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Kulturprotestantismus and the jews

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Chapter Summary

An apostate of the Tübingen school, Albrecht Ritschl would become a predominant ideologist of Kulturprotestantismus (cultural Protestantism), which grew to be a leading cultural and religious force in the Kaiserreich. Theology was adapted to this project, among other things, and the Jews, even at the beginning of the empire a group of second-class citizens, would by the end of the 1870s become the target of fierce and programmatic anti-Semitism. According to Susannah Heschel, Ritschls contribution meant that a new and radical exclusion of the Jewish from early Christianity began to grow in New Testament scholarship. Ritschl reinterprets Jewish Christianity as something outside the heart of apostolic Christianity. The depiction of the Jewish Christians in the Tübingen school is unfounded, he argues, criticising the use of Ebionitism for Jewish Christianity, and also questioning the connection with the Essenes.

Keywords: Albrecht Ritschl; Jewish Christianity; Kulturprotestantismus



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