An Existentialist Theology: A Comparison of Heidegger and Bultmann


Only a short generation ago it was still customary for theological thinking to be carried out within the framework of avowedly philosophical concepts, and philosophical theology was a fairly well-defined genre within the whole field of theology. The great work of nineteenth-century theology was carried out for the most part by scholars who had undergone intensive training in the idealist movement in philosophy. It is no derogation of the achievement of that time to say that this simple conjunction of two disciplines is no longer possible today. Many things have contributed so to change the picture of the work which theologians and philosophers have to do that it seems to be not so much a modified picture as an entirely new one. The strong blasts of positive and empirical dogmatic theology blowing down from Switzerland upon Europe and America, the immense changes which have overtaken philosophy, especially in Britain, so that the very ways of thinking seem to have altered, and the changes which have taken place in the world in which we all live--have all contributed to bring about this revolution. We live in a post-liberal, post-idealist, atomic age in theology. Philosophy and theology alike are being compelled to face their traditional problems in such a radical way that the question even arises: are our traditional problems the real ones?

In this situation, it seems possible, however risky, to attempt a new facing of the problems of living in the mid- century world, not in the strength of isolated disciplines, but in a meeting of those disciplines on the common ground offered by our life in this world. The present Library of Philosophy and Theology, therefore, desires to offer a meeting-place for the thought of contemporary theologians and philosophers, Continental and Anglo-Saxon, yet without . . .

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