« PredošláPokračovať »
The present volume is the first of three, which will reproduce in English the contents of Vol. III. of Harnack's great work in the German original, third Edition. The author's prefaces to the first and second Editions and to the third Edition are here translated. This volume deals with the epoch-making service of Augustine as a reformer of Christian piety and as a theological teacher, and with the influence he exercised down to the period of the Carlovingian Renaissance. The following volume will complete the history of the Development of Dogma by telling the story of Mediaeval Theology. The concluding volume will treat of the Issues of Dogma in the period since the Reformation, and will contain a General Index for the whole work.
A. B. BRUCE.
PREFACE TO FIRST AND SECOND
There does not yet exist a recognised method for presenting the History of Dogma of the Mediaeval and more modern period. There is no agreement either as to the extent or treatment of our material, and the greatest confusion prevails as to the goal to be aimed at. The end and aim, the method and course adopted in the present Text-Book, were clearly indicated in the introduction to the first volume. I have seen no reason to make any change in carrying out the work. But however definite may be our conception of the task involved in our branch of study, the immense theological material presented by the Middle Ages, and the uncertainty as to what was Dogma at that time, make selection in many places an experiment. I may not hope that the experiment has always been successful.
After a considerable pause, great activity has been shown in the study of our subject in the last two years. Benrath, Hauck, Bonwetsch, and Seeberg have published new editions of older Text-Books; Loofs has produced an excellent Guide to the History of Dogma; Kaftan has given a sketch of the study in his work on the Truth of the Christian Religion; Moller and Koffmane have devoted special attention to the sections dealing with it in their volumes on Ancient Church History. The study of these books, and many others which I have gratefully made use of, has shown me that my labours on this great subject have not remained isolated or been fruitless. The knowledge of this has outweighed many experiences which I pass over in silence.
This concluding volume counts, to a greater extent than its predecessors, on the indulgence of my learned colleagues; for its author is not a "specialist," either in the history of the Mediaeval Church or in the period of the Reformation. But the advantage possessed by him who comes to the Middle Ages and the Reformation with a thorough knowledge of ecclesiastical antiquity perhaps outweighs the defects of an account which does not everywhere rest on a complete induction. One man can really review all the sources for the history of the Ancient Church; but as regards the Middle Ages and the history of the Reformation, even one more familiar with them than the author of this Text-Book will prove his wisdom simply by the most judicious choice of the material which he studies independently. The exposition of Augustine, Anselm, Thomas, the Council of Trent, Socinianism, and Luther rests throughout on independent studies. This is also true of other parts; but sections will be found in which the study is not advanced, but only its present position is reproduced.
I have spent a great deal of time on the preparation of a Table of Contents. I trust it will assist the use of the book. But for the book itself, I wish that it may contribute to break down the power that really dictates in the theological conflicts of the present, viz., ignorance. We cannot, indeed, think too humbly of the importance of theological science for Christian piety; but we cannot rate it too highly as regards the development of the Evangelical Church, our relation to the past, and the preparation of that better future in which, as once in the second century, the Christian faith will again be the comfort of the weak and the strength of the strong.
Berlin, 24th Dec, 1889.
PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION.
SINCE this volume first appeared, there may have been published about fifty monographs and more extensive treatises on the Western History of Dogma, most of which have referred to it. I have tried to make use of them for the new Edition, and I also proposed to make other additions and corrections on the