History of Dogma - Volume III

by Adolf Harnack

Summary

Harnack’s multi-volume work is considered a monument of liberal Christian historiography. For Harnack, applying the methods of historical criticism to the Bible signified a return to true Christianity, which had become mired in unnecessary and even damaging creeds and dogmas. Seeking out what “actually happened,” for him, was one way to strip away all but the foundations of the faith. With the History of Dogma series, Harnack sets out on this project, tracing the accumulation of Christianity’s doctrinal systems and assumptions, particularly those inherited from Hellenistic thought. As Harnack explains, only since the Protestant Reformation have Christians begun to cast off this corrupting inheritance, which must be entirely cast off if Christianity is to remain credible and relevant to people’s lives. Rather controversially, the historian rejects the Gospel of John as authoritative on the basis of its Greek influences.

Kathleen O’Bannon
CCEL Staff
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About Adolf Harnack

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Picture of Adolf Harnack
Wikipedia
Picture of Adolf Harnack
Source: Wikipedia
Born: May 7, 1851
Died: June 10, 1930
Related topics: History, Criticism, interpretation, etc., Church history--Primitive and early church, Theology, Doctrinal, Christianity, …
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