Monday 31 July 2006

Bultmann anniversary

Yesterday, 30 July, was the anniversary of the death of Rudolf Bultmann. To mark the occasion, Jim West offers a list of Bultmann’s best books, as well as a series of posts about little-known aspects of Bultmann’s life and work. Did you know, for instance:

I like Bultmann better than almost all other modern theologians; his face peers at me from the wall, right next to the face of his friend and nemesis, Karl Barth:


Anonymous said...

Don't forget Bultmann's birthday in a few weeks time - August 19th (1884). And did you know that Paul Tillich was born on the same day two years later (1886)? Any astrological comments on these two Lions? Barth, by the way, was a Bull (10th May 1886), while Emil Brunner was a Goat (23rd December 1889). Alas neither Elephant nor Whale in the zodiac.

Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

I already told Jim West that I appreciated his Bultmann posts. Here I'll leave my favorite theological joke involving all dead theologians still being alive at time of joke!

It seems the National Geographic Society has dug up a corpse outside Jerusalem that they can PROVE is that of Jesus of Nazareth. Upon that announcement, the press decided to interview (from Right to Left!), Carl F. H. Henry, Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, and Paul Tillich. Henry collapsed in a faith and had to be rushed to the hospital. When revived, he said his faith was in ruins and he was going back to being a journalist.
Barth puffed and puffed on his pipe for a long time and then began to write 3 volumes on how this did not undermine the Bodily (not physical) resurrection and how he could demonstrate this by referencing every single Church Father on the subject.
Bultmann looked up, arched an eyebrow, and said, "Well, only someone with a mythical worldview believed the Resurrection was physical. I've said all along that He rose into the Kerygma of the Church." Then he calmly went back to his previous work.
Tillich clapped his hand to his forehead and said, "Well, I'll be damned! So, he did actually live!"

Okay, who would contemporary analogues be to this joke? Pannenberg or N.T. Wright for Henry (although only on the resurrection do those worthies have views like Henry's)? Moltmann for Barth? Crossan for Bultmann? (Again, only on the resurrection. Rudolf would NOT approve of Crossan's historical Jesus work!) Who for Tillich?

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