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Open Theology

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Election in Christ in Schleiermacher’s Christian Faith and Christian Ethics

Kevin Vander Schel
Published Online: 2015-09-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2015-0017

Abstract

Schleiermacher’s treatment of election criticizes the narrow focus on individual salvation and emphasizes the primacy of divine grace. Yet more than merely offering a revision of this controversial doctrine, Schleiermacher’s position illuminates the larger correlation of grace, history, and soteriology in his theology. This essay examines Schleiermacher’s novel understanding of grace and history by attending to the subtle theme of the “supernatural-becoming-natural” in his thought. In contrast to rationalist and supernaturalist theologies in his day, his Christian Faith and Christian Ethics offer a historically-minded treatment that focuses on the original instance of grace in history: the appearance of the redeemer. Schleiermacher depicts the relatively supernatural influence of Christ as transforming the natural and historical world from within, drawing creation to its divinelyordained completion. This dynamic highlights Schleiermacher’s work as an innovative contribution to ongoing discussions of grace and redemption in modern and contemporary systematic theology.

Keywords: Systematic Theology; Christology; Grace and History; Redemption; Nature and the Supernatural

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About the article


Received: 2015-07-22

Accepted: 2015-09-17

Published Online: 2015-09-24


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 1, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2015-0017.

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©2015 Kevin Vander Schel. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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