The resurrection : aspects of its changing role in 20th century theology
This thesis deals with theologies of the Resurrection in the twentieth century. We have chosen for study seven major theologians whose work reflects significant achievement in this area. We begin with a look at 'dialectical' theologians Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann and deal with their debate on the nature and meaning of the Resurrection. Because of their importance to theology they are dealt with extensively. From there we move on to the contemporary theologians of 'hope, ' Jürgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg, before completing our research with a chapter on the Catholic theologians Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx, and Hans Küng. It was our purpose initially (and we hope we have been consistent throughout) to give a well-rounded purview, and thus a fairer criticism, of each theology. Yet into the research it seemed obvious that a consistent major concern of each theologian centered on how one comes to faith in such a unique event. It was certainly at the core of the Barth-Bultmann debate and remains crucial. Thus it may be stated that the concerns which receive the primacy in this work are those discussions in our theologies which deal with the nature of the Resurrection, its status as an event of history, and its ability to be proved and thus believed as other events of history are proved and believed. We ultimately conclude that the most satisfactory entry into faith in the Resurrection is through a juxtaposing of the work of Wolfhart Pannenberg and Hans Küng. The focus of the paper is changed in the second half of the Conclusion as we suggest what course studies on the Resurrection might take in the future. Here we find the perspective of Jewish New Testament theologian Pinchas Lapide to be most provocative and speculate on the possibilities that the Resurrection might hold for Jewish-Christian relations.