Emil Brunner

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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


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


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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This is Karl Barth's view, defended in his discussion with Emil Brunner. (2) However, Barth's position--although honouring God's particular grace in Christ--denies or underestimates God's general grace.
(9.) Emil Brunner, The Divine Imperative: A Study In Christian Ethics, translated by Olive Wyon (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1947), p.
adds significant nuance to this narrative by retrieving lines of argument from known but too often unread figures like Albrecht Ritschl, Max Reischle, and Emil Brunner. In H.'s retelling, Brunner, not Barth, "shaped the way Schleiermacher's understanding of religion and theology was viewed in the twentieth century" (55).
so that the world may believe that you have sent me' (John 17:21)." (2) Emil Brunner in 1931 noted that "the Church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning." (3)
And, for the first time in Heschel scholarship, Held develops comparisons with Christian theologians Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich, Johann Baptist Metz, and others.
Thompson offers a very helpful study of Kierkegaard's importance in shaping Emil Brunner's major ideas: relationality, divine commandment and contradiction, the point of contact (contra Barth) between divine revelation and human being, truth as encounter, and divine self-communication.
In the confrontation with Emil Brunner, Barth's harsh rejection of natural theology can be seen for political reasons concerning National Socialism and German Christians.
29), reports that Emil Brunner's term at Princeton as a celebrity visiting professor during the academic year 1938-39 also had its impact.
Key words: Christianity, civilization, man, humanism, crisis of modern civilization, Emil Brunner.
Emil Brunner's famous statement "the church exists by mission, just as a fire exists by burning" still rings true today.
He sees his work as a contribution to the legendary debate between the Reformed theologians Karl Barth and Emil Brunner over the question of natural theology.
"The relation between Church and State is the greatest subject in the history of the West," says Emil Brunner. Though more than a decade has passed since Brunner wrote these words, their force and validity seem even more obvious today than at the time they were written.