleiermacher decided in favour of the idea of God-consciousness as the placeholder for what previously was understood as a dyophysite nature. Pannenberg attempts to pierce Schleiermacher’s immanentism with the idea that God has elected to reveal himself in the resurrected Jesus, whereas Bulgakov’s attempt takes place through the presence of Divine Sophia within the man Jesus, and Balthasar’s with the eternal son’s mission from the Father.

Keywords: Christology, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Sergius Bulgakov, Hans Urs von Balthasar, self-revelation, sophiology, mission, Chalcedon

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