The Rebirth of Revelation: German Theology in an Age of Reason and History, 1750-1850



Despite being a pillar of belief in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the idea of revelation was deeply discredited over the course of the Enlightenment. The post-Enlightenment restoration of revelation among German religious thinkers is a fascinating yet underappreciated moment in modern efforts to navigate between reason and faith. The Rebirth of Revelation compares Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish reflections on revelation from 1750 to 1850 and asserts that a strategic transformation in the term’s meaning secured its relevance for the modern age. Tuska Benes argues that “propositional” revelation, understood as the infallible dispensation of doctrine, gave way to revelation as a subjective process of inner transformation or the historical disclosure of divine being in the world. By comparatively approaching the unconventional ways in which Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism have rehabilitated the concept of revelation, The Rebirth of Revelation restores theology to a central place in modern European intellectual history.


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