Historical Who is Who

TROELTSCH, Ernst

1865 - 1923
GERMANY
SOCIAL SCIENCE, RELIGION

Ernst Troeltsch was a scholar who interpreted Christianity and church developments in historical perspective. Its theology and social teachings are to be understood in their particular contexts and therefore not in any ‘fixed-for-all time’ content. Law, philosophy and psychology as well as theology are all relevant disciplines to understand the Christian and any other religion. Historical relativism is a challenge which he addressed by preferring to characterise religious truth claims as ‘Relatively Absolute’ rather than ‘Absolute’. For Christians that relatedness is to a personal and moral source individually sensed and historically found in Jesus. In social and organisational terms their response is expressed as church, sect and cult – categories extensively discussed and refined in the subsequent sociology of religion.

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