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Toward a Generous OrthodoxyProspects for Hans Frei's Postliberal Theology$
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Jason A. Springs

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395044

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395044.001.0001

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But Did It Really Happen?

But Did It Really Happen?

Frei and the Challenges of Critical Realism and Historical Reference

Chapter:
(p.85) 4 But Did It Really Happen?
Source:
Toward a Generous Orthodoxy
Author(s):

Jason A. Springs (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Discontinued
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395044.003.0004

The first part of chapter 4 addresses several of the most pressing critical challenges to Frei's work leveled by evangelical theologians. The first is that he forgoes all concern for whether or not the biblical accounts of Jesus do, in fact, truly correspond to actual historical events. The second is that Frei reduces the biblical witness to a self-contained literary world. The second part of chapter 4 reassesses the Barthian dimensions of Frei's work in light of the potentially devastating criticism that Frei's reading of Karl Barth is decidedly undialectical, inordinately stressing the role of analogy therein, and that this deficiency has been transmitted to many of the so-called "American neo-Barthians" (or "postliberals") influenced by Frei. The argument critically retrieves material from Frei's dissertation, his earliest publications, and recently circulated material from his unpublished archival papers in order to make the case that Frei identified a complex interrelation of dialectic and analogy in Barth's theology dating back as far as the second edition of Barth's Romans commentary and reaching forward into the Church Dogmatics.

Keywords:   historical reference, Carl Henry, Karl Barth, St. Anselm, evangelical theology, analogia fidei, dialectical theology, critical realism, nonfoundational epistemology

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