Dogma and Preaching, 2nd. Ed.

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Friedrich Schleiermacher

But, because I have nothing besides it to offer you, in token of my sense of the gracious compliment which you and they have paid me in making me once more a Member of a College dear to me from Undergraduate memories;—. Therefore it is that, without your leave or your responsibility, I take the bold step of placing your name in the first pages of what, at my age, I must consider the last print or reprint on which I shall ever be engaged.

February 23, However beautiful and promising that Religion is in theory, its history, we are told, is its best refutation; the inconsistencies, found age after age in its teaching, being as patent as the simultaneous contrarieties of religious opinion manifest in the High, Low, and Broad branches of the Church of England. Perhaps his confidence in the truth and availableness of this view has sometimes led the author to be careless and over-liberal in his concessions to Protestants of historical fact.

What Is Sound Doctrine?

Nor is such hypothetical reasoning out of place in a publication which is addressed, not to theologians, but to those who as yet are not even Catholics, and who, as they read history, would scoff at any defence of Catholic doctrine which did not go the length of covering admissions in matters of fact as broad as those which are here ventured on. In this new Edition of the Essay various important alterations have been made in the arrangement of its separate parts, and some, not indeed in its matter, but in its text. Paul even against Angels and Apostles who should bring in a new doctrine?

He little thought, when he so wrote, that the time would ever come when he should feel the obstacle, which he spoke of as lying in the way of communion with the Church of Rome, to be destitute of solid foundation.

Early career

He has neither the ability to put out of hand a finished composition, nor the wish to make a powerful and moving representation, on the great subject of which he treats. His aim will be answered, if he succeeds in suggesting thoughts, which in God's good time may quietly bear fruit, in the minds of those to whom that subject is new; and which may carry forward inquirers, who have already put themselves on the course. If at times his tone appears positive or peremptory, he hopes this will be imputed to the scientific character of the Work, which requires a distinct statement of principles, and of the arguments which recommend them.

He hopes too he shall be excused for his frequent quotations from himself; which are necessary in order to show how he stands at present in relation to various of his former Publications. Since the above was written, the Author has joined the Catholic Church. But when he had got some way in the printing, he recognized in himself a conviction of the truth of the conclusion to which the discussion leads, so clear as to supersede further deliberation. Shortly afterwards circumstances gave him the opportunity of acting upon it, and he felt that he had no warrant for refusing to do so.

His first act on his conversion was to offer his Work for revision to the proper authorities; but the offer was declined on the ground that it was written and partly printed before he was a Catholic, and that it would come before the reader in a more persuasive form, if he read it as the author wrote it.

It is scarcely necessary to add that he now submits every part of the book to the judgment of the Church, with whose doctrine, on the subjects of which he treats, he wishes all his thoughts to be coincident.


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In Schleiermacher removed as university preacher and professor of theology to Halle, where he remained until , and where he quickly obtained a reputation as professor and preacher, and exercised a powerful influence in spite of the contradictory charges of his being atheist, Spinozist and pietist. In this period he wrote his dialogue the Weihnachlsfeier ; 4th ed.

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After the battle of ]ena he returned to Berlin , was soon appointed pastor of the Trinity Church there, and the next year married the widow of his friend Willich. At the foundation of the Berlin university ISIC , in which he took a prominent part, he was called to a theological chair, and soon became secretary 'to the Acaderrry of Sciences. He was thus placed in a position suited to his powers and in domestic and social surroundings adapted to meet the wants of his rich nature.

At the same time he approved himself in the pulpit and elsewhere as a large-hearted and fearless patriot in that time of national calamity and humiliation, acquiring a name and place in his country's annals with Arndt, Fichte, Stein and Scharnhorst. He took a prominent part too in the reorganization of the Prussian church, and became the most powerful advocate of the union of the Lutheran and Reformed divisions of German Protestantism.


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The twenty-four years of his professional career in Berlin were opened with his short but important outline of theological study Kurze Darstellung des theologischen S ludiums, ; 2nd ed. While he preached every Sunday, he also gradually took up in his lectures in the university almost every branch of theology and philosophy-New Testament exegesis, introduction to and interpretation of the New Testament, ethics both philosophic and Christian , dogmatic and practical theology, church history, history of philosophy, psychology, dialectics logic and metaphysics , politics, pedagogy and aesthetics.

His own materials for these lectures and his students' notes and reports of them are the only form in which the larger proportion of his works exist-a circumstance which has greatly increased the difficulty of getting a clear and harmonious view of fundamental portions of his philosophical and ethical system, while it has effectually deterred all but the most courageous and patient students from reading these posthumous collections.

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As a preacher he produced a powerful effect, yet not at all by the force of his oratory but by his intellectual strength, his devotional spirit and the philosophical breadth and unity of his thought. At the same time he prepared for the press his chief theological work Der christliche Glaube nach den Grundsdtzen der evangelischen Kirche ; end ed. The fundamental principle of this classical work is, that religious feeling, the sense of absolute dependence on God as communicated by Jesus Christ through the church, and not the creeds or the letter of Scripture or the rationalistic understanding, is the source and lawof dogmatic theology.

The aim of the work was to reform Protestant theology by means of the fundamental ideas of the Reden, to put an end to the unreason and superficiality of both super naturalism and rationalism, and to deliver religion and theology from a relation of dependence on perpetually changing systems of philosophy.

Though the work added to the reputation of its author, it naturally aroused the increased opposition of the theological schools it was intended to overthrow, and at the same time Schleiermacher's defence of the right of the church to frame its own liturgy in opposition to the arbitrary dictation of the monarch or his ministers brought upon him fresh troubles. He felt himself in Berlin more and more isolated, although his church and his lecture-room continued to be largely attended.

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Kristopher J. Preacher: Publications

But he prosecuted his translation of Plato and prepared a new and greatly altered edition of his Christliche Glaube, anticipating the latter in two letters to his friend Lticke in the Sludien und Kritfken, , in which he defended with a masterly hand his theological position generally and his book in particular against opponents on the right and the left. Schulz on the other, protesting against both subscription to the ancient creeds and the imposition of a new rationalistic formulary.

In the midst of such labours, and enjoying still full bodily and mental vigour, he was carried off after a few days' illness by inflammation of the lungs, on the 12th of February Philosophical System. But the antithesis is not absolute, for in life and being both elements are united-though without its presence life and thought would be impossible.

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