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History - Theology of History

(2,720 words)

Author(s): Walter Kasper
Part of History: 1. History and Historicity 2. Philosophy of History 3. Theology of History A. Problem 1. History. History is one of the basic categories of biblical revelation. Revelation does not merely throw light on history, it also gives rise to it. The absolute gratuity of revelation brings with it its character of historical contingency. As an event which can neither be foreseen nor influenced revelation sets up new historical reality and gives a promise of a future. The new conditions of salvation thus br…

Christianity - Absoluteness of Christianity

(1,860 words)

Author(s): Walter Kasper
Part of Christianity: 1. The Essence of Christianity 2. Absoluteness of Christianity A. Notion and Problem The notion of the absoluteness of Christianity derives from the philosophy of German Idealism, not from theology itself. From the outset, therefore, theology must beware lest an inappropriate attitude should be thrust upon it from without. Christianity is based on a historical revelation and therefore implies history and historicity, which cannot simply be disposed of by speculating about the Absolute. On …

Law and Gospel

(1,598 words)

Author(s): Walter Kasper
A. State of the Question 1. The practical problem. The distinction between law and gospel helps us to define Christianity; it is regarded as the distinctive feature of the Christian faith as contrasted not only with Judaism but also with all pagan religions, with philosophy, ethics, and the like. Today, as in St. Paul’s time, that distinction is still an important matter for the Church’s mission and its relationship with the world; on it depends the Christian character of canon law, dogma, and moral tea…