State, society, and university in Germany : 1700-1914

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It was deemed not necessary to take his views into account" op cit, p. Conversely, young theologians were advised that Holtzmann was a professor whose opinions they did need to take into account.

It was all very simple. Linked with the last factor is the well-developed nationalism in Germany at this time, which leads to the questions posed by Farmer: [W]ould these German scholars also be free from all national sentiment? For example, would Catholic professors during the Second Reich be immune from societal pressure emanating from a majority prejudice that a Catholic "cannot love his Fatherland"? A considerable and influential movement of a Catholic form of liberalism within Germany.


As Lillian Wallace puts it:. The leading German churchmen had been building up a powerful Catholic party which aimed at harmony with the world of science, resented Jesuit influence over the pope, and strongly opposed further centralization of power in Papal hands The Papacy and European Diplomacy, , p. The central aim of Catholic liberals was for an accommodation of differences between themselves and Protestant Christians so that all could work for the interests of a unified Germany.

The need to establish a modus vivendi between the Christian majority in Germany and the Jewish minority. Once again, the downplaying of Matthew's gospel is vital here. Farmer explains why:. This meant not only that the terrible words in Matthew "let his blood be upon our heads", needed to be relativized; so also did the stinging condemnation of the Pharisees in Matthew This was effectively achieved by denying the foundational role of Matthew in the constitution of the Church, and by turning this foundational role over to earlier hypothetical sources which were sanitized as much as possible from anti-Jewish polemic op cit, p.

The rise of science in the nineteenth century.

It was the science of biology which provided some ruling models for other disciplines. If life appeared to develop from simpler forms into ever more complicated ones, it came to be seen as credible to think of literary forms as developing from the simple to the complex. In this way it became natural to see the more simple Mark and 'Q' as combining to make up the more developed gospels of Matthew and Luke.

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Equally important is the fact that the few parables of Jesus found in Mark included the so-called parables of growth, which fit beautifully the philosophical scheme of development which dominated late nineteenth century thought. Under this norm, the kingdom of God was conceivable as a developing social reality which rendered theologically credible a theory of social progress leading to higher and higher forms of communal existence corresponding to the evolutionary development of biological realities from simple forms of life to higher and higher forms of intelligence, culminating in man William R.


Farmer, The Synoptic Problem , pp. One must, as in all human affairs, add the element of pure chance. It so happened that, at this point in time, the major figures who had written against the theory of Marcan priority were, for one reason or another, silent or engaged in other fields of research. In addition, this period also coincides with the demise of two of the leading journals in which such views had been published see on this D.

Peabody, "H. Reventlow and W. Farmer , at pp. As far as can be seen, although the influence of Bismarck was no doubt wide-ranging, there is no evidence that he had a hand in this! Of course, it may turn out to be the case that Mark's gospel was written first. Whether or not a particular theory is convenient or not, one must defer to the truth. The first lesson which we should learn from this whole affair is that whether Marcan priority theory is true or not is something which must be decided according to the evidence.

The Catholic Church, being the authentic Church of Christ, cannot be harmed by the truth. Nevertheless, one cannot help but be suspicious at the turn of events in this century relating to some of the matters which we have been considering. It may be that the experience in this respect of the Kulturkampf should provide us with advance warning as to what may happen in this later phase of the culture wars, in which again Enlightenment ideas have forced themselves to the fore.

Although, as stated earlier, this article is primarily concerned with the sociology of the synoptic problem rather than the truth of the problem, two things are blindingly obvious. The first is that the traditional theory relating to the order of the production of the gospels seems to have been neglected during the nineteenth century much more for ideological reasons than for ones which related to its truth or falsity.

As a result, the opposing theory was allowed to establish a position of ascendancy more by default than by its intrinsic merits. Secondly, evidence in support of the traditional stance has accumulated apace during the present century. The work of Stoldt, Orchard, Farmer and others, and the conference literature on this, testify to this fact the literary references are gathered together in Dom Bernard Orchard's 'Del Verbum and the Synoptic Gospels', in Downside Review, Vol.

Yet, all of this has been played down or neglected. That this should have happened in Protestant circles should not be so much of a cause for surprise. This may be more to do with a possible loss of face than anything else.

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The history of Protestant exegesis since the early nineteenth century has seen an enormous investment go into the rejection of the traditional approach. It is interesting to speculate why the Markan Priority Hypothesis has maintained its dominance ever since the twentieth century began; perhaps it is partly because it is a product of the Enlightenment from which German biblical scholarship has achieved its greatest stimulus, and so it has come to be regarded as the greatest achievement of Protestant biblical scholarship, and there is a kind of 'gut' feeling that Protestant theologians would lose 'face' if it were seen to be false Dom Bernard Orchard, The Formation of the Synoptic Gospels, Downside Review, Vol.

But, the approach of many Catholic scholars cannot be explained away so easily. Of course, the decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in upholding the traditional account of gospel origins determined the approach of Catholic exegetes during the early part of the century. The ban on the Marcan priority theory continued to be maintained, at least officially, in Catholic universities for a considerable period of time. Since Vatican II, all restraint has disappeared and Catholic scholars have generally joined the bandwagon and accepted Marcan priority. The effects of this have not been limited to the realms of academe.

Mark is worth paying attention to because his was the first Gospel to be written It is interesting in this context to look at the major modern Catholic commentary on scripture, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary ea. Raymond E.

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Brown S. Fitzmyer S. Murphy O. In its latest edition, published in , there is an article on the synoptic problem, written by Frans Neirynck. Believe it or not, this article devotes thirteen columns of text to the Marcan priority theory and only one column to what it refers to as "other theories.


It really does look as if the Marcan view has triumphed today in Catholic circles as well, again not by its merits but by default. It is interesting also to note that, in contrast to the First Vatican Council, none of the decrees issued at Vatican II proceed from the petrine passage in Matthew. With Vatican II behind them, contemporary Roman Catholic scholars can justifiably interpret their more favorable reception by Protestant colleagues as evidence that they are now more readily perceived as capable of being free of Vatican influence.

It is not clear, however, whether they realize that this more favorable perception has been bought at a price, i. Certainly, those eighteenth century representatives of the enlightenment, such as Reimarus, would have been delighted by these developments. Here is what Reimarus wrote to a friend in about Our task is completely to separate what the Apostles presented in their writings i.

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Little did he suspect that, one day, Catholic exegetes would be doing his job for him. But, our examination of the ideological forces at play during the Kulturkampf shows that many of those forces are present again today and contributing to the present malaise. In particular, the liberal Catholic agenda seems to have established a stranglehold over the university sector. This is coupled with a perceived need on the part of Catholic academics to be accepted in a world so long dominated by Protestant exegesis.

In addition, thought processes set in the evolutionary terms are still fashionable. The current ecumenical scene provides a further impetus not to rock the boat. It is surely not entirely coincidental that many of the same names crop up here as did a few years ago when the Oxford logician, Michael Dummett, spoke out about the way in which, under the present "liberal consensus" in the Church, doubt is being cast on traditional doctrines like the virginal conception and physical resurrection of Christ see the and issues of New Blackfriars for the literature on this.

On that occasion, the liberal "academic hierarchy" responded with a furious attack on Dummett, an attack which, in many respects, was more personalized than based on the matters which he had raised.

  1. State, Society and University in Germany 17001914.
  2. State, Society and University in Germany 1700-1914.
  3. Department of History.
  4. In the present case, the tactics have been somewhat different, but the results have been the same, a dismissive denial that there is anything further to say on the matter. And yet, the same potentially anti-Catholic points, which the newer theory has built into it, remain, and are of importance today. The experience of the Catholic fortunes at the Kulturkampf should cause us to watch out for similar results of Enlightenment tactics today. All the more reason, then, to bring to people's notice the new scholarship which is, of course, a further refinement of the older scholarship.