It’s The Anniversary of Schleiermacher’s Birth

F.D.E. Schleiermacher was born on 21 Nov, 1768.  There’s a nicely done bio at that link.  What’s even more interesting, though, is the schleiermacherfact that Emil Brunner loathed him.  Absolutely loathed him.  At one point he was so disgusted by his ‘theology’ (Brunner would have used scare quotes too) that he piled every Schleiermacher volume in his library in the yard and burned them.

my copy of the first edition of Brunner's book

my copy of the first edition of Brunner’s book

Indeed, Brunner’s most scathing book, Die Mystik und das Wort: Der Gegensatz zwischen moderner Religionsauffassung und christlichem Glauben dargestellt an der Theologie Schleiermachers, takes him to task for his mysticism and his willingness to preach to Christians a false gospel.

To put it in other tersm- Brunner felt about Schleiermacher the way Paul felt about the Judaizers. Brunner wouldn’t celebrate Schleiermacher but he did interact with him. Because he had to. Fortunately, we’ve moved along far enough that we needn’t.

[By the way, Karl Barth was more fond of Scheleirmacher than Brunner was.  A portrait of S. hung on the wall behind Barth’s desk alongside a reproduction of part of the Isenheim Altarpiece.]

2 thoughts on “It’s The Anniversary of Schleiermacher’s Birth

  1. “In On Religion he is skeptical about the ideas of God and human immortality altogether, arguing that the former is merely optional (to be included in one’s religion or not depending on the nature of one’s imagination), and that the latter is positively unacceptable. Moreover, he diagnoses the modern prevalence of such religious ideas in terms of the deadening influence exerted by modern bourgeois society and state-interference in religion. He reconciles this rather startling concession to the skeptics with his ultimate goal of defending religion by claiming that such ideas are inessential to religion.”

    Well, now I know what that was all about.


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