Bultmann, Rudolf Karl

Bultmann, Rudolf Karl bo͝oltˈmän [key], 1884–1976, German existentialist theologian, educated at the universities of Tübingen, Berlin, and Marburg. He taught at the universities of Breslau and Giessen and from 1921 to 1950 was professor at the Univ. of Marburg. Strongly influenced by the existentialist philosophy of Martin Heidegger, Bultmann is best known for his work on the New Testament, which he reduced—with the exception of the Passion—to basic elements of myth, which then have application to contemporary concerns. His approach is termed “demythologization.” His classic work is Theology of the New Testament (tr. 1951). Other writings in English translation include Essays, Philosophical and Theological (1952, tr. 1955), Primitive Christianity in its Contemporary Setting (1949, tr. 1963), Jesus and the World (1951, tr. 1958), The Gospel of John (1953, tr. 1971), The History of the Synoptic Tradition (1957, 2d ed. tr. 1968); see also his selected shorter writings, Existence and Faith (tr. 1960); studies by E. T. Lang (1968), Walter Schmithals (tr. 1968), and André Malet (tr. 1969).

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