[文摘] 新正統運動Neo-orthodoxy (from Wikipedia)


in Europe also known as theology of crisis and dialectical theology,[1][2] is an approach to theology in Protestantism that was developed in the aftermath of the First World War (1914-1918). It is characterized as a reaction against doctrines of 19th century liberal theology and a more positive reevaluation of the teachings of the Reformation, much of which had been in decline (especially in western Europe) since the late 18th century.[3] It is primarily associated with two Swiss professors and pastors, Karl Barth[4](1886-1968) and Emil Brunner (1899-1966),[1][2] even though Barth himself expressed his unease in the use of the term.[5]


There is a strong emphasis on the revelation of God by God as the source of Christian doctrine. Natural theology, whose proponents include Thomas Aquinas (13th Century) states that knowledge of God can be gained through a combination of observation of nature and human reason. It is a very controversial topic within contemporary Christianity. Barth totally rejected natural theology because he believed our vision is clouded by the distortions of our transgressions, or sins. Brunner, on the other hand, believed that natural theology still had an important, although not decisive, role. This led to a sharp disagreement between the two men, the first of several controversies that prevented the movement from acquiring a monolithic, homogeneous character, unusual given the tendency of theological systems to produce conformity to precepts established by a revered founding figure (but somewhat akin to the relationship of Sigmund Freud to his disciples).

  • But Hauerwas’ account of Thomistic natural theology says that natural law can be never divorced from virtue and practices of faith. For Aquinas this is non-issue. Now if it really has to be separated, then I am for Brunner’s idea in terms of the function of natural law.

Transcendence of God

Most neo-orthodox thinkers stressed the transcendence of God. Barth believed that the emphasis on the immanence of God had led human beings to imagine God to amount to nothing more than humanity writ large
(特筆)大書されて;大規模に. He stressed the « infinite qualitative distinction » between the human and the divine, a reversion to older Protestant teachings on the nature of God and a rebuttal against the intellectual heritage of philosophical idealism. This led to a general devaluation of philosophical and metaphysical approaches to the faith, although some thinkers, notably Paul Tillich, attempted a median course between strict transcendence and ontological analysis of the human condition, a stand that caused a further division in the movement.


Some of the neo-orthodox theologians made use of existentialism. Rudolf Bultmann (who was associated with Barth and Brunner in the 1920s in particular) was strongly influenced by his sometime colleague at Marburg, the German existentialist philosopher Martin Heidegger. Reinhold Niebuhr and (to a lesser extent, and mostly in his earlier writings尼布爾後來轉向高派文化批判,也是以此聞名。卻想不到早年是個體存在主義者!) Karl Barth were influenced by the writings of the 19th century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard was a critic of the then-fashionable liberal Christian modernist effort to rationalise Christianity, to make it palatable to those whom Friedrich Schleiermacher, a liberal, deemed the « cultured despisers of religion. » Instead, under pseudonymous names such as Johannes Climacus, he maintained that Christianity is absurd (transcends human understanding) and presents the individual with paradoxical choices. The decision to become a Christian is not fundamentally a rational decision but a leap of faith. Opponents of Kierkegaard’s approach and neo-orthodoxy in general have termed this fideism, a blatant refusal to find support for the faith outside its own circles. For the most part, proponents rebut that no such support exists, that supposed reasons and evidences for faith are fabrications of fallen human imagination, in effect constituting idolatry, a grave sin consistently condemned in the Bible. Some neo-orthodox has gone so far as to claim greater affinity with atheists in that regard than with the theological and cultural trappings外部標誌; 服飾, 禮服; 外表的裝飾 of so-called « Christendom, » which Kierkegaard venomously denounced in his later works.

  • Hauerwas在這點上整合了Barth, Kierkegaard, and Thomas。他發覺基督王國本身是具有唯信基礎(只是後來在大部分神職人員中間喪失了)的自然神學。

Sin and human nature

In neo-orthodoxy, sin is not seen as mere error or ignorance; it is not something than can be overcome by reason, intellectual reflection, or social institutions (e.g., schools); it can only be overcome by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. Sin is seen as something unholy within human nature itself.[6] This amounts to a renovation of historical teachings about original sin (especially drawing upon Augustine of Hippo), although [Neo-orthodox] thinkers generally avoided forensic interpretations of it and consequential elaborations about total depravity, as was favored by past generations in formulating dogma and—by extension—hierarchical systems of ecclesiastical domination. The means of supposed transmission of sin is not anywhere as important as its pervasive reality, to neo-orthodox minds.

  • 例如說Niebuhr從結構上著手。而如果稱義的本質無法在任何人類經驗層面上被再現,那麼它就是一種唯信的神學形上學!可是憑什麼非基督徒們會要接受這種無法被再現的說法呢?一定是因為經驗和理性說服了他們、告訴他們現下的生活缺少了些什麼、是不完美的(在神學語言上,這樣經驗理性結構傳統的複合人格轉化被稱為聖靈的工作)。而如果信與不信的人在宣教與傳福音的對話中是有語言可以使用的(as opposed to merely through love and action),那麼唯信的神學形上學就很難站得住腳—因為一個跨越信仰藩籬的普遍性基礎才是你們宣教的本質信仰(working assumption of mission)。
  • Hauerwas的合一進路在這點上顯得非常地不明確。也就是說,這樣的教會即是對內取得了大公性、合一性,也無法說明它在公眾領域的參與上該如何才能取得更大的突破。我們能確信一個高度合一的教會能給社會帶來很大的影響力,然而在不願放棄唯信基礎的前提下,它的終極形式將是Constantinism–但這樣政教合一的「下一個基督王國」(the next Christendom)會是你想要試圖再現的嗎?
  • It seems to me right now the way to solve the problem mentioned in first paragraph lies on the introduction of the idea of ‘analogy’, ‘narrative theology’, and the ‘kerygmatic’ aspect of Missio Dei. 這樣看來,是必須沖淡唯信色彩的。導入「類比」、「敘事」、「神透過宣講工作」等觀念,可以解釋基督信仰明明是唯信式的,和異教徒溝通信仰卻仍然是可能的。

As such, the association of original sin with sexuality produces nothing but moralism, a rectitude that is overly optimistic and quite delusional about human capabilities to resist the power of unfaith and disobedience in all areas of life, not just sexual behavior. This core conviction about the universality and intransigence of sin has elements of determinism, and thus has caused considerable offense to those holding that human beings are capable of effecting their salvation wholly or in part (i.e., synergism). In other words, neo-orthodoxy might be said to have a greater appreciation of tragedy in human existence than either conservatism or liberalism, a point emphasized by a latter-day interpreter of the movement, Canadian theologian Douglas John Hall.

  • 唯信主義既堅持「聖靈工作」這樣的神學語言是更基礎的社會心理學描述,就無可避免地要接納「命定論」、排斥「雙工論」。

Relation to Other Theologies

Neo-orthodoxy is distinct from both liberal Protestantism and evangelicalism, but it cannot properly be considered a mediating position between the two, although some interpreters have tried to press it into that role. Neo-orthodoxy draws from various Protestant theological heritages (primarily Lutheran and Calvinist ones) in an attempt to rehabilitate Christian dogmas largely outside the restraints of Enlightenment thought. However, its adherents saw no value at all in rehabilitating tradition for its own sake, unlike confessionalist or fundamentalist reactions to subjectivist, individualist approaches (past or present) to the Christian faith. The doctrinal heritage of Protestantism’s past is used only to the degree that said tradition affirms the living Word of God in Jesus Christ; propositions in and of themselves, whether from the Biblical text or from human statements of faith, are not sufficient to build theology upon, in their eyes (hensce « post-propositionalism »). Also, in the political pursuit of social justice and intellectual freedom and honesty, the neo-orthodox, unlike the conservatives they were accused by detractors of resembling, often made practical alliances with liberals, as both groups shared a deep hostility to authoritarianism of any kind, in both church and state.

  • 這段有點過度概括…。對Tillich and Niebuhr來說是如此,對Barth就絕對不適用。而把這三人同樣歸在Neo-orthodoxy的標題下本身就是荒謬。

The broadness of the term « neo-orthodox », however, has led to its abandonment as a useful classification, especially after new emphases in mainline Protestant theology appeared during the 1960s. These included 1) the « Death of God » movement, which attacked the linguistic and cultural foundations of all previous theology, and 2) a renewal of interest among Biblical scholars in the so-called « historical Jesus, » something which neo-orthodox theologians largely dismissed as irrelevant to serious Christian faith. However, some of the movement’s positions and worldviews would inform later movements such as 3) liberation theology during the 1970s and 1980s從and 4) postliberalism during the 1990s and 2000s, although distinct theologically and ethically from both (i.e., liberationist use of Marxist conceptual analysis and narrativist dependence upon virtue theory, none of which is found in most older neo-orthodox thought).

  • 這邊忽略了福音派的聖經神學運動。
  • Liberation theology(Tillich and Niebuhr這一派高等社會批判神學衍生+Marxism)和post-liberal theology(從Barth and Brunner這一派唯信主義和新啟示論中衍生+ narrative theology+ new hermeneutical movement+ virtue theory)兩者如果能整合就太棒了!儘管曾慶豹是我看到最接近這個神學願景的人,然而其徹底的「語言轉向」卻不啻於在Lindbeck最脆弱的cultural-linguistic沙堡上繼續建構語言巴別塔。
  • 在我看來,從「關係神學」才能最完整地取兩者之長。Bonhoeffer, Hans Frei, and von Balthasar會是更適合的橋樑、根基。

Influence upon American Protestantism

From its inception, this school of thought has largely been unacceptable to Protestant evangelicalism, since neo-orthodoxy generally accepts biblical criticism and has remained mostly silent on the perceived conflicts caused by evolutionary science, and in espousing these two viewpoints, it retains at least some aspects of 19th-century liberal theology.[7] This is in keeping with its stated aim not to commit to specific theories of verbal inspiration of the Bible, seeing them utterly subordinate (if important at all) to the transformative event of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

Although a few evangelicals have sought a rapport with neo-orthodoxy, most notably the Americans Donald Bloesch (PhD of U of C) and Bernard Ramm (see Vanhoozer’s academic engagement with him in « The Voice and the Actor: A Dramatic Proposal about the Ministry of Theology » in Evangelical Futures, 2000 ed. John Stackhouse), they have convinced very few on either side that the two positions are compatible enough to form a working relationship. One reason for this is that evangelicalism, in keeping with its aims to produce conversion experiences, is far more concerned with the accessibility of its ideas to a large audience, as opposed to the primarily academic approach (i.e., paradox, irony), and thus intellectual difficulty, which neo-orthodoxy espouses.

  • 只要想:對一般初入門的信徒來說,相信「聖經有絕對無上正確性和權威」,比起解釋「其背後複雜的詮釋學效應(交響神學、詮釋循環、啟示載體)」來得容易許多就知道了。
  • 可惜福音派在哲學上取巧的簡便作法,也使其在社會批判上無力、不到位、對高知識份子和權要人士欠缺對話支點和說服力。

In fact, some neo-orthodox thinkers such as Reinhold Niebuhr have accused evangelicals of over-simplifying biblical interpretation and complex doctrines in order to intimidate hearers into accepting the faith. In so doing, they [Evangelicals] are accused of often totally ignoring aspects of the Bible not immediately related to soteriology or personal morality, such as the prophets’ denunciation of Israel’s pride and spiritual complacency and the Pauline understanding of the human predicament, of human inability to measure up fully to the standards of divine righteousness and justice.

The movement achieved its greatest receptivity in the U.S. during the mid-20th century, primarily within denominational traditions stemming from Reformation heritages such as Presbyterianism, those bodies of Lutheranism not professing strict confessionalism, and, to a lesser extent, the predecessor denominations of the present United Church of Christ. It was less influential among mainline Protestant groups with an Arminian theological orientation, such as the Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the Northern Baptists, with many pastors in these denominations opting to continue the traditions of American religious liberalism (while others firmly took their stands with evangelicalism). Generally speaking, along with other strands of liberal-oriented Protestantism, it had a far greater following among ministers than laypeople, and within the clergy ranks, primarily among theological educators.

  • 真有趣。通常只要瞭解詮釋本質和聖經內容的複雜性後,對從前天真的信仰觀念就有重新定位的必要。然而在講道時,很少有傳道人能把這樣的心路歷程誠實清晰地說出來。

Recent critical scholarship

German scholars have recently begun to warn English-speaking (i.e., « the Anglo-American world ») scholarship against too serious an application of neo-orthodoxy as a theological paradigm, calling such use a « neo-orthodox reading » or « neo-orthodox misreading » of a theologian’s work, especially that of the always well-respected Karl Barth.[8] Viewing Barth, his predecessors, and his contemporaries’ work in terms of historical forces and in relation to various earlier, shared, or later theological movements (e.g., theological paradigms) has, however, been and remains a valid method of scholarship.[9]

  • 從德國發起的一種重讀Barth運動。不過這個發展可以在也Stephen Long追溯Radical Orthodoxy的發展( »Radical Orthodoxy », Cambridge Introduction of Postmodern theology, 2003, ed. Vanhoozer)中看到。

Important Figures of the Movement