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Rudolf Bultmann
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Wiefelstede, German Empire}}1976308df=y}}| death_place = Marburg, West Germany| death_cause = | residence = | occupation = Helene Feldmann1973|end=died}}| children = | parents =| relatives =| awards = | alma_mater = University of Marburg1a1=Bultmann 2a1=Porter 2p=58}}| thesis_year = 1910| school_tradition = Dialectical theology| doctoral_advisor = Johannes Weiss| academic_advisors = Karl Barth{{sfnm 1y=2015b 2a1=Wildman Hermann Gunkel{{sfn1985 Adolf von Harnack{{sfn1985 Martin Heidegger Wilhelm Herrmann{{sfn>Hobbsp=63}} Wilhelm Heitmüller{{sfn>Wildman Adolf Jülicher{{sfn1985 Martin Kähler{{sfnm 1y=2015a 2a1=Dorrien 2p=49 3y=2005 Rudolf Otto{{sfn2018}} Friedrich Schleiermacher{{sfn>Jensenpp=136–138}} Johannes Weiss{{sfnm >1a1=Hobbs 1p=63 2y=2018}}}}| era = Theology | biblical studies}}| sub_discipline = | workplaces = University of Marburg Günther Bornkamm Ernst Fuchs (theologian)>Ernst Fuchs Hans Jonas > Ernst Käsemann | Helmut Koester}}| notable_students = | main_interests = | notable_works = | notable_ideas = {{illde}}{{sfn2018}} Uta Ranke-Heinemann{{sfn>Pagliarino John Robinson (bishop of Woolwich)GEERING AUTHOR-LINK=LLOYD GEERING TITLE=THEOLOGY BEFORE AND AFTER BISHOP ROBINSON'S HONEST TO GOD PUBLISHER=SEA OF FAITH NETWORK Heinrich Schlier{{sfn2018}} John Shelby Spong{{sfn>Monk|2011}}}}| signature = }}Rudolf Karl Bultmann ({{IPA-de|ˈbʊltman|lang}}; 20 August 1884 – 30 July 1976) was a German Lutheran theologian and professor of New Testament at the University of Marburg. He was one of the major figures of early-20th-century biblical studies and a prominent voice in liberal Christianity.Bultmann is known for his belief that the historical analysis of the New Testament is both futile and unnecessary, given that the earliest Christian literature showed little interest in specific locations.{{sfn|Broadhead|2011|pp=1170–1172}} Bultmann argued that all that matters is the "thatness", not the "whatness" of Jesus,{{efn|For a similar epistemological comparison, see haeccity and quiddity.}} i.e. only that Jesus existed, preached, and died by crucifixion matters, not what happened throughout his life.{{sfnm |1a1=Borg |1y=1994 |1p=187 |2a1=Broadhead |2y=2011 |2pp=1170–1172}}Bultmann relied on demythologization, an approach interpreting the mythological elements in the New Testament existentially. Bultmann contended that only faith in the kerygma, or proclamation, of the New Testament was necessary for Christian faith, not any particular facts regarding the historical Jesus.{{sfnm |1a1=Bultmann |1y=1991 |1pp=94–95 |2a1=Cross |2a2=Livingstone |2y=2005 |2p=252}}

Background

Bultmann was born on 20 August 1884 in Wiefelstede, Oldenburg, the son of Arthur Kennedy Bultmann, a Lutheran minister.{{sfn|Dennison|2008|pp=7, 14}} He did his Abitur at the Altes Gymnasium in the city of Oldenburg, and studied theology at Tübingen. After three terms, Bultmann went to the University of Berlin for two terms, and finally to Marburg for two more terms. He received his degree in 1910{{citation needed|date=April 2018}} from Marburg with a dissertation on the Epistles of St Paul, written under the supervision of Johannes Weiss.{{sfnm |1a1=Porter |1y=2016 |1p=58 |2a1=Watson |2a2=Hauser |2y=1994 |2p=104}} After submitting a Habilitation two years later, he became a lecturer on the New Testament at Marburg.Bultmann married Helene Feldmann on 6 August 1917.{{sfn|Dennison|2008|p=101}} The couple had three daughters.{{sfn|Meier|2011|p=3}} Bultmnn's wife died in 1973.{{sfn|Dennison|2008|p=101}}After brief lectureships at Breslau and Giessen, Bultmann returned to Marburg in 1921 as a full professor, and stayed there until his retirement in 1951. From autumn 1944 until the end of the Second World War in 1945 he took into his family Uta Ranke-Heinemann, who had fled the bombs and destruction in Essen.Bultmann was a student of Hermann Gunkel, Johannes Weiss, and Wilhelm Heitmüller.{{sfn|Cross|Livingstone|2005|p=252}} His doctoral students included Hans Jonas,{{sfnm |1a1=Jonas |1y=1982 |1pp=1–2 |2a1=Markschies |2y=2014 |2p=23}} Ernst Käsemann,{{sfn|Zetterholm|2009|p=78}} Günther Bornkamm,{{sfn|Schild|2016|p=89}} Helmut Koester,{{sfn|Busse|2014|p=44}} and Ernst Fuchs. He also taught Hannah Arendt.He was a member of the Confessing Church{{sfn|Kelley|2002|p=155}} and critical towards Nazism. He spoke out against the mistreatment of Jews, against nationalistic excesses and against the dismissal of non-Aryan Christian ministers. He did not, however, speak out against "the antiSemitic[sic] laws which had already been promulgated" and he was philosophically limited in his ability to "repudiate, in a comprehensive manner, the central tenets of Nazi racism and antiSemitism[sic]."{{sfn|Kelley|2002|pp=155–156}}Bultmann became friends with Martin Heidegger who taught at Marburg for five years, and Heidegger's views on existentialism had an influence on Bultmann's thinking.{{sfn|Wood|2005|p=113}} However, Bultmann himself stated that his views could not simply be reduced to thinking in Heideggerian categories, in that "the New Testament is not a doctrine about our nature, about our authentic existence as human beings, but a proclamation of this liberating act of God."{{sfn|Labron|2011|pp=43–44}}He died on 30 July 1976 in Marburg.{{cn|date=August 2018}}

Theological approaches

Bultmann's History of the Synoptic Tradition (1921) remains highly influential as a tool for biblical research, even among scholars{{which|date=May 2016}} who reject his analyses of the conventional rhetorical pericopes (narrative units) which comprise the gospels, and the historically-oriented principles of "form criticism" of which Bultmann was the most influential exponent.According to Bultmann's definition, "[t]he aim of form-criticism [sic] is to determine the original form of a piece of narrative, a dominical saying or a parable. In the process we learn to distinguish secondary additions and forms, and these in turn lead to important results for the history of the tradition."{{sfn|Mournet|2005|p=56}}In 1941 Bultmann applied form criticism to the Gospel of John, in which he distinguished the presence of a lost Signs Gospel on which John - alone of the evangelists - depended. His monograph, Das Evangelium des Johannes, highly controversial at the time, became{{when|date=May 2016}} a milestone in research into the historical Jesus. The same year his lecture New Testament and Mythology: The Problem of Demythologizing the New Testament Message called on interpreters to replace traditional supernaturalism (demythologize) with the temporal and existential categories of Bultmann's colleague, Martin Heidegger, rejecting doctrines such as the pre-existence of Christ.{{sfn|Bultmann|2004|p=328}} Bultmann believed this endeavor would make accessible to modern audiences—already immersed in science and technology—the reality of Jesus' teachings. Bultmann thus understood the project of "demythologizing the New Testament proclamation" as an evangelical task, clarifying the kerygma, or gospel proclamation, by stripping it of elements of the first-century "mythical world picture" that had potential to alienate modern people from Christian faith:It is impossible to repristinate a past world picture by sheer resolve, especially a mythical world picture, now that all of our thinking is irrevocably formed by science. A blind acceptance of New Testament mythology would be simply arbitrariness; to make such acceptance a demand of faith would be to reduce faith to a work.{{sfn|Bultmann|1984|p=3}}Bultmann said about salvation and eternity: "As from now on there are only believers and unbelievers, so there are also now only saved and lost, those who have life and those who are in death."{{sfn|Bultmann|1971|p=155}}While Bultmann reinterpreted theological language in existential terms, he nonetheless maintained that the New Testament proclaimed a message more radical than any modern existentialism. In both the boasting of legalists "who are faithful to the law" and the boasting of the philosophers "who are proud of their wisdom", Bultmann finds a "basic human attitude" of "highhandedness that tries to bring within our own power even the submission that we know to be our authentic being".{{sfn|Bultmann|1984|p=28}} Standing against all human high-handedness is the New Testament, "which claims that we can in no way free ourselves from our factual fallenness in the world but are freed from it only by an act of God ... the salvation occurrence that is realized in Christ."{{sfn|Bultmann|1984|p=26}} Bultmann remained convinced that the narratives of the life of Jesus offered theology in story form, teaching lessons in the familiar language of myth. They were not to be excluded, but given explanation so they could be understood for today. Bultmann thought faith should become a present-day reality. To Bultmann, the people of the world appeared to be always in disappointment and turmoil. Faith must be a determined vital act of will, not a culling and extolling of "ancient proofs".Bultmann carried form-criticism so far as to call the historical value of the gospels into serious question.{{sfn|Cross|Livingstone|2005|p=252}} Some scholars, such as Craig L. Blomberg, criticized Bultmann and other critics{{which|date=May 2016}} for excessive skepticism regarding the historical reliability of the gospel narratives.{{sfn|Blomberg|1987|pp=21–25}} The full impact of Bultmann was felt with the English translation of many of his works, notably Kerygma and Mythos (1948).{{citation needed|date=August 2014}}

Selected works

  • Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition (1921, 1931)
    • History of the Synoptic Tradition, Harper San Francisco, 1976, {{ISBN|0-06-061172-3}} (seminal work on form criticism)
  • Jesus (1926)
    • Jesus and the Word, New York, London, C. Scribner’s sons, 1934, weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070302235855weblink">online
    • Jesus Christ and Mythology, Prentice Hall, 1997, {{ISBN|0-02-305570-7}}
  • Neues Testament und Mythologie (1941)
    • The New Testament and Mythology and Other Basic Writings, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1984, {{ISBN|0-8006-2442-4}}
    • Kerygma and Myth by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics (1953) London: SPCK, HarperCollins 2000 edition: {{ISBN|0-06-130080-2}}, weblink (contains the essay "The New Testament and Mythology" with critical analyses and Bultmann's response)
  • Das Evangelium des Johannes (1941)
    • The Gospel of John: A Commentary, Westminster John Knox Press, 1971, {{ISBN|0-664-20893-2}}
  • Theologie des Neuen Testaments (1948–53)
    • Theology of the New Testament: Complete in One Volume, Prentice Hall, 1970, {{ISBN|0-02-305580-4}}
  • Das Urchristentum im Rahmen der Antiken Religionen (1949)
  • Religion without Myth (coauthored with Karl Jaspers) (1954)
    • Myth & Christianity: An Inquiry Into The Possibility Of Religion Without Myth, translation 1958 by Noonday Press, Prometheus Books, 2005, {{ISBN|1-59102-291-6}}. In this dialogue with philosopher Jaspers, Jaspers first makes the case that Christianity can not be understood apart from its mythical framework, and that myth is necessary form of communication through symbol. Bultmann responds that modern scientific analysis of the text is required to separate the genuine from the miraculous claims, thereby revealing the true message.
  • History and Eschatology: The Presence of Eternity (1954–55 Gifford Lectures), Harper, 1962, Greenwood Publishers, 1975: {{ISBN|0-8371-8123-2}}

Notes

{{notelist|35em}}

References

Footnotes

{{reflist|22em}}

Bibliography

BOOK, Blomberg, Craig L., Craig Blomberg, 1987, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, Leicester, England, Inter-Varsity Press, 978-0-87784-992-6, harv
,
BOOK, Borg, Marcus J., Marcus Borg, 1994, Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship, 978-1-56338-094-5, harv
,
BOOK, Broadhead, Edwin K., 2011, Implicit Christology and the Historical Jesus, Holmén, Tom, Porter, Stanley E., Stanley E. Porter, Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus, 2, Leiden, Netherlands, Brill, 1169–1182, 978-90-04-17092-6, harv
,
BOOK, Bultmann, Rudolf, 1910, Der Stil der paulinischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe,weblink de, Göttingen, Germany, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 3 April 2018, harv
,
BOOK, Bultmann, Rudolf, {hide}long dash, |year=1971|title=The Gospel of John: A Commentary|ref=harv
{edih}
BOOK, Bultmann, Rudolf, {{long dash, |year=1984|orig-year=1941|chapter=New Testament and Mythology|editor-last=Ogden|editor-first=Schubert M.|editor-link=Schubert M. Ogden|title=New Testament and Mythology and Other Basic Writings|location=Philadelphia|publisher=Fortress Press|publication-date=1989|pages=1–43|isbn=978-0-8006-2442-2|ref=harv
}}
BOOK, Bultmann, Rudolf, {{long dash, |year=1991|chapter=Jesus and the Eschatological Kingdom|editor-last=Johnson|editor-first=Roger A.|title=Rudolf Bultmann: Interpreting Faith for the Modern Era|location=Minneapolis, Minnesota|publisher=Fortress Press|pages=91–102|isbn=978-0-8006-3402-5|ref=harv
}}
BOOK, Bultmann, Rudolf, {{long dash, |year=2004|chapter=New Testament and Mythology: The Mythological Element in the Message of the New Testament and the Problem of Its Re-Interpretation|editor-last=Evans|editor-first=Craig A.|title=The Historical Jesus: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies. Volume I: The History of the Quest: Classical Studies and Critical Questions|location=London|publisher=Routledge|pages=323–358|isbn=978-0-415-32751-0|ref=harv
}}
BOOK, Busse, Roger S., 2014, To Be Near the Fire: Demonic Possession, Risk Analysis, and Jesus' War on Satan, Eugene, Oregon, Resource Publications, 978-1-62564-811-2, harv
,
BOOK, Congdon, David W., 2015a, Rudolf Bultmann: A Companion to His Theology, Eugene, Oregon, Cascade Books, 978-1-62564-748-1, harv
,
BOOK, Congdon, David W., {hide}long dash, |year=2015b|title=The Mission of Demythologizing: Rudolf Bultmann's Dialectical Theology|location=Minneapolis, Minnesota|publisher=Fortress Press|isbn=978-1-4514-8792-3|ref=harv
{edih}
BOOK, 2005, Cross, F. L., Frank Leslie Cross, Livingstone, E. A., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, rev. 3rd, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-280290-3, harv
,
BOOK, Dennison, William D., 2008, The Young Bultmann: Context for His Understanding of God, 1884–1925, American University Studies VII: Theology and Religion, 241, New York, Peter Lang, 978-0-8204-8113-5, 0740-0446, harv
,
BOOK, Dorrien, Gary, Gary Dorrien, 2003, The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity, 1900–1950, Louisville, Kentucky, Westminster John Knox Press, 978-0-664-22355-7, harv
,
BOOK, 1985, Hobbs, Edward C., Bultmann, Retrospect and Prospect: The Centenary Symposium at Wellesley, Fortress Press, 978-0-8006-7075-7, harv
,
BOOK, Jensen, Alexander S., 2014, Divine Providence and Human Agency: Trinity, Creation and Freedom, Farnham, England, Ashgate Publishing, 978-1-4094-3530-3, harv
,
JOURNAL, Jonas, Hans, Hans Jonas, 1982, Is Faith Still Possible? Memories of Rudolf Bultmann and Reflections on the Philosophical Aspects of His Work, Harvard Theological Review, 75, 1, 1–23, 10.1017/S0017816000018186, 1475-4517, 1509661, harv
,
BOOK, Kelley, Shawn, 2002, Racializing Jesus: Race, Ideology and the Formation of Modern Biblical Scholarship, London, Routledge, 978-0-415-15402-4, harv
,
BOOK, Labron, Tim, 2011, Bultmann Unlocked, London, T&T Clark, 978-0-567-03153-2, harv
,
BOOK, Markschies, Christoph, 2014, Individuality in Some Gnostic Authors, with a Few Remarks on the Interpretation of Ptolemy's Epistula ad Florum, Torrance, Alexis, Zachhuber, Johannes, Individuality in Late Antiquity, Abingdon, England, Routledge, 2016, 11–28, 978-1-315-58841-4, harv
,
BOOK, McKnight, Scot, Scot McKnight, 2005, Jesus: Who Was He?: Introduction, Dunn, James D. G., James Dunn (theologian), McKnight, Scot, Scot McKnight, The Historical Jesus in Recent Research, Sources for Biblical and Theological Study, 10, Winona Lake, Indiana, Eisenbrauns, 271–274, 978-1-57506-100-9, harv
,
BOOK, Meier, Holger, 2011, Rudolf Bultmann und sein hermeneutischer Ansatz der Entmythologisierung als existentiale Interpretation, Rudopf Bultmann and His Hermeneutic Approach to De-Mythologization as Existential Interpretation, de, Munich, GRIN Verlag, 978-3-656-09464-7, harv
, {{self-published source|date=April 2018}}
JOURNAL, Monk, Stephanie D., 2011, An Examination of the Theology of Bishop John Shelby Spong,weblink Global Journal of Classic Theology, 9, 1, 1521-6055, 4 April 2018, harv
,
BOOK, Mournet, Terence C., 2005, Oral Tradition and Literary Dependency: Variability and Stability in the Synoptic Tradition and Q, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 195, Tübingen, Germany, Mohr Siebeck, 9783161484544, 0340-9570, harv
,
BOOK, Pagliarino, Guido, 2018, 2015, Diavolo e Demòni (un approccio storico), it, Tektime, 978-88-7304-437-6, harv
,
BOOK, Porter, Stanley E., Stanley E. Porter, 2016, When Paul Met Jesus: How an Idea Got Lost in History, New York, Cambridge University Press, 10.1017/CBO9781316422786, 978-1-107-12796-8, harv
,
JOURNAL, Schild, Maurice E., 2016, Review of Rudolf Bultmann / Günther Bornkamm: Briefwechsel, 1926–1976 Edited by Werner Zager, Lutheran Theological Review, 50, 1, 89–90, 0024-7553, harv
,
BOOK, Watson, Duane F., Hauser, Alan J., 1994, Rhetorical Criticism of the Bible: A Comprehensive Bibliography with Notes on History and Method, Biblical Interpretation Series, 4, Leiden, Netherlands, Brill, 978-90-04-09903-6, 0928-0731, harv
,
ENCYCLOPEDIA, 2018, Wildman, Wesley, Wesley Wildman, Rudolf Bultmann (1884–1976),weblink Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology, Boston, Boston University, 3 April 2018, harv
,
BOOK, Wood, Lawrence W., 2005, Theology as History and Hermeneutics: A Post-Critical Conversation with Contemporary Theology, Lexington, Kentucky, Emeth Press, 978-0-9755435-5-9, harv
,
BOOK, Zetterholm, Magnus, 2009, Approaches to Paul: A Student's Guide to Recent Scholarship, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Fortress Press, 978-0-8006-6337-7, harv
,

Further reading

BOOK, 1961, Bartsch, Hans Werner, Kerygma and Myth: A Theological Debate,weblink New York, Harper Torchbooks,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060530060721weblink">weblink 5 May 2006, 3 April 2018, Religion Online
,
BOOK, Bultmann, Rudolf, 1958, 1934, Jesus and the Word,weblink Smith, Louise Pettibone, Lantero, Erminie Huntress, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070302235855weblink">weblink 2 March 2007, 3 April 2018, Religion Online
,
BOOK, Bultmann, Rudolf, {{long dash, |year=1960|title=Existence and Faith: Shorter Writings of Rudolf Bultmann|url=https://archive.org/details/existencefaithsh00bult|url-access=limited|location=New York|publisher=Meridian Books|lccn=60006774|access-date=3 April 2018
}}
BOOK, Bultmann, Rudolf, {{long dash, |year=1962|orig-year=1955|title=History and Eschatology: The Presence of Eternity|url=https://www.giffordlectures.org/lectures/history-and-eschatology|location=New York|publisher=Harper Torchbooks|access-date=3 April 2018|via=Gifford Lectures
}}
MAGAZINE, Edwards, David L., David Edwards (priest), 1976, Rudolf Bultmann: Scholar of Faith,weblink The Christian Century, 93, 27, Chicago, 728–730, 0009-5281, 3 April 2018, Religion Online
,
BOOK, Fergusson, David, 1992, Bultmann, London, G. Chapman, 978-0-225-66626-7
,
BOOK, Fries, Heinrich, 1967, Bultmann-Barth and Catholic Theology,weblink Swidler, Leonard, Leonard Swidler, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Duquesne University Press,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060101011707weblink">weblink 1 January 2006, 3 April 2018
,
BOOK, Fuller, Reginald H., Reginald H. Fuller, 1965, The Foundations of New Testament Christology,weblink limited, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 3 April 2018
,
BOOK, Hammann, Konrad, 2013, Rudolf Bultmann: A Biography, Devenish, Philip E., Salem, Oregon, Polebridge Press, 978-1-59815-118-3
,
BOOK, Kselman, John S., Witherup, Ronald D., 1990, Modern New Testament Criticism, Brown, Raymond E., Raymond E. Brown, Fitzmyer, Joseph A., Joseph Fitzmyer, Murphy, Roland E., The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1130–1145, 978-0-13-614934-7
,
BOOK, McKnight, Edgar V., 1969, What Is Form Criticism?, Guides to Biblical Scholarship: New Testament Series, Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 714991891
,
ENCYCLOPEDIA, Moran, Seán Farrell, Rudolph Bultmann, The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing, 1
,
WEB, Smith, Mahlon H., 2018, Rudolf Karl Bultmann,weblink A Synoptic Gospels Primer: Parallel Texts in Matthew, Mark & Luke, 60769417, 3 April 2018
, {{Philosophy of religion|state=collapsed}}{{Subject bar |portal1=Bible |portal2=Biography |portal3=Lutheranism |commons=yes |commons-search=Category:Rudolf Bultmann |q=yes |d=yes |d-search=Q76327}}{{Authority control}}{{Use British English Oxford spelling|date=April 2018}}{{Use dmy dates|date=April 2018}}

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