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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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Historical Method and the Reality of Christ

Historical Method and the Reality of Christ

April 2, 1992

(p.103) 8 Historical Method and the Reality of Christ
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

The quest of the historical Jesus began in the eighteenth century as a fierce attack on the Christ of faith. Throughout the nineteenth century its aim was to establish another Christ to replace the Christ of dogma. This chapter discusses four approaches taken in the quest of the historical Jesus. According to the first position, history is antithetical to faith. The quest of the historical Jesus arose from hostility to dogma. The second major position maintains that history and faith, if each keeps within its legitimate sphere, can neither confirm nor contradict each other. According to the third major position, history is the ground of faith. That is to say, historical investigation establishes rational foundations for the commitment of Christian faith. The fourth major position holds that Christian faith comes from God's revealing word as conveyed by the testimony of the Church—the Gospels.

Keywords:   Gospels, Jesus, separation, history, Christian faith

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