Rudolf Bultmann

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Related to Rudolf Bultmann: Karl Barth, Martin Heidegger
Rudolf Bultmann
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bultmann, Rudolf


Born Aug. 20, 1884, in Oldenburg. German Protestant theologian, philosopher, and historian of religion. Professor of theology at the University of Marburg from 1921 to 1951.

Bultmann’s theology verges on dialectical theology. His works in the 1920’s started the trend of the so-called school of historical form criticism in the study of religion. In the early 1940’s, Bultmann tried to resolve the internal duality of his theoretical tendencies (inclination toward the ideas of S. Kierkegaard on the one hand and toward the rationalist methodology of liberal Protestantism on the other hand) by urging that faith be “demythologized.” He proposed that a strict distinction be made within the body of Christian tradition between its transient mythological system of symbols and its permanent “message,” directed to man’s conscience and placing him in a life situation in which he has a choice; the myth is subject to rationalist criticism, but the message undergoes existentialist interpretation. This conception of Bultmann received sensational publicity but was criticized by the leaders of official Protestantism, who were displeased with the elimination of a large part of the substance of religious teaching, and by historians, who pointed to the arbitrariness of Bultmann’s approach to historical occurrences. K. Jaspers, who was closest to Bultmann, sharply criticized him for mixing theology with existentialist philosophy.


Die Frage der Entmythologisierung. Munich [1954]. (With K. Jaspers.)
Glauben und Verstehen: Gesammelte Aufsätze, vols. 1-3. Tübingen, 1958-62.
Das Evangelium des Johannes, 17th ed. Göttingen, 1962.


Barth, K. R. Bultmann, 2nd ed. Zurich, 1953.
Malet, A. Mythos et logos: La Pensée de R. Bultmann. Geneva, 1962.
Schmithals, W. Die Theologie R. Bultmanns. Tübingen, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Rossinow, it was the theological work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reinhold Niebuhr, Rudolf Bultmann and Paul Tillich, in combination with certain philosophical trends (existentialism primarily) and psychological theorists such as Abraham Maslow, which ultimately brought about dramatic changes in American society.
Even the supposed arch-skeptic Rudolf Bultmann once said that no one in his right mind doubts that Jesus existed.
One approach which takes into consideration a variety of these issues is the critical source analysis suggested by Rudolf Bultmann. He ascribes the christological tensions to literary sources.
Den Heyer sees in Schweitzer the cornerstone of Christian liberalism, upon which Adolf von Harnack and Rudolf Bultmann built.
One from 1977-1978 is still well worth reprinting; it refuted definitively the thesis (of Rudolf Bultmann and Ernst Kasemann, among others) that in the earliest days of Christianity many prophetic utterances moved easily into the Jesus tradition and were grouped with sayings of the earthly Jesus.
Now translated into English for the first time, Rudolf Bultmann: A Biography is a comprehensive study of New Testament scholar and theologian Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976), well known as an outspoken advocate of Liberal Christianity.
Macintosh and Henry Nelson Wieman; the Word-oriented theologies of Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Friedrich Gogarten, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer; the existential theologies of Gabriel Marcel, Paul Tillich, and Rudolf Bultmann; and the theologies of H.
He stresses that Paul also after his conversion remained obliged to his people; he maintains this idea in distinction to Rudolf Bultmann, who points out the relation of Paul to Hellenism (pp.
Sobre la base del substrato ilustrado, el existencialismo teologico de Rudolf Bultmann habia alcanzado una influencia notable en los anos cincuenta.