Item description for Outlines of the History of Dogma by Adolf Harnack...
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: part t. THE RISE OF ECCLESIASTICAL DOGMA. BOOK I. THE PREPARATION. CHAPTER I. HISTORICAL SURVEY. THE first century of the existence of Gentile- Christian communities is characterized, (1) by the rapid retirement of Jewish Christianity, (2) by religious enthusiasm and the strength of the future hope, (3) by a severe morality deduced from the Masters' teaching, (4) by the manifold form and freedom of expression of belief, on the basis of plain formulas and ever increasing tradition, (5) by the lack of a definite authority, in the transition to a recognized outward authority among the churches, (G) by the lack of a political connection among the various communities, and by an organization which was firm and yet permitted individual liberty, (7) by the development of a peculiar literary activity, claiming assent to its newly produced facts, (8) by the reproduction of detached phrases and individualinferences from the apostolical teaching, without a clear understanding of the same, (9) by the cropping out of those tendencies which served in every way to hasten the process already begun of fusing the Gospel with the spiritual and religious interests of the time,with Hellenism,as well as by numerous attempts to wrench the Gospel free from its native setting and to introduce elements foreign to it. And finally, above-all, it belonged to the (Hellenic) representation to consider knowledge, not as a (charismatic) supplement to faith, but as of like essence with it. CHAPTER II. GROUND COMMON TO CHRISTIANS AND ATTITUDE TAKEN TOWARD JUDAISM. Beliefs That the great majority of Christians had com- Common mon beliefs is indicated by this fact, among others, that gnosticism was gradually expelled from the churches. Assurance of the knowledge of the true God, con...
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History of Dogma, Harnack's Ethical Task May 14, 2006
"Some will think that I have admitted too much into the book, others too little. Perhaps both are right. I can only reply that after repeated consideration and experiment I continue to be satisfied with my selection." A von Harnack
Dogma: A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church. The term dogma is often applied to teaching or set of teachings laid down by a religious group, put forward expecting they should be accepted without proof.
History of Dogma, an ethical task: In taking up a theological book we are in the habit of enquiring first of all as to the "stand-point" of the Author. In a historical work there is no room for such enquiry. The question here is, whether the Author is in sympathy with the subject about which he writes, whether he can distinguish original elements from those that are derived, whether he has a thorough acquaintance with his material, whether he is conscious of the limits of historical knowledge, and whether he is truthful. These requirements constitute the categorical imperative for the historian: but they can only be fulfilled by an unwearied self-discipline. Hence every historical study is an ethical task. The historian ought to be faithful in every sense of the word ; whether he has been so or not is the question on which his readers have to decide. (Preface)
Re-View of Christian Dogma: "The consequences of this false distinction between judgements of fact and judgements of value have proved a veritable hereditas damnosa in the subsequent theological discussion. From it springs directly the false contacts between the 'simple Gospel' of Jesus and the 'theology' of the apostolic Church. The true Gospel is regarded as consisting in the simple facts about Jesus and teachings of the historical Jesus, who can thus be objectively portrayed by modern historical research, while the interpretations of St. Paul and the other apostles may be discarded as representing values for them which are no longer values for us. Hence the Ritschlians present the history of Christian dogma as pronouncing its own condemnation in the eyes of all unprejudiced Christians people. Harnack worked out this view with massive thoroughness in the learned volumes of his History of Dogma." (By: Steve Rudd)
Veni Creator Spiritus: Jaroslav Pelikan, the eminent historian of the development of Doctrine, posts in the forefront of his first of five volumes on 'The Christian Tradition' Adolf von Harnack's epitaph, "Come Creator Spirit." He thanks Wilhelm Pauck, his Doktorvator, who was a student of Harnack, and Pelikan's own mentor. Harnack's towering scholarship, pioneering a Ritschlian view on history of Christian dogma broke the Roman Catholic monopoly on Church History. As a Lutheran he uncovered the true history of the schismatic enforcement of Leo's Tome by the Imperial consort Marcian, but limited his study which satisfies the criteria of a great book, to Christian doctrines from Constantine to Luther.
Adolf von Harnack: The premier church historian of his day(1851-1930), son of a Lutheran scholar. Harnack became the chief spokesman of liberal theology in his generation. He taught at Leipzig (1874) before becoming professor at Giessen (1879), Marburg (1886), and Berlin (1889-1921). His last appointment was challenged by the church due to Harack's doubts about the authorship of the fourth gospel. His scholarship on history of dogma made him world famous.
Harnack's Theology: In 1900 he published 'What is Christianity? which sought to discern the teachings of Jesus from the church's dogmatic proclamation. Harnack argued that Christianity was helenized in ways different fom Jesus'. He sought to strip away the husk of theology to expose the core of Jesus' teaching. Harnack believed that Jesus taught; first: the coming of God's Kingdom ; second: God the Father and His infinite value of human soul; third: the ever new commandment to love, which is to be lived out in a Social Gospel. His liberal natural interpretations of biblical miracles including the Resurrection and of Christ's institution of baptism remain controversial.
Pelikan's Testimony: Jaroslav Pelikan who has made the Christian tradition the subject of his scholarly work for more than fifty years, declares, "Adolf von Harnack, who, as the author of the greatest history of Christian doctrine ever written (completed in 1889, precisely one hundred years before I completed mine in 1989), has been my lifelong role model."