Chapter

‘No Historical Knowledge…’

Murray A. Rae

in Kierkegaard's Vision of the Incarnation

Published in print December 1997 | ISBN: 9780198269403
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683633 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269403.003.0013
‘No Historical Knowledge…’

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Climacus contends that just as speculative enquiry and poetical venture cannot give access to the Truth, neither can historical enquiry provide any foundation and basis from which an individual may build a relation with God. This view provides a puzzling situation in which it is claimed that a particular event in human history is decisive for faith, and yet no amount of historical investigation in respect to that event will produce any advantage for the person who seeks to achieve faith. This chapter aims to ascertain whether Climacus can consistently hold both claims to be true. In this chapter, the nature of Climacus' debate that historical enquiry could pose threats to faith, his contemporary views on Christianity and faith, and his contention of how much historical enquiry is enough are analyzed. The chapter also includes a discussion on the positive estimation of historical scholarship. Although Climacus contends that historical enquiry can be harmful to faith, he does not suggest it must be.

Keywords: historical enquiry; faith; history; historical scholarship; Christianity

Chapter.  12746 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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