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(New page: Image:lighterstill.jpg '''Liberal Christianity''', sometimes called '''liberal theology''', is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically informed religious movements and idea...)
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'''Liberal Christianity''', sometimes called '''liberal theology''', is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically informed religious movements and ideas within late 18th, 19th and 20th century Christianity. The word "liberal" in liberal Christianity does not refer to a [[Progressive Christianity|progessive political agenda]] or set of beliefs, but rather to the manner of thought and belief associated with the philosophical and religious paradigms developed during the [[Age of Enlightenment]].  
'''Gorman''', a [[Secondary Midwayer]] has worked with [mortals] on a number of projects. For his lessons, follow [http://nordan.daynal.org/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Gorman this link].
==Contributions to Biblical hermeneutics==
[[Category: Teacher Corps]]
The theology of liberal Christianity was prominent in the [[biblical criticism]] of the 19th and 20th centuries. The style of [[Bible|scriptural]] [[hermeneutics]] within liberal theology is often characterized as non-propositional. This means that the Bible is not considered a collection of factual statements but instead documents the human authors' beliefs and feelings about God ''at the time of its writing''—within a historic/cultural context. Thus, liberal Christian theologians do not claim to discover truth [[proposition]]s but rather create religious models and concepts that reflect the class, gender, social, and political contexts from which they emerge. Liberal Christianity looks upon the Bible as a collection of narratives that explain, epitomize, or symbolize the essence and significance of Christian understanding.<ref>Montgomery, John Warwick. ''In Defense of Martin Luther.'' Milwaukee: Northwestern, 1970, p. 57. “Luther’s Hermeneutic vs. the New Hermeneutic.” Quoted in http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/W/WestphalConfession/WestphalConfession.PDF</ref>
==Liberal Christian beliefs==
Liberal Christianity, broadly speaking, is a method of biblical [[hermeneutics]], an individualistic method of understanding God through the use of scripture by applying the same modern hermeneutics used to understand any ancient writings. Liberal Christianity does not claim to be a belief structure, and as such is not dependent upon any Church [[dogma]] or [[creed|creedal statements]]. Unlike conservative varieties of Christianity, it has no unified set of propositional beliefs. The word ''liberal'' in liberal Christianity denotes a characteristic willingness to interpret scripture without any preconceived notion of inerrancy of scripture or the correctness of Church dogma.<ref>{{cite web|url= http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09212a.htm|title= http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09212a.htm| title=Catholic Encyclopedia: Liberalism|accessdate=2007-01-27|format=
|work= }}</ref> A liberal Christian, however, may hold certain beliefs in common with traditional, orthodox, or even [[conservative Christianity]].
==Influence of liberal Christianity==
Liberal Christianity was most influential with [[Mainline (Protestant)|mainline]] Protestant churches in the early 20th century, when proponents believed the changes it would bring would be the future of the Christian church. Despite that optimism, its influence in mainline churches waned in the wake of [[World War II]], as the more conservative, yet radical, alternative of [[neo-orthodoxy]] (and later [[postliberalism]]) began to supplant the earlier modernism. Other subsequent theological movements within the Protestant mainline included political [[liberation theology]], philosophical forms of [[postmodern Christianity]] such as [[Christian existentialism]], and conservative movements such as [[neo-evangelicalism]] and [[paleo-orthodoxy]].
However, the 1990s and early 2000s saw a resurgence of non-doctrinal, scholarly work on biblical [[exegesis]] and theology, exemplified by figures such as [[Marcus Borg]], [[John Dominic Crossan]], [[John Shelby Spong]], [[Alexander Zelitchenko]] and Douglas Ottati. Their appeal, like that of the earlier modernism, also is primarily found in the mainline denominations.
==Liberal Christian theologians and authors==
<!-- please keep this list in alphabetical order - it makes it easier to read and edit-->
===Anglican and Protestant===
*[[Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher]] (1768&ndash;1834), often called the "father of liberal theology," he claimed that religious experience was [[introspection|introspective]], and that the truest understanding of God consisted of "a sense of absolute dependence".
*[[William Ellery Channing]] (1780&ndash;1842), pioneering liberal theologian in the USA, who criticized the doctrine of the [[Trinity]] and the strength of scriptural authority, in favor of more [[rationalism|rationalistic]] and historical-critical beliefs.
*[[Henry Ward Beecher]] (1813&ndash;1887), US preacher who left behind the Calvinist orthodoxy of his famous father, the [[Lyman Beecher|Reverend Lyman Beecher]], to popularize liberal Christianity.
*[[Adolf von Harnack]], (1851–1930), German theologian and church historian, promoted the [[Social Gospel]].
*[[Charles Fillmore (Unity Church)|Charles Fillmore]] (1854–1948).  [[Ralph Waldo Emerson|Emerson]]-influenced Christian mystic and co-founder (with his wife, [[Myrtle Fillmore]]) of the [[Unity Church]].
*[[Harry Emerson Fosdick]] (1878&ndash;1969), Baptist founding pastor of New York's Riverside Church in 1922.
*[[Rudolf Bultmann]] (1884&ndash;1976), German biblical scholar.
*[[Paul Tillich]] (1886&ndash;1965), synthesized Protestant Christian theology with [[existential]] philosophy
*[[Leslie Weatherhead]] (1893&ndash;1976), English preacher, and author of ''The Will of God'' and ''[[Christian Agnostic|The Christian Agnostic]]''
*[[Lloyd Geering]] (1918–), Prominent New Zealand theologian.
*[[John A.T. Robinson]] (1919&ndash;1983), Bishop of Woolwich, author of ''[[Honest to God]]''.
*[[John Hick]] (b. 1922) British philosopher of religion and theologian.
*[[William Sloane Coffin]] (1924&ndash;2006), Senior Minister at the Riverside Church in New York City, and President of SANE/Freeze (now [[Peace Action]]).
*[[John Shelby Spong]] (1931–), Episcopal bishop and author.
*[[Richard Holloway]] (1933-), Bishop of Edinburgh 1986-2000.
*[[Keith Ward]] (b. 1938) British Anglican cleric, philosopher, theologian, and scholar.
*[[Matthew Fox (priest)]] (b. 1940) an American Episcopalian priest and theologian.
*[[Marcus Borg]] (b. 1942) American Biblical scholar and author.
*[[Scotty McLennan]] (b. 1948), author of Jesus Was A Liberal, [[Dean (education)|Dean]] for Religious Life at [[Stanford University]], [[Minister (religion)|Minister]] of [[Stanford Memorial Church]], and inspiration for the Reverend [[Scot Sloan]] character in the comic strip [[Doonesbury]] by [[Gary Trudeau]].
* Douglas Ottati, Presbyterian theologian and author, former professor at [[Union-PSCE]], current professor at [[Davidson College]], and author of numerous [[apologetic]] works of liberal theology.
===Roman Catholic===
*[[Pierre Teilhard de Chardin]] (1881&ndash;1955), a French [[Jesuit]], also trained as a [[paleontologist]]; works condemned by the Holy Office in 1962.  The condemnation was formally reaffirmed in 1981 but many theologians still refer to his writings, including Pope Benedict XVI.
*[[Yves Congar]] (1904&ndash;1995), French [[Dominican Order|Dominican]] [[Ecumenism|ecumenical]] theologian.
*[[Schillebeeckx|Edward Schillebeeckx]], (b. 1914) [[Belgian]] Dominican theologian.
*[[Hans Küng]], (b. 1928) Swiss theologian. Had his licence to teach Catholic theology revoked in 1979 because of his rejection of the doctrine of the [[infallibility of the Church]], but retained his faculties to say the [[Mass (liturgy)|Mass]].
*[[John Dominic Crossan]], (b. 1934) ex-priest, New Testament scholar, co-founder of the [[Jesus Seminar]].
*[[Joan Chittister]], (b. 1936) [[Order of Saint Benedict|OSB]], a lecturer and social psychologist.
*[[Leonardo Boff]], (b. 1938) [[Brazil]]ian, ex-Franciscan, ex-priest, cofounder of [[Liberation theology]].
#Montgomery, John Warwick. In Defense of Martin Luther. Milwaukee: Northwestern, 1970, p. 57. “Luther’s Hermeneutic vs. the New Hermeneutic.” Quoted in http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/W/WestphalConfession/WestphalConfession.PDF
#Catholic Encyclopedia: Liberalism". http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09212a.htm. Retrieved on 2007-01-27.
#[ttp://books.google.com/books?id=L50mveyi6WoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_book_other_versions_r&cad=4_0 The Making of American Liberal Theology by Gary Dorrien]
==External links==
*[http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=177 Liberalism By M. James Sawyer , Th.M., Ph.D.]
*[http://www.biblebelievers.com/machen/index.html Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937)]
*[http://www.hostdiva.com/liberalchristians/ The Liberal Christians Network]
[[Category: Religion]]
[[Category: History]]

Revision as of 19:32, 2 November 2009


Gorman, a Secondary Midwayer has worked with [mortals] on a number of projects. For his lessons, follow this link.