Chapter

Historical Method and the Reality of Christ

Avery Cardinal Dulles

in Church and Society

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228621
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236619 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823228621.003.0008
Historical Method and the Reality of             Christ

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The quest of the historical Jesus began in the eighteenth century as a fierce attack on the Christ of faith. Throughout the nineteenth century its aim was to establish another Christ to replace the Christ of dogma. This chapter discusses four approaches taken in the quest of the historical Jesus. According to the first position, history is antithetical to faith. The quest of the historical Jesus arose from hostility to dogma. The second major position maintains that history and faith, if each keeps within its legitimate sphere, can neither confirm nor contradict each other. According to the third major position, history is the ground of faith. That is to say, historical investigation establishes rational foundations for the commitment of Christian faith. The fourth major position holds that Christian faith comes from God's revealing word as conveyed by the testimony of the Church—the Gospels.

Keywords: Gospels; Jesus; separation; history; Christian faith

Chapter.  5257 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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