Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Encountering Bultmann - a personal account (Pt 1/3)

Many of you know, I was converted into a conservative evangelical / fundamentalist tradition. And I will persist in saying, it gave me much to be eternally grateful for.

However, the freedom to read books that weren’t conservative and evangelical was not something that tended to be encouraged. In fact, many a time during my formative years in the faith, I would put down a really interesting but theologically ‘questionable’ book out of a sense of guilt.

And if you were regularly caught reading and talking favourably about anything theologically ‘dodgy’, oh my! … prayer networks may be alerted if the habit persisted! How things have changed! Now I don’t feel happy unless I’m regularly seen with a copy of Why Everything You Christians Believe is Total Bollocks by Prof. Raving Infidel. Alas, the pathetic self-therapy attempts of a Recovering-Fundie …

One author in particular was deeply anathematised; an author that, it was suggested, could guarantee a veritable swarm of demons in your head if you opened his works.

Rudolf Bultmann was his name.

I remember being told a (probably apocryphal) story about one of his students that fled his evil theological mind-control, emigrated to America, and told the world the terrible truth of the man in Marburg. It all served to keep him as villainous as possible.


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