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The Core of Christian Faith

D.F. Strauss and His Catholic Critics


William Madges

This book describes the «great sensation» that David Friedrich Strauss's Life of Jesus (1835) caused among his Roman Catholic contemporaries in the 1830s and 1840s. It not only provides a careful exposition of the reasons for the Catholic critique of Strauss, but also shows how the Strauss-Catholic debate exemplifies the pitfalls that result when the historical person of Jesus is considered either inconsequential (Strauss) or absolutely indispensable (the Catholic critics) for faith's content and character. Insofar as their different historical judgments about the gospels were rooted in a deeper, though sometimes latent, disagreement about the nature of faith, the Strauss-Catholic dispute has a value that transcends its original historical context.
Contents: This book provides a careful exposition of the Roman Catholic responses in the 1830s and 1840s to David Friedrich Strauss's The Life of Jesus Critically Examined (1835). The book differs from others in that it is the first extended analysis (in either German or English) of the four major Catholic respondents to Strauss.