Brunner, Emil

Brunner, Emil

(ā`mēl bro͝on`ər), 1889–1966, Swiss Protestant theologian. A clear and systematic thinker from the school of dialectical theology, he was a professor of theology at the Univ. of Zürich (1924–53) and Christian Univ., Tokyo (1953–55). He several times visited and lectured in the United States. Like Karl BarthBarth, Karl
, 1886–1968, Swiss Protestant theologian, one of the leading thinkers of 20th-century Protestantism. He helped to found the Confessing Church and his thinking formed the theological framework for the Barmen Declaration.
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 he challenged the leaders of modern rational and liberal Christian theology and proclaimed a theology of revelation. The Christian faith, he maintained, arises from the encounter between individuals and God as He is revealed in the Bible. Brunner, in attempting later to leave a place for natural theology in his system, came into conflict with Barth over the question of natural revelation. Brunner refused to accept the radical divorce between grace and human consciousness that Barth proposed. His more important works include Die Mystik und das Wort (1924), Der Mittler (1927, tr. The Mediator, 1934), Das Gebot und die Ordnungen (1932, tr. The Divine Imperative, 1937), Der Mensch in Widerspruch (1937, tr. Man in Revolt, 1939), Wahrheit als Begegung (1938, tr. The Divine-Human Encounter, 1943), and Christianity and Civilization (2 vol., 1948–49).

Bibliography

See study by J. Edward Humphrey (1984).

Brunner, Emil

 

Born Dec. 23, 1889, in Winterthur; died Apr. 6, 1966, in Zürich. Swiss Protestant theologian. Professor in Zürich since 1924. Representative of dialectical theology.

Turning against 19th-century liberal Protestantism and reaffirming the fundamental principles of the Reformation of the 16th century, Brunner pitted belief and revelation against the spirit of positivistic scientific methods. He criticized 20th-century civilization, accusing it of a hypertrophy of technological interest and blaming it for the decay of the human spirit, which has lost god and is deserted in the world of things (see Christianity and Civilization, vol. 2, London, 1949). Brunner saw the present state of the world as a proof of its approaching end.

WORKS

Der Mensch im Widerspruch. Zürich, 1941.
Offenbarung und Vernunft. Zürich, 1941.
Das Ewige als Zukunft und Gegenwart. London, 1953.

REFERENCES

Baumer, F. L. “Apokaliptika 20-go stoletiia.” Vestnik istorii mirovoi kultury, 1957, no. 2.
Volken, L. Der Glaube bei E. Brunner. Freiburg, 1947.

S. S. AVERINTSEV

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