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Flashcards in 5b. The Churches of Europe 2 Deck (25):

The Barmen Declaration

Written by Karl Barth in opposition to the "German Christians" in Nazi Germany. The Declaration rejects the subordination of the Church to the State. It also rejects the subordination of the Word and Spirit to the Church. The Church is solely the property of Christ, and he alone is Lord. Barth said that confessing Christians should distance themselves from the ideology of the National Socialists party.


Name the two major components that led to a secularized society in the 20th century.

1. The separation of Church and State. 2. The separation of civil society and religion. In other words, religion was marginalized and made private. This is evident by the existence, in American, of Red and Blue States.


What had been the church's response to the cultural shift of secularization?

the need to be relevant to the culture


Heidegger, Martin

Roman Catholic theologian who wrote, "Sein end Zeit" (Being and Time). Criticized WWI dehumanization. His book explored the nature of "being" human, and how humans are held captive by an angst. As soon as we being to ask "what is being" we've already made a mistake, because we've assumed that "being" is a thing or entity.


"Sein end Zeit"

Heidegger, Martin. His book explored the nature of "being" human, and how humans are held captive by an angst. As soon as we being to ask "what is being" we've already made a mistake, because we've assumed that "being" is a thing or entity. In order to understand one's being, one must face Angst, or death.


Karl Barth

Karl Barth was one of the most influential theologians in the 20th century. He believed that the liberal church had accommodated Christianity to fit the social world around it. He argued that the ultimate task of theology was to preach, and that Harnack had limited himself to "scientific theology". He was kicked out of Germany when he published the Barmen Declaration. His primary concern, however, was the place and meaning of the Word of God and the revelation of God in Jesus. He challenged theologians to let God be God, and to stop be anthropocentric. He's challenging the science and anthropology that had entered the church.


Emil Brummer

Like Barth, Brummer was appalled by the rise of Nazis in Germany, and disillusioned with late 19th century philosophy. He called for a more relevant Christianity. Brummer argued that God's self-revelation was free from errors of subjectivism on the one hand and objectivism on the other. He made himself known through Jesus, and is uniquely present in the apostolic witness and is given by grace through the Holy Spirit. This type of revelation is different from that which is understood through normal scientific process. He's basically arguing why the scientific method can't be applied to faith.


Rudolf Karl Bultmann

LIke Barth, Bultmann argued that "liberal" theology was too humanistic and too anthropocentric. The liberal God was not the God of the Bible. The scientific and historical theology schools were coming up with different conclusions, therefor God was unknowable by means of scientific inquiry. God is God, and humans are humans, and because of sin we are separated. Therefore, humans can't relate with him in any direct fashion. Hmm, Evangelicals have a hard time with him. I can see why. Said that interpretation of scripture is never objective, because our history affects us. The cross was at the center of his theology, not only as a historical event, but as an exestential one. Also argued that to understand Scripture you need to understand its culture.



That which is proclaimed. Bultmann argued for an existential view of the cross, where what was proclaimed about the cross lies independent of the historical reality.

Bultmann claims that one must "sift" the message (the kerygma, or "kernel") of the church until you find that pure element of encounter with the Christ that brings existential meaning to the individual.

In attempting to purge the New Testament of outdated thinking, they had eliminated the kerygma, a Greek word which Bultmann identifies with “the message of God’s decisive act in Christ” (Bultmann 1984, 12). For Adolf Harnack and other German liberals, the significance of Jesus lay only in his moral teachings. Following Karl Barth, Bultmann argued that “[t]he New Testament talks about an event through which God has brought about our salvation. It does not proclaim Jesus primarily as a teacher…” (Bultmann 1984, 13).



Bultmann claims, “To de-mythologize is to reject not Scripture or the Christian message as a whole, but the world-view of Scripture, which is the world-view of a past epoch.” He insists that the worldview of the Scripture is mythological and is therefore unacceptable to modern man. Thus for him, “Demythologizing makes clear the true meaning of God’s mystery.” Basically, he wasn't denying the power of God, but the fact that God used the natural world in everything he does.

simply put... the legacy of Jesus developed into stories that were exaggerated with the supernatural. moreover, over the centuries the" myths" of the new testament were developed into layers of theological positions that no longer conveyed truth but rather dogma. Bultmann claims that one must "sift" the message (the kerygma, or "kernel") of the church until you find that pure element of encounter with the Christ that brings existential meaning to the individual. This process of sifting is what is meant by his "Demythologization program." I love Bultmann, though I find him obsolete after Barth.


What was the experience of the Catholic Church under Napoleon, and what happened afterwards?

It sucked. Napoleon held popes captive and didn't give a damn what anyone thought. So when he died, the Church was in a stronger position because many people wanted to return to the pre-Napoleon days.


What was one of the major commitments from the Catholic Church after Napoleon?

Monastic life. They build more monasteries than ever before. Most of them were missions focused, so there was a renewed energy in evangelism.


Ineffabilis Deus

The Immaculate Conception. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the Virgin Mary as being preserved from the stain of original sin because she carried Jesus. Basically, she was sinless.

This claim was one of the responses to questions being brought about by modernity. Everything was being questioned at the time, much like it had been in the first two centuries. Mary had been accepted as the "mother of God", but now the question was how a sinful person could carry a sinless Jesus. "Rationally" speaking, this makes sense. This was a claim to rationalize how a sinless Jesus could be born of a sinful human being. The answer for Catholics is that she wasn't sinful.


1st Vatican Council of 1869

Defined Papal Infallibility.

Remember, this was a time in history when everything was being questioned and challenged. The church basically said that the pope, along with the Sacred Tradition (with its ecumenical councils), the Magisterium, and the Sacred Scripture were infallible.


Ex Cathedra

The action of the Pope speaking on dogma (a truth concerning faith and morals), the dogma is understood as irrevocable (he has the last word and no one can say anything against it). This does not apply to every day matters, but he uses it when he is acting to define something for the church. This was already becoming the majority opinion in the counter-reformation. The pope cannot, however, contradict the Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scriptures. So there are limits to his power. The infallible proclamations of the pope are also part of the Sacred Magisterium, as are the ecumenical councils.

This is important to our class because it gave Catholics a sense of security to questions being asked by modernity. While the Western Protestants were embracing and rejecting (fundamentalist) the Enlightenment and Reason, Catholics response was to say that the pope had ultimate authority on issues of truth and dogma. But, the Protestants and Orthodox were not ok with it. From a political standpoint, it meant that the pope had a lot more power (as much as he did spiritually).


Assumption of Mary

Pope Pius XII declared that Mary had ascended into heaven "body and soul". Physically, like Jesus and Elijah.


Sacred Heart of Jesus

A personal piety and popular religion movement within the Catholic church that the sacrificial love that Jesus had showed through the incarnation on those who had been changed. This is probably one of those things that came out of the increase in monasticism in the 1800s. Basically, it celebrates the incarnation.


What was the most significant challenge for the Catholic Church in the 19th century?

Its struggle to engage with, understand, and interact with the "Modern World". It had rejected much of modern philosophy and science, leaving it behind its Protestant counterparts.


What was another challenge the Catholic Church faced in the 19th century?

Immigration and Urbanization. A lot of Catholics moved from Europe to the United States (think Ellis Island), and many Catholics moved from rural areas to cities. This meant that you had a growing urban poor.

This also meant that the church became more Americanized, and the United States wasn't as willing to follow the lead of the pope (probably because of the separation of church and state). On the positive side of this, the Catholic Church was better situated to meet the needs of thousands of immigrants (we see this true today). This reminds me of my conversation with Rosita a few years ago. Historically speaking even, the Catholic church has been doing this for a bit longer.

The church reacted by condemning everything that challenged its power and affirming those who followed its lead.


What is the current estimate for regular church attendance in Europe?

3-5%. All the numbers show that there has been a sharp decline in historical denominations in Europe.


What are some of the causes of the decline in church attendance in Europe?

1. Separation of Church and State.
2. Privatization of Faith
3. The Fragmentation of Society. Church use to be central to the community, but that's not true anymore.
4. Eclipse of Community. Basically, a more pluralistic and diverse culture. Think about immigration, and how that has affected the communities of Europe. You no longer just have Europeans.
5. Reason. The increased role of reason and science have taken power away from the church.


Essay Question: 1. Within Protestant circles, some people faced the Enlightenment by embracing it fully. Others either rejected it or were very cautious about some of the implications that were appearing as a direct consequence of the Enlightenment. Within Roman Catholic circles, the situation was somewhat similar, but with remarkably different outcomes at points. Based upon your reading and the lecture, lay out the story in as much detail as you can, noting in particular, several of the key players in these discussions, as well as the role of what might be termed “popular religion.”

Be able to verbalize this out loud.

1. Inefabillus Deus-Immaculate Conception
2. Ascension of Mary
3. Ex Cathedra
4. Sacred Heart of Jesus
5. Monasticism


Essay Question: 2. Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, and Rudolph Bultmann all attempted to come to terms with the realities they faced from the period of World War I onward. They believed that the liberal theology proposed by their 19th Century predecessors was inadequate for the pastoral task. Based upon this lecture and your readings, write an essay in which you address the issues that most troubled them, the explanations they offered, and the way in which evangelicals accepted their work in the latter half of the 20th Century.

Be able to verbalize this out loud.

1. Bultmann

2. Brunner

3. Barth


Essay Question: 3. The Roman Catholic Church made significant changes during the latter half of the 19th Century and leading up to the Second Vatican Council, which would be held from 1962-1965. Name at least three major changes that the Vatican made during this period, and tell what their significance was.

Be able to verbalize this out loud.

1. Ex Cathedera. Papal Infallibility.
2. Monastic Movement. Focus on evangelism. Pope John Paul II called for a re-evangilization of Europe (although that was after Vatican II).
3. Innefabilus Deus. The Immaculate Conception. Sounded like a rejection of modernity, and the reasoning people were doing. It allowed the church to have control in ways that the Protestant didn't.


Essay Question: 4. Using the Barmen Declaration as a guide, write an essay in which you look at religious life in the United States in 2012. In what way(s) might the American church fall under the condemnations of the Barmen Declaration? In what way(s) do you see differences between the American situation in 2013 and the German situation of 1934?

Be able to verbalize this out loud.

1. The Declaration rejects the subordination of the Church to the State.

The conservative part of the American Church has submitted itself to the whims of the Republican Party. The Party informs the church on issues of immigration, gun rights, and love of the poor. Being American is more valued than being Christian.

The liberal side of the church has submitted itself to the whims of Democrats. The Party informs the church on issues of homosexuality and morality. Being culturally relevant is more valued than being a prophetic witness.

2. It also rejects the subordination of the Word and Spirit to the Church.

What the church thinks in American is more important than the Word and the Spirit. I think this has to do with the fact that there is no centralized church, historically, in the United States. There is no Anglican church, or church of the state. There are so many different churches, each with their own theology. We want to have the final say, but there is no Magisterium or Pope to keep us accountable.