This book provides a new approach to Albrecht Ritschl’s theology. Leif Svensson argues that Ritschl’s theological project must be related to three cultural developments – historical criticism, materialism, and anti-Lutheran polemics – and understood in the context of the de-Christianization of the Bildungsbürgertum in nineteenth-century Germany.
“Albrecht Ritschl remains the great unknown of nineteenth-century theology. In this important study, Leif Svensson sheds new light on Ritschl’s thought by relating it to contemporaneous social and cultural developments. Rooted in deep familiarity with German intellectual life of the time, the book convincingly illustrates the value of a history of theology that is mindful of its various contexts.” – Johannes Zachhuber University of Oxford
“I confess I was hesitant to blurb a book on Ritschl, but then I read it. Svensson’s well researched presentation of Ritschl’s thought is compelling and forceful. I highly recommend this book.” – Stanley Hauerwas Duke Divinity School
“Svensson’s work ably places Ritschl’s contribution to theology in the broader context of the intellectual and cultural history of the nineteenth century. Students of Protestant theology and thought and all interested in the complex relationship between Christian theology and modernity will learn something of value from this important study.” – Thomas Albert Howard Valparaiso University