Part of a array onProtestantism

Neo-orthodoxy, in Christianity, also famous as theology of crisis and dialectical theology,[1][2] was a theological transformation grown in the emanate of the First World War. The transformation was mostly a greeting opposite doctrines of 19th-century magnanimous divinity and a reevaluation of the teachings of the Reformation.[3]Karl Barth is the heading figure compared with the movement. In the U.S., Reinhold Niebuhr was a heading exponent of neo-orthodoxy.[4]

A identical pretension has been given to the separate Eastern Orthodox divinity of Christos Yannaras, John Zizioulas and John Romanides.


Neo-orthodoxy strongly emphasises the explanation of God by God as the source of Christian doctrine.[5] In contrariety healthy theology, whose proponents embody Thomas Aquinas, states that believe of God can be gained through a multiple of courtesy of inlet and tellurian reason; this emanate stays a argumentative subject within some circles of Christianity to this day.[6]

Barth totally rejects healthy theology. As Thomas Torrance wrote: “So distant as theological calm is concerned, Barth’s evidence runs like this. If the God whom we have indeed come to know through Jesus Christ really is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in his possess almighty and volume Being, then what are we to make of an eccentric healthy divinity that terminates, not on the Being of the Triune God—i.e., on God as he really is in himself—but on some Being of God in general? Natural divinity by a very operation abstracts the existence of God from his act, so that if it does not start with deism, it imposes deism on theology.”[7]

Emil Brunner, on the other hand, believed that healthy divinity still had an important, nonetheless not decisive, role. This led to a pointy feud between the two men, the first of several controversies that prevented the transformation from appropriation a unified, comparable character.

Transcendence of God[edit]

Most neo-orthodox thinkers stressed the transcendence of God. Barth believed that the importance on the immanence of God had led tellurian beings to suppose God to volume to zero more than amiability command large. He stressed the “infinite qualitative distinction” between the tellurian and the divine, a reversal to comparison Protestant teachings on the inlet of God and a come-back opposite the egghead birthright of philosophical idealism. This led to a ubiquitous devaluation of philosophical and psychic approaches to the faith, nonetheless some thinkers, particularly Paul Tillich, attempted a median course between despotic transcendence and ontological research of the tellurian condition, a mount that caused a serve multiplication in the movement.


Some of the neo-orthodox theologians made use of existentialism. Rudolf Bultmann (who was compared with Barth and Brunner in the 1920s in particular) was strongly shabby by his former co-worker at Marburg, the German existentialist philosopher Martin Heidegger.
Reinhold Niebuhr and (to a obtuse extent, and mostly in his progressing writings) Karl Barth, on the other hand, were shabby by the papers of the 19th-century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard was a censor of the then-fashionable magnanimous Christian modernist bid to “rationalise” Christianity—to make it savoury to those whom Friedrich Schleiermacher termed the “cultured despisers of religion”. Instead, underneath pseudonyms such as Johannes Climacus, Kierkegaard confirmed that Christianity is “absurd” (i.e., it transcends tellurian understanding) and presents the particular with enigmatic choices. The preference to turn a Christian, Kierkegaard thought, is not essentially receptive but passional—a jump of faith. Opponents of Kierkegaard’s proceed and neo-orthodoxy in ubiquitous have termed this fideism, a blatant refusal to find support for the faith outward a possess circles.[clarification needed] For the most part, proponents respond that no such support exists, that ostensible reasons and evidences for faith are fabrications of depressed tellurian imagination, and in outcome consecrate idolatry. Some neo-orthodox proponents have left so distant as to explain larger affinity with atheists in that courtesy than with the theological and informative accoutrements of ostensible “Christendom”,[citation needed] which Kierkegaard venomously denounced in his after works. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “religionless Christianity” and the after physical divinity simulate identical conclusions.)

Sin and tellurian nature[edit]

In neo-orthodoxy, impiety is seen not as small blunder or ignorance; it is not something that can be overcome by reason or amicable institutions (e.g., schools); it can only be overcome by the beauty of God through Jesus Christ. Sin is seen as something bad within tellurian inlet itself.[8] This amounts to a restoration of chronological teachings about original impiety (especially sketch on Augustine of Hippo), nonetheless thinkers generally avoided debate interpretations of it and element elaborations about sum depravity. The means of ostensible delivery of sin, to neo-orthodox minds, is not as vicious as a pervasive reality. The organisation of original impiety with sexuality—an abiding idea—leads to moralism, a rightness that is overly confident about tellurian capabilities to conflict the energy of incredulity and insubordination in all areas of life, not just passionate behavior. This core self-assurance about the wholeness and intransigence of impiety has elements of determinism, and has not surprisingly annoyed those who think people are capable, unconditionally or in part, of fulfilment their possess shelter (i.e., synergism). In other words, neo-orthodoxy might be pronounced to have a larger appreciation of tragedy in tellurian existence than presumably conservatism or liberalism, a point emphasized by a latter-day interpreter of the movement, Canadian clergy Douglas John Hall.

Relation to other theologies[edit]

Neo-orthodoxy is graphic from both magnanimous Protestantism and evangelicalism, but, notwithstanding some interpreters, it can't scrupulously be deliberate a mediating position between the two. Neo-orthodoxy draws from several Protestant heritages (primarily Lutheran and Calvinist) in an try to rehabilitate convictions outward the restraints of Enlightenment thought. Unlike confessionalist or fundamentalist reactions to renegade approaches to the faith, however, neo-orthodox adherents saw no value in rehabilitating tradition for a possess sake. Past Protestant doctrine is used only to the grade that it affirms the vital Word of God in Jesus Christ. Propositions in and of themselves, presumably from the Bible or not, are, to the neo-orthodox, deficient to build divinity upon. Also, in the office of amicable justice, egghead freedom, and honesty, the neo-orthodox, distinct the conservatives they were indicted by detractors of resembling, mostly made unsentimental alliances with liberals. Both groups common a low feeling to authoritarianism of any kind, in both church and state.

The extent of the tenure neo-orthodox, though, has led to a abandonment as a useful classification, generally after new emphases in mainline Protestant divinity seemed during the 1960s. These enclosed the “Death of God” movement, which pounded the linguistic and informative foundations of all prior theology, and a renovation of seductiveness among Biblical scholars in the “historical Jesus”, something neo-orthodox theologians mostly discharged as irrelevant to vicious Christian faith. Still, some of the movement’s positions and worldviews would surprise such after movements as ransom divinity during the 1970s and 1980s and post-liberalism during the 1990s and 2000s—in annoy of theological and arguable differences from both (i.e., liberationist use of Marxist unpractical research and narrativist coherence on trait theory).

Influence on American Protestantism[edit]

From a inception, this propagandize of suspicion has mostly been unsuitable to Protestant evangelicalism, as neo-orthodoxy generally accepts biblical criticism; has remained mostly wordless on the viewed conflicts caused by evolutionary science; and, in espousing these two viewpoints, it retains at slightest some aspects of 19th-century magnanimous theology.[9] This is in gripping with a settled aim not to dedicate to specific theories of written impulse of the Bible, saying them as definitely subordinate (if vicious at all) to Jesus’ transformative life, death, and resurrection.[citation needed]

Although some evangelicals have sought a rapport with neo-orthodoxy, most particularly the Americans Donald Bloesch and Bernard Ramm, they have assured very few on presumably side that the two positions are concordant enough to form a operative relationship.[citation needed] One reason for this is that evangelicalism, in gripping with a idea to furnish acclimatisation experiences, is distant more endangered with the accessibility of a ideas to a vast audience, as opposite to the essentially educational proceed (with a importance on antithesis and irony, with a egghead difficulty) that neo-orthodoxy espouses.[citation needed] In fact, some neo-orthodox thinkers such as Reinhold Niebuhr have indicted evangelicals of over-simplifying both biblical interpretation and doctrine in sequence to tempt (or intimidate) hearers into usurpation the faith.[citation needed] Which is to say, they are charged with ignoring aspects of the Bible not immediately associated to soteriology or to personal morality, such as the prophets’ libel of Israel’s honour and devout complacency, or Paul’s bargain of people’s inability to magnitude up entirely to the standards of boundless goodness and justice.[citation needed]

The transformation was strongest in the U.S. during the mid-20th century, essentially among (1) denominations stemming from the Reformation–Presbyterianism and Lutheranism, for instance—not professing despotic confessionalism, and (2) the prototype denominations of the benefaction United Church of Christ. It was reduction successful among mainline Protestant groups with an Arminian theological orientation, such as the Methodist Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the Northern Baptists. Some pastors in these denominations opted to continue the traditions of American eremite liberalism, while others took their stands with evangelicalism.[citation needed] Generally speaking, neo-orthodoxy had a larger following among ministers than among the laiety, and within ecclesiastic ranks, essentially among theological educators.[citation needed]

Recent vicious scholarship[edit]

While some German scholars[who?] since the 1990s have warned English-speaking scholars opposite a too-serious[clarification needed] focus of neo-orthodoxy—calling it a misreading of the essay of Karl Barth,[10] who, with his predecessors and contemporaries, should be accepted in terms of chronological forces—the fact is that neo-orthodoxy was and stays a current process of scholarship.[11][clarification needed]

Important total of the movement[edit]

  • Karl Barth[1]
  • Eduard Thurneysen
  • Emil Brunner[1]
  • Rudolf Bultmann
  • Friedrich Gogarten
  • Reginald H. Fuller[12]
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer

See also[edit]

  • Christianity portal
  • Dialectic § Criticisms
  • Christian existentialism
  • Covenant theology
  • Paleo-orthodoxy
  • Orders of creation
  • Radical orthodoxy
  • Tidehverv


  1. ^ a b c “Neo-orthodoxy”. Encyclopedia Britinnica (original online ed.). Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  2. ^ “Neo-orthodoxy”. Encyclopædia Britannica (online ed.). Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  3. ^ Merriam; Webster. “Neo-orthodox”. Dictionary (online ed.). Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  4. ^ Brown, Robert McAfee (1986). “Introduction”, The Essential Reinhold Niebuhr: Selected Essays and Addresses, Yale University Press, pp. xv-xvi. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  5. ^ Meister and Stump. (2010). “Christian Thought: A Historical Introduction”. Routedge, p. 449.
  6. ^ McGrath. (2013). “Christian History: An Introduction”. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 290-292.
  7. ^ Torrance, Thomas (2001). The Ground and Grammar of Theology. Great Britain: TT Clark. p. 89. ISBN 0-567-04331-2.
  8. ^ “Neo-orthodoxy”. Atheism. About. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  9. ^ Encyclopedia Americana, 22, 2002, pp. 691–92.
  10. ^ McCormack 1995, pp. 24–25.
  11. ^ Bromiley 2000, p. ix.
  12. ^ Douglas Martin, 2007. “Reginald H. Fuller, 92, New Testament Scholar, Dies,” The New York Times, Apr 14.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bromiley, Geoffrey W (2000), An Introduction to the Theology of Karl Barth, Continuum International, ISBN 0-567-29054-9.
  • Busch, E (1976). Karl Barth: His Life from Letters and Autobiographical Texts. Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-0708-9
  • Chung, Paul S, Karl Barth: God’s Word in Action. James Clarke Co, Cambridge (2008), ISBN 978-0-227-17266-7
  • Ford, D (2005). The Modern Theologians, 3rd ed. Blackwell ISBN 1-4051-0277-2
  • Goering, Timothy. “System der Käseplatte. Aufstieg und Fall der Dialektischen Theologie”, in: Journal for the History of Modern Theology / Zeitschrift für Neuere Theologiegeschichte, 24.1 (2017), S. 1-50 (doi:10.1515/znth-2017-0001)
  • Hall, DJ (1998) Remembered Voices: Reclaiming the Legacy of “Neo-Orthodoxy”. Louisville, Westminster John Knox. ISBN 0-664-25772-0
  • Hauerwas, S (2001). With the Grain of the Universe: The Church’s Witness and Natural Theology. Grand Rapids, Brazos Press. ISBN 1-58743-016-9
  • Hordern, William. (1959). The Case for a New Reformation Theology. Philadelphia, Westminster Press.
  • McCormack, B (1995), Karl Barth’s Critically Realistic Dialectical Theology, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-826337-6.
  • Sloan, Douglas (1994). Faith and Knowledge. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-22866-6
  • Tillich, P (1951). Systematic Theology. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
  • Tracy, D (1988). Blessed Rage for Order: The New Pluralism in Theology. San Francisco, Harper Row. ISBN 0-8164-2202-8

Authority control

Article source: