Chapter

Background

Peter Hinchliff

in God and History

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780198263333
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682483 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263333.003.0002
Background

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This chapter discusses causality in history as a central issue for theologians in the 19th century. If each historical event fits into a web of other events which together constitute both the source from which the event originates and the destination in which it finds is place, then all historical events must belong together in a direct and obvious sense. Christian faith, and therefore Christian theology, possesses a historical dimension but the historical facts to which faith is related cannot be exempted from this web of interconnection without ceasing to be real facts of history. Nineteenth-century theologians came to realize this in a way in which their predecessors had not, on the whole, perceived it. Christians had always claimed that their religion was a historical religion, but this had usually been taken to mean that it was based on actual events and facts of history as opposed to the ‘myths’ which were said to be the stuff of other religions. It had not been perceived that to make such as claim meant that Christianity was lumbered with the problems as well as the advantages of historicity; and throughout the second half of the 19th century the problem of historicity haunted the theologians.

Keywords: myth; Christian theology; causality; historicity; fact

Chapter.  11634 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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