Sunday, 21 January 2007

Schleiermacher: making do with science

“Just think of the natural sciences as they increasingly develop into a comprehensive knowledge of the world. A short time ago no one could have conceived of this development. What then do you suppose the future holds, not only for our theology, but for our evangelical Christianity? … There are those who can hack away at science with a sword, fence themselves in with weapons at hand to withstand the assaults of sound research and behind this fence establish as binding a church doctrine that appears to everyone outside as an unreal ghost to which they must pay homage if they want to receive a proper burial. Those persons might not allow themselves to be disturbed by the developments in the realm of science. But we cannot do that and do not want that. Therefore, we must make do with history as it develops.”

—Friedrich Schleiermacher, On the Glaubenslehre: Two Letters to Dr Lücke [1829] (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1981), p. 60.


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