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History and Eschatology 1954–1955

D. Rudolf Bultmann

Summary

Table of Contents

Abstract

History and Eschatology charts the shift away from an ancient cyclical interpretation of history to teleological and eschatological alternatives. Bultmann explains the fundamental shift in historical understanding introduced in the Judeo-Christian tradition and explains why the disappointment faced by the early church in Christís belated return prompted a reinterpretation of history. This brought about a teleological understanding of history which was adopted by later Renaissance and secular traditions. Even Marxism continued to hold onto this teleological approach. Bultmann, drawing on Paul and John, challenges this purely teleological approach and recentres a Christian understanding of history and eschatology in the historical event of Christ which is both timeless and immediately present.
KEY WORDS: Teleology, Cyclical, Historicism, Historicity, Parousia, Judaism, Hellenism, Erich Frank, Hegel, A. J. Toynbee, R. G. Collingwood

Publication Data

OnlineHarper and Row1962
OriginalEdinburgh University Press1957
Cover
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Templeton Press