Christian theology emerged by way of a Kuhnian Paradigm Shift

This paper argues that, historically, Christianity emerges out of Judaism by way of a paradigm shift in Thomas Kuhn's sense of the word and that this emergence has normative consequences regarding the legitimacy of Christianity. Paradigm shifts are characterized by observational anomalies (e.g....

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Grube, Dirk-Martin 1959-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2018]
In:International journal of philosophy and theology
Year: 2018, Volume: 79, Issue: 1/2, Pages: 178-193
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Christianity / Judaism / Resurrection / Paradigm shift
Further subjects:B Christian relation/Jewish
B John Hick
B Christology
B Wolfhart Pannenberg
B historical Jesus
B Paradigm shift
B prophecy
B Rudolf Bultmann
B Gerhard Ebeling
B Messiah
B Ingolf Dalferth
B resurrection
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Summary:This paper argues that, historically, Christianity emerges out of Judaism by way of a paradigm shift in Thomas Kuhn's sense of the word and that this emergence has normative consequences regarding the legitimacy of Christianity. Paradigm shifts are characterized by observational anomalies (e.g. Röntgen rays) triggering particular kinds of theoretical modifications, e.g. meaning-changes of key terms, leading to a coherent re-disclosure of reality. The first Christians underwent such a paradigm shift: The anomalous experience that the dead Jesus has risen triggered theoretical modifications - the term "Messiah" underwent a meaning-change - so that reality could be coherently re-disclosed as eschatological reality. If Christianity emerges by way of a paradigm shift, this shift should be the foundation of Christological theorizing: Rather than basing Christology on what the "historical Jesus" did or said, the reconstruction of Jesus as the Christ in the context of this shift is foundational for Christology (in line with Rudolf Bultmann). The resurrection is crucial not as a historical fact but as an anomaly in this sense. Since they acquired their beliefs via a paradigm; shift, the first Christians were entitled to their ways of reading the Jewish Scriptures without, however, the Jews being disentitled to their ways.
ISSN:2169-2335
DOI:10.1080/21692327.2017.1422988
Persistent identifiers:DOI "10.1080/21692327.2017.1422988"