Christian Faith is one of the most important works of Christian theology ever written. The author, known as the “father of theological liberalism,” correlates the entirety of Christian doctrine to the human experience of and consciousness of God. A work of exhaustive scholarship written in deep sympathy with the ministry of congregations and church bodies, Christian Faith has inspired admiration and debate from all quarters of the Christian family since its first publication in 1821.
This is the first full translation of Schleiermacher’s Christian Faith since 1928 and the first English-language critical edition ever. Edited by top Schleiermacher scholars, this edition includes extensive notes that detail changes Schleiermacher made to the text and explain references that may be unfamiliar to contemporary readers. Employing shorter sentences and more careful tracking of vocabulary, the editors have crafted a translation that is significantly easier to read and follow. Anyone who wishes to understand theology in the modern period will find this an indispensable resource.
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“themselves have already acted but not in the same way to children and not at all to the unborn” (Page 428)
“The whole concept of divine omnipotence seems most badly endangered, however, when an ‘active’ and an ‘inactive’ divine will and a ‘free’ and a ‘necessary’ divine will are placed over against each other.” (Page 312)
“since it is eternal and omnipresent, is set in contrast to all finite causality” (Page 305)
“we cannot apply in the very same way the notion of original sin” (Page 434)
“an inclusive solidarity18 of all times and places” (Page 429)
This translation of Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Christian Faith is a stunning achievement. It is now not only the definitive edition of this work but the standard for all future Schleiermacher translations. Christian Faith is the most famous theological text of the past two hundred years. The translation, grounded in the translators’ deep learning, renders Schleiermacher’s text in language that speaks with immediacy and clarity to contemporary theological questions and concerns. The translation is so beautiful and faithful that I swear I heard Schleiermacher’s own voice speaking through the text!
—Christine Helmer, Arthur E. Andersen Teaching and Research Professor, Professor of Religious Studies and German, Northwestern University
What a tremendous contribution to twenty-first-century Friedrich Schleiermacher research and studies. This is the ultimate English translation of one of the most important dogmatic presentations of Christian faith and witness in history. The editorial notes, interpretative nuances, and language clarity are a real gift for current and future Schleiermacher scholarship.
—Dumas A. Harshaw Jr., Shaw University Divinity School
Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), often called the father of modern theology, was a German philosopher and one of the greatest Protestant theologians of the 19th century. He is often regarded as the father of modern hermeneutics, i.e. the science of interpreting the Bible, and known for his many other works in the area of systematic theology. Otto Weber states that, “Retrospectively, the dogmatics of the 19th century can be understood essentially as the direct, indirect, or negatively received influence of the theology of Friedrich Daniel Schleiermacher, one of the most powerful personalities in all of church history, in some ways comparable with Augustine.”