Thursday, April 16, 2015

Augmented Salvation History Feedback

In my discussion with my PhD advisor WW regarding the proposed theological chapter, WW pointed out that salvation history needs to be conceptualized as an eschatological event that has a telos, but no architecture that can be described. The realization of that eschatological event is within the world and is also within the believer, and takes place in the hic et nunc. This context of edification (oikodome) however cannot be integrated into World History, though the experience of the individual is capable of criticising World History and vice versa.

I have been able to reproduce almost the entirety of that argument from the discussion of Rudolf Bultmann with his colleagues in the after-math of his Entmythologisierungsaufsatz; cf. my recent series on demythologizing (Part 1,  Reply section in Part 2Part 6).

Bultmann famously combines crucifixion and resurrection into a single eschatological event, which is the only proper element of a salvation history. A salvation history of one event is however such a degenerate case that any potential architecture of salvation history is lost, but the telos of salvation in history remains. Because the individual encounters the risen Christ in the kerygma of the congregation, this is both in the world and private to the believer. Especially in his reply to Schumann (p.200) Bultmann emphasizes both this hic et nunc, as well as reminds the reader that the individual events do not permit objective historical verification (p.205). This in consequence means that the integration into World History will not succeed, which requires such objective historical verification.

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