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Christian Theologies of the SacramentsA Comparative Introduction$
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Justin S. Holcomb and David A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724323

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724323.001.0001

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Friedrich Schleiermacher

Friedrich Schleiermacher

(p.295) 16 Friedrich Schleiermacher
Christian Theologies of the Sacraments

Paul T. Nimmo

NYU Press

This chapter recounts the theology of the sacraments of the post-Enlightenment Reformed theologian, philosopher, and pastor Friedrich Schleiermacher, who is often considered the father of modern liberal theology. He was unique in that rather than rooting his theologies of the sacraments in a “magical” or “empirical” approach, Schleiermacher advocated a “mystical” approach, grounded in “the religious affections of the Christian community” united in its redemption through Jesus Christ. Baptism and Eucharist are therefore “actions which establish and preserve communion of life with Christ in the present day.” His approach to the theology of the sacraments was quite ecumenical, for while disagreeing with Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli he accepted their views as equally valid, rather than reasons for division in the church.

Keywords:   sacrament, Eucharist, baptism, Friedrich Schleiermacher

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