History and Jesus ho Eschatos: A study in the problem of correlation

Nicol, Iain G (1972) History and Jesus ho Eschatos: A study in the problem of correlation. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to discover and explore the nature of the relationship between history and eschatology, or more precisely, between Jesus of history and Jesus ho Eschatos. Two leading factors have determined the shape of this problem for contemporary theology. One is the tendency to abstract eschatology from history in too premature a fashion. The other is that eschatology is often virtually identified with history. It is against this broad background that our treatment of the problem may be viewed. An examination of some of the principal consequences implied by one or the other of these assumptions also forma part of our discussion. This is undertaken mainly in order to place the main subject of our discussion in clearer perspective. Secondarily, it enables us to review, clarify and analyse the more distinctive alternatives to be found in this particular area of theological study. The first chapter is devoted to a general discussion of some of the difficulties, opportunities and temptations presented to theology by relatively recent developments in the historical-critical study of the New Testament. This sets the scene for Chapter Two, in which, with the help of some of the insights of R.G. Collingwood, the notion of history as the presence of the past is discussed and developed. It is argued that we recognise Jesus as ho Eschatos in his presence as paradigmatically personal. This also provides the basis for our tentative conclusions in the final chapter with regard to the problem of correlation. In the following four chapters the different solutions to this problem are examined. In the Chapter Three we present and analyse the position of the Consistent School. The extent to which Fritz Buri is dependent upon the findings of Albert Schweitzer is pointed out, and the difficulties of a position which severs the link between history and eschatology thus rendering the problem of correlation illusory, are discussed. In Chapter Four, C.H. Dodd's Realised Eschatology is presented and evaluated. A number of criticisms of this view are offered. The most pertinent one, however, is that the problem of correlation is dissolved. History and eschatology are conflated in history, in 'the facts of the ministry of Jesus'. In Chapter Five we discuss Oscar Cullmann's handling of the problem in terms of a Heilsgeschichte. It is argued that the possibility for a solution offered is open not only to the objection similar to that made of Dodd. It is also open to the objection that such a salvation-historical construction conspires to obscure the nature of the correlatives. In Chapter Six, we deal with the position of Bultmann which in many ways is the most complex and difficult of all. However, it is suggested that is Bultmann finds any correlation between Jesus and ho Eschatos then it is one which can be affected only by a linguistic miracle and only at the expense of refusing to ask who Jesus is. In the final chapter these criticisms are again taken up and discussed in the light of the principles outlined in Chapter Two. With the help of the category of the personal, it is argued, a form of correlation between history and eschatology may be discovered. Christ's personal presence as paradigmatic enables us to catch a glimpse of him 'as he really is'. We conclude, therefore, that it is mistaken to suppose that we can never know him 'as he really was'.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Theology
Date of Award: 1972
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1972-73781
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/73781

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