Thursday 1 September 2005

The christology of Peter C. Hodgson

Peter C. Hodgson’s book on christology has never really received much attention: Jesus—Word and Presence: An Essay in Christology (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971). But on the whole I think it’s a creative and noteworthy attempt at christological construction. The book is completely devoted to the conceptuality of the later Heidegger and to the “new hermeneutic” (as it was then called!) of Ernst Fuchs and Gerhard Ebeling. And in spite of its philosophical commitments, it is also a deeply exegetical book in which research into the historical Jesus plays a decisive role.

At the heart of Hodgson’s christology is the dialectic of “presence” and “absence.” He takes the experience of atheism as his point of departure—i.e., the experience of the “absence of God”—and he then constructs an entire christology around the concept of God’s “presence.”

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