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The jews in enlightenment exegesis from Baur to Ritschl

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Chapter Summary

The views of exegetes on Jews and Judaism in Enlightenment theology were influenced by philosophical and political conditions, Judaism having a specific place in the world-views of leading philosophers. In Hegels reconstruction of the moves of the World Spirit, Judaism represents a lower stage of religion, which will be dissolved into Christianity, Judaism being external, legalistic, ritualistic and ceremonial, rather than meeting Hegels ideals of freedom and independence. It was in F. C. Baurs Tübingen that Hegelian idealism and dialectics according to Baurs adaptation became influential, largely due to Hegels grand narrative, which explained the development from a nationally limited Palestinian Judaism to a religion of world-historical importance. Baurs followers, such as David Friedrich Strauss, elaborated in various ways on the scheme that Baur had provided. The same is true of Albrecht Ritschl (18221889) who, having started out as Baurs disciple, took a strongly critical stance towards his teacher.

Keywords: Albrecht Ritschl; Enlightenment theology; F. C. Baur; Jews



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