The advent of the modern, historical, and critical methods of reading Scripture is one of the most significant events in the last five hundred years of Christian history and theology. New questions arose in the course of that history that led to new, sometimes troubling answers. New ways of considering Scripture were articulated. The crisis in which academic Christian theology has found itself for approximately two hundred years is directly related to the emergence of new ways of studying--and criticizing--the Bible.
The Challenge of History traces the trajectory of these developments, presenting key readings from over thirty-five theologians--from Erasmus to Pannenberg--whose writings relate to the birth of modern historical and critical exegesis and, more broadly, to the emergence, among theologians and biblical scholars, of a certain historical consciousness that characterizes vast segments of modernity. How did the historical and critical methods arise? How did they impact the study of Scripture? What are their implications for Christian theology? Scripture is read--and needs to be read--differently in a parish, in a monastery, and in an academic setting. But the various ways of approaching Scripture should not be cordoned off from one another.
This volume is an ideal textbook for in-depth study of one of the most important topics in modern theology.