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Ed. by Graham, Elaine / Schröder, Bernd
In cooperation with Dreyer, Jaco / Forrester, Duncan / Gräb, Wilhelm / Grethlein, Christian / Junker-Kenny, Maureen / Mette, Norbert / Miller-McLemore, Bonnie / Mullino Moore, Mary Elizabeth / Nieman, James / Osmer, Richard / Schreiter, Robert / Schweitzer, Friedrich / Kwan Un, Joon / Ven, Johannes
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Schleiermacher’s Affekt Theology
Citation Information: International Journal of Practical Theology. Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 197–216, ISSN (Print) 1430-6921, DOI: 10.1515/ijpt.2005.9.2.197, December 2005
- Published Online:
Friedrich Schleiermacher made a biological fact of the human organism a foundational fact of his practical theology. He called this fact of human nature Affekt (affect) and defined it as the physical side of spiritual life. Schleiermacher used his work on aesthetics to delineate this ‘affective’ fact of human experience. By so doing, Schleiermacher explained the foundation of his theological revolution in Protestant thought in non-theological terms.
The lack of scholarly attention to this non-theological aspect of Schleiermacher’s theological work, his Affekt Theology , has made it difficult for scholars to understand the organic, structural foundation of modern theology as established by Schleiermacher. Scholars have also mistakenly concluded that his practical theology lacks an adequate experiential component. As I demonstrate in this essay, attention to the actual affective references in Schleiermacher’s practical theology will give scholars a concrete way to describe the link between theological praxis and the organic structures of human experience.