Ritschl, Albrecht

Ritschl, Albrecht älˈbrĕkht rĭchˈəl [key], 1822–89, German Protestant theologian. He taught theology at Bonn (1851–64) and at Göttingen (from 1864). The Ritschlian theology, a reaction against rationalism, was influential in the 19th and early 20th cent. Ritschl held that God could be known only through the revelation contained in the works and person of Jesus. His theology stressed ethics and the community of man and repudiated metaphysics. Ritschl's most characteristic work has been translated as The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation (Vol. I and III, 1872 and 1900). His son Otto Ritschl wrote his biography (2 vol., 1892–96).

See also E. A. Edghill, Faith and Fact: A Study of Ritschlianism (1910); P. J. Hefner, Faith and the Vitalities of History (1966); D. W. Lotz, Ritschl and Luther (1974).

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