Oswald Bayer


Oswald Bayer
Oswald Bayer
Born September 30, 1939
Nagold, Germany
Occupation Theologian , Luther Scholar

Oswald Bayer (born September 30, 1939 in Nagold) is a German Lutheran theologian, and is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany. The author of several books in German, he is also an ordained pastor of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg and president of the senate of the Luther Academy in Ratzeburg. Although Bayer is a major contemporary Lutheran theologian, so far little of his work has been translated from German into English.

Contents

Life

Oswald Bayer studied Protestant theology and philosophy in Tübingen, Bonn and Rome, received his doctorate in 1968 and habilitation in 1970 on the concept of promissio (promise) in the theology of the young Luther. His doctoral and postdoctoral work has been titled Promissio. He has also written on the history of the turning point in Luther's Reformation theology.

Oswald Bayer taught from 1974 to 1979 as professor of Systematic Theology at the Ruhr University Bochum. In 1979 he was appointed director of the Institute for Christian Social Ethics at the University of Tübingen. In 1995 he moved to the chair of systematic theology. Since 2005, Oswald Bayer has been Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen.

Work

Oswald Bayer's theology is based on Luther's theology of word and promise which he uses to provide a critical engagement with modernity. To this end Bayer builds on the intelligent, critic of Kant, Johann Georg Hamann and also the linguistic-related developments of the 20th Century (for example, Paul Ricoeur, Ludwig Wittgenstein). He has published numerous interpretations of Luther and Hamann.

In the center of his theology is the promise of God to man, while the man responds in faith. Faith is therefore always, to Oswald Bayer, a speech act, an exchange between God and man. The exemplary center of this speech is the Divine Service, the source and destination point of all theology. Christian theology is regarded as justifying the interpretation of this linguistic event between God and the justified sinner. This is for Bayer - in allusion to Martin Luther - the object of theology (the subiectum theologiae). Theology, which interprets the word occurrence, is itself always the hearer of God's word. This basic, systematic approach has unfolded Oswald Bayer in the areas of hermeneutics, philosophy of science, sociology and ethics.

In his word-theological approach, he pointedly turned against modern subjectivity, theology in the tradition of Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, as it represents at present in modified form, for example Bayer's Tübingen colleague Eilert Herms. In addition, Bayer also has enagaged with other contemporary theological and philosophical trends (such as the Marxist) in detail.

Bibliography

  • Promissio. Geschichte der reformatorischen Wende in Luthers Theologie (2. Aufl. 1989)
  • Schöpfung als Anrede. Zu einer Hermeneutik der Schöpfung (2. Aufl. 1990)
  • Authorität und Kritik. Zu Hermeneutik und Wissenschaftstheorie (1991)
  • Leibliches Wort. Reformation und Neuzeit im Konflikt (1992)
  • Freiheit als Antwort. Zur theologischen Ethik (1995)
  • Zeitgenosse im Widerspruch. Johann Georg Hamann als radikaler Aufklärer (1988)
  • Theologie. Handbuch Systematischer Theologie 1 (1994)
  • Gott als Author. Zu einer poietologischen Theologie (1999)
  • Vernunft ist Sprache. Hamanns Metakritik Kants (2002)
  • Martin Luthers Theologie. Eine Vergegenwärtigung (3. Aufl. 2007)
  • Bayer, Oswald u. Gleede, Benjamin (Hrsgg.) : Creator est creatura. Luthers Christologie als Lehre von der Idiomenkommunikation, Berlin 2007

Writings in English

A few of Bayer's books have been made available to the English-speaking world.

  • Living by Faith: Justification and Sanctification. Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.
  • Martin Luther's Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation. Translated by Thomas H. Trapp. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.
  • Theology the Lutheran Way. Translated by Jeffrey G. Silcock and Mark C. Mattes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.
  • Oswald Bayer, and Alan Suggate. Worship and Ethics: Lutherans and Anglicans in Dialogue. Theologische Bibliothek Toplemann, no. 70. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1995.
  • Tillich as Systematic Theologian, The Cambridge companion to Paul Tillich. Russell Re Manning (ed). Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press, 2009

Bayer has also published numerous articles that have been translated into English. Many of these have appeared in journals such as Lutheran Quarterly, Modern Theology, and others.

References

Chair [1]

Literature by and about Oswald Bayer [2]


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