Sarah Coakley

in Christ without Absolutes

Published in print November 1994 | ISBN: 9780198263746
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682643 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks


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The problem of Christian faith's relation to history is a profound one which exercises all thinking Christian believers. However, the issues at stake are complex. There is of course the perennial debate about how much one can verify historically about Jesus, and what part that historical data should play in any doctrine of Christ. There are also more searching and radical philosophical questions: about the nature and corrigibility of any historical knowledge, and about the possibly time-bound quality of Jesus himself. Meanwhile, Ernst Troeltsch was a polymathic figure: philosopher, historian, sociologist, politician, and theologian. He is chiefly remembered in theological circles for his assiduous study of the effects of a ‘modern’ historical outlook upon Christian dogmatic claims, his commitment thereby to a form of ‘historical relativism’, and his search for a fruitful rapprochement between theology and the emerging social sciences.

Keywords: Christian faith; Jesus; Christology; Ernst Troeltsch; relativism; incarnation

Chapter.  1523 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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