Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, April 29, 2016

Rudolf Bultmann

Kellie Whitaker 

Rudolf Karl Bultmann was a German philosopher and also a theologian. He was a professor at the University of Marburg. He is known as one of the major figures in the early 20th century biblical studies and a main voice of liberal Christianity. He is most known for his studies into the historical context of the New Testament and his belief that there should be no need to find out if there is historical accuracy to the locations of Jesus but rather there should be focus on the fact that Jesus is and know to focus on the “thatness” but on the “whatness.”

 Bultmann’s theory relies heavily on demythologization, which is the separation of cosmological and historic claims from philosophical ethical and theological teachings. Bultmann’s reasoning is that a Christian is to just believe in the teachings of the Bible.
He called this belief kerygma. This was mentioned in his novel “The Concept of Revelation in the New Testament,” written in 1929. He steadfast to this idea even during Hitler’s term he refused to change his views to fit the Nazi ideology, during this time he also supported the Confessing Church, which was the German Protestant movement which was formed to resist the Nazi church policy. Though he would say he never directly participated with this political movement.

After World War II ended he would work at the university level and became very well known for his beliefs and his students from his years would go on to do great things as well as become major developers within the “Bultmann School,” which in the future would help the students to refute people’s stances on the question of Jesus and his historical background.
To this from my last blog post featuring Friedrich Nietzsche would refute Bultmann quickly. Nietzsche’s philosophy completely differs from Bultmann’s seeing as Friedrich was a devout atheist and believed strongly that to just seemly believe in a religion and an all knowing God without any questions of who, what, where, when, or why this God exist is irrational  and makes you a very ignorant and dumb person.  

Nietzsche would say that these people where no better than a herd of cattle believing all that the church would say and never having any thought as to whether what was being sad was true and he would not agree with his mindset of complete belief in the fact that Jesus existed in a mythical realm that could not be touched by anyone but was rather something that should just be believed in without question, which Friedrich would discount seeing as he is very into scientific and factual answers to questions.

These two philosophers have to very contradicting view points on religion and the existence of God. Their views are on polar ends of the spectrum and in my personal opinion they seem as though they would have nothing in common with each other and seem as though a conversation between them would be very minimal and best and very little if anything these two would have in common.

 “When reason has followed its road to the end, the point of crisis is reached and man is brought to the great question mark over his own existence.”
Rudolf Karl Bultmann, Faith and Understanding 

“Can Christian preaching expect modern man to accept the mythical view of the world as true? To do so would be both senseless and impossible. It would be senseless, because there is nothing specifically Christian in the mythical view of the world as such. It is simply the cosmology of a pre-scientific age.”
Rudolf Karl Bultmann


  1. http://cophilosophy.blogspot.com/2016/04/god-is-dead-friedrich-nietzsche.html

  2. 4/29/16
    Austin Tanner Davis
    Professor James Oliver
    Section 6
    Nietzsche: The Death of God

    This philosopher is really well known for writing the words “God is dead” in many of his works, which often gives some people the impression that he in an atheist while it gives others the inclination that perhaps he understands divine nature more than anyone else. The Abrahamic God has recently been killed due to a rise in what we know about modern science. The death of God may lead beyond bare perspectivism to outright nihilism. Here he states that the Christian moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value, belief in God, and objective knowledge As Heidegger states "If God as the suprasensory ground and goal of all reality is dead, if the suprasensory world of the ideas has suffered the loss of its obligatory and above it its vitalizing and upbuilding power, then nothing more remains to which man can cling and by which he can orient himself."

    Nietzsche calls passive nihilism, which he recognises in the pessimistic philosophy as the “loss of meaning”. Nietzsche characterises this idea as a "will to nothingness", whereby life turns away from itself, as there is nothing of value to be found in the world. “This moving away of all value in the world is characteristic of the nihilist, although in this, the nihilist appears to be inconsistent”A nihilist is a man who judges that the real world ought not to be, and that the world as it ought to be does not exist. According to this view, our existence has no meaning:
    Nietzsche approaches the problem of nihilism personally, stating that this problem of the modern world is a problem that has "become conscious" in him. "I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism's] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength!"[145] According to Nietzsche, it is only when nihilism is overcome that a culture can have a truly grow. He wished to prepare for its coming as well as its departure. Heidegger interprets the death of God with what he explains as the death of metaphysics. He concludes that metaphysics has reached its potential and that the ultimate fate and downfall of metaphysics was proclaimed with the statement God is dead. I chose this philosopher and his ideology because I think it is very interesting. He brings up many good points on the subject of God being dead. As an avid Christ follower, I always find subjects like this interesting because it’s just a bunch of people whose only goal in life is to kill the belief of others. This philosopher understands that killing this belief leads to the loss of meaning and a lot of people would lose their sense of purpose in life. (Sorry, I had to write this in the comments. I am unable to post anything as an author)

    1. "just a bunch of people whose only goal in life is to kill the belief of others" - there may be a few atheists who fit this description, though I've not met them. It's definitely not true of Nietzsche, who said "A yes, a no, a straight line, a goal is the formula of our happiness."