Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.589477
Title: The dialectic of law and gospel in Emil Brunner's earlier theology
Author: Gilland, David Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
The thesis begins by pointing to both the justification and necessity of rendering an account of Emil Brunner's earlier theology from the standpoint of his dialectic of law and gospel. In addition, it mentions the current state of Brunner studies and addresses other research aware of the role of law and gospel in Brunner's theology. The first section of the Chapter One provides a detailed reading of several of Brunner's earlier works, specifically locating his earliest theological writing within the broader philosophical debate between Swiss religious socialism and theological liberalism, capitalism, and materialistic philosophy on the one hand, and against idealist philosophy and intellectualism on the other. The second section follows the development of Brunner's early doctrine of the law in direct contrast to modern theology, focusing specifically on Brunner's doctoral thesis, Das Symbolische in der religiösen Erkenntnis (1914); his Habilitation, Erlebnis, Erkenntnis und Glaube (1921); and his first major book, Die Mystik und das Wort (1924), on Schleiermacher. The chapter concludes by examining Brunner's early relationship with Barth, and demonstrates Brunner's attempt to apply the same critique to both Barth and Schleiermacher. In essence, Brunner asserts that both theologians foster an imbalance between law and gospel: Schleiermacher, by surpassing the ‘legal' limits of human theoretical and moral reason, and Barth, by obviating the law from the standpoint of divine revelation and violating the ‘limits of humanity' from the other side. Chapter Two provides a detailed reading of a variety of Brunner's essays from the early to mid 1920s, including “Die Grenzen der Humanität” (1922), “Gesetz und Offenbarung” (1925) and “Philosophie und Offenbarung” (1925). The material selected for this chapter, representing Brunner's two inaugural lectures at the Universi Chapter Two provides a detailed reading of a variety of Brunner's essays from the early to mid 1920s, including “Die Grenzen der Humanität” (1922), “Gesetz und Offenbarung” (1925) and “Philosophie und Offenbarung” (1925). The material selected for this chapter, representing Brunner's two inaugural lectures at the University of Zürich, his first article for Zwischen den Zeiten and other important occasions, centers on Brunner's dialectic of law and revelation, and further explicates his decisive adoption of Kantian critical idealism as a necessary companion to theology through its establishment of the ‘limits of humanity.' This chapter also examines Brunner's emphasis on the unity of theoretical and moral reason, the existential primacy of moral reason, as well as revelation's role as the end and fulfillment of theoretical and moral reason. The material demonstrates that Brunner develops a two-fold meaning for the law, and uses the law-revelation dialectic to emphasize the necessity of the unity of iv revelation and justification, and the ‘delimitation' of special revelation by means of general revelation. Chapter Three begins with a detailed reading of the role of law and gospel in “Die andere Aufgabe der Theologie” (1929) and uses this essay as an interpretive basis for viewing Brunner's eristic and dogmatic theology in the late 1920s. The analysis monitors how Brunner uses eristic theology to reckon with philosophy, ethics, and religions, as well as giving a detailed basis for Brunner's position on law and revelation in the Old Testament. Using the pattern of Christ's end and fulfillment of the law, Brunner demonstrates how revelation achieves the end and fulfillment of philosophy, ethics and religion. The chapter continues by examining key aspects of Brunner's earliest dogmatic theology in The Mediator (1927), specifically his treatment of the atoning work of Christ in relation to the The Fourth Chapter provides a careful reading of Brunner's text, Nature and Grace (1934), with help from The Divine Imperative (1932) and Man in Revolt (1937), and concludes that the counter-theses Brunner draws up against Barth are derived from his account of the role of the law as presupposition to the gospel, which he believes Barth has abandoned—a point he later finds explicitly confirmed by Barth's essay, “Gospel and Law” (1935). The chapter suggests, therefore, that it is Brunner's intention to preserve a dialectic of nature and grace against Barth, not to render an independent ‘natural theology.'
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Mountain View United Methodist Church ; Kingsport ; Tenn. ; Foundation for Theological Education ; Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme ; University of Aberdeen ; College of Arts and Social Sciences
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.589477  DOI: Not available
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