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Ritschl, Albrecht Benjamin

(1822–89). B. Berlin, Ger.; educ. Bonn, Halle, Heidelberg, Tübingen; prof. Bonn 1852, Göttingen 1864; consistorial councillor Göttingen 1874; pupil of K. I. Nitzsch,* F. A. G. Tholuck,* Julius Müller,* K. Schwarz,* and R. Rothe*; for a time a Hegelian of the later Tübingen* school of F. C. Baur*; since 1856 he became more and more the founder of a school of his own, influenced by I. Kant,* F. D. E. Schleiermacher,* and R. H. Lotze.* Ritschl claimed to be evangelical but based his theol. on the consciousness of the believer as presented esp. in the NT, which, in turn, the theologian makes his own by actual experience of the power of Christ working in His church. Acc. to Ritschl, religion is faith in high spiritual powers that elevated man. The preexistence of Christ is denied. There is no original sin; sin is mistrust in God and its punishment is the feeling of guilt; God regards it as ignorance. There is no wrath of God against sin and no vicarious atonement of Christ. God is love; as soon as man realizes this he is redeemed and justified. From this follows the new life of love toward God, faith, prayer, humility, and patience. Value judgments are important in theol. and its application. The influence of Ritschl is widespread. Works include Die christliche Lehre von der Rechtfertigung und Versöhnung. See also Lutheran Theology After 1580, 12; Modernism, 2; Social Gospel; Subordinationism; Switzerland, Contemporary Theology in, 1–2.

O. Ritschl, Albrecht Ritschls Leben, 2 vols. (Freiburg, 1892–96).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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