October 9, 2008
Vol. 28 No. 2

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    Protestant theologian Schleiermacher heats up debate among todayís scholars

    By Josh Schonwald
    News Office

    Friedrich Schleiermacher

    The Divinity School’s Martin Marty Center will sponsor a landmark two-day conference on the work of a 19th-century thinker who has been the source of an increasingly hot debate among theologians and philosophers.

    The past three decades have witnessed a surge of interest in the Protestant theologian and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher.

    Schleiermacher was the first major Christian thinker to theorize religion in a post-Enlightenment context, and his liberalism and humanism have made him a controversial figure among theological traditionalists.

    His work recently became the target of polemics from religious studies scholars eager to disassociate their discipline from its partial origins in liberal Protestantism.

    The conference, “Schleiermacher, the Study of Religion and the Future of Theology,” will run from Wednesday, Oct. 29 to Friday, Oct. 31 in Swift Hall.

    It will convene leading scholars from Europe and North America to discuss Schleiermacher’s relevance to the study of religion today, his impact on the prospect of a transcendental-anthropological theory of religion and his influence on the future of historical-empirical dogmatics.

    For a complete list of panels and discussants, please visit the Martin Marty Center’s Web site at: http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/.

    Organizational support comes from the Schleiermacher Group of the AAR and Schleiermacher-Gesellschaft e.V. Funding has been provided by Stanford University, the Martin Marty Center of the Divinity School and the German Academic Exchange Service. The conference precedes the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on Saturday, Nov. 1.