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Bernhard Welte's Fundamental Theological Approach to Christology

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Anthony Godzieba

The present work examines the christological essays of the German Catholic theologian and philosopher of religion Bernhard Welte (1906-1983). Although little-known in English-speaking circles, Welte's theological and philosophical writings have been influential in European and especially in German Roman Catholic theology. His work in both Christology and fundamental theology has made a notable contribution to the renewal of Catholic Christology which began in the 1950s. Welte's christological writings, like those of his contemporary, Karl Rahner, are important for having demonstrated a way to overcome the extrinsicist and ahistoricist Neo-Scholastic principles which dominated Roman Catholic Christology in the first half of this century. Welte's endeavors helped to elevate the humanity of Jesus to its important role in contemporary christological discussion, and his insights have become part of the normal discourse of Roman Catholic systematic theology. His work continues to be a resource for theologians who reflect on the intersection of Christian faith with contemporary culture.