Existence and Faith: Shorter Writings of Rudolf Bultmann

Existence and Faith: Shorter Writings of Rudolf Bultmann

Existence and Faith: Shorter Writings of Rudolf Bultmann

Existence and Faith: Shorter Writings of Rudolf Bultmann

Excerpt

The purpose of this book, as is more fully explained in the Introduction, is to give a representative selection of Rudolf Bultmann's shorter writings. The volume includes at least one work from each of the five decades of his scholarly career; and the variety of the writings presented, in both type and content, is virtually as great as that of his own authorship. Thus it is to be hoped that the book as a whole will contribute significantly to the more adequate understanding and critical appropriation of his achievement on the part of English- speaking readers.

As regards the translation, the reader will note that I have followed the precedent set by John Macquarrie's An Existentialist Theology (1955) in not translating the German word "existentiell" in either its adjectival or adverbial employments. Since this word, like its related but carefully distinguished counterpart "existential," is used by Bultmann as a terminus technicus and, moreover, can be translated only by either obscuring its distinction from "existential" or entailing the use of awkward English equivalents for the latter, this has seemed to be the best course. The general sense of the term, as is usually made clear by the context, is "that which has to do with the individual's own unique situation and responsibility," though the reader will doubtless also want to refer to Bultmann's own clarifications in Jesus Christ and Mythology (1958), pp. 66 and 74. I have likewise accepted the suggestion of Kendrick Grobel (cf. Theology of the New Testament, I [1951], 253 n.) and made use of the obsolete Middle English verb "rightwise" to translate the German verb "rechtfertigen" in the few instances in which it occurs. It will also be noted . . .

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