FERDINAND CHRISTIAN BAUR: On the Writing of Church History by Peter C. Hodgson

FERDINAND CHRISTIAN BAUR: On the Writing of Church History

Email this review


The subject of this scholarly and technical monograph is a German theologian and church historian of the mid-nineteenth century, a controversial figure widely known in Germany during his lifetime, but largely unknown here. The author, translator, and editor's purpose is to introduce American theologians and historians to Baur's thought. He does so by offering an erudite introductory essay, in which Baur's connections with Hegel and others are identified, and the impact of his approach to church history and dogma is outlined. The essential problem with which Baur was concerned was that of understanding how ""what has objectively taken place"" can become ""subjectively known."" The ramifications of this problem affect not only the writing of church history but the hermeneutics of the New Testament and the interpretation of dogma as well. The larger part of the volume is given to two important works by Baur, the first on ""Epochs of Church Historiography,"" which gives a methodological prolegomena to Baur's massive History of the Christian Church; and the second, the introduction to his Lectures on the History of Christian Doctrine. The present interest in hermeneutics will make this treatise welcome to theologians, scholars, and other religious students.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Oxford