Eternal Blessedness for All?: A Historical-Systematic Examination of Schleiermacher’s Understanding of Predestination

By Anette I. Hagan

An enlightening examination of how the pre-eminent 19th century theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher arrived at his position of universal salvation.

ISBN: 9780227174302


Eternal Blessedness for All? shows how the acclaimed father of modern theology, Friedrich Schleiermacher, brilliantly approached this problem. It took many twists and turns of historical and philosophically minded analyses, however, for him to get to a theologically appropriate answer. This book unpacks those efforts in manageable form, based on a close examination of a pivotal 1819 essay, On the Doctrine of Election; his masterpiece, Christian Faith; sermons; and other related sources.

Schleiermacher was the first modern theologian of stature to endorse the universal restoration of all humanity. This study also displays the historical, ecumenical, and doctrinal contexts in which his views were fashioned. It takes a careful look at the contemporary reception of his heterodox, universalist reinterpretation of the traditional Reformed doctrine of double predestination and of Lutheran alternatives, showing that his public stance was, in fact, rather ambiguous, for reasons made clear here. Finally, it examines reasons for his failure to convince contemporary theologians and concludes with an assessment of his interpretation of the doctrine of the one eternal divine decree of universal election in view of current interests in theology.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Anette I. Hagan is Senior Curator of Rare Book Collections at the National Library of Scotland.


Foreword by David Fergusson
Preface and Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

Part One: Background and Context for Schleiermacher’s Conception of Election
2. Theological Background: Protestant Confessions
3. Historical Developments in Prussia up to the Early Nineteenth Century
4. Correspondence and Publications Pro and Contra Church Union

Part Two: Schleiermacher’s Exploration and Development of Election
5. Schleiermacher’s Source Material
6. The Essay “On the Doctrine of Election” and Its Reception
7. Election in Christian Faith
8. Schleiermacher’s Sermons

Part Three: Schleiermacher’s Account of Election in Context
9. Related Doctrines
10. Lutheran Concerns
11. Universal Restoration and Schleiermacher’s Position
12. Appreciation

Index of Names
Index of Symbolic Books, Confessions, and Catechisms


Endorsements and Reviews

In this compelling study, Hagan presents a comprehensive treatment of Schleiermacher’s innovative doctrine of election. With sustained attention to the underlying contexts of German Reformed Protestantism and Prussian church union, Hagan provides an insightful exposition and perceptive analysis of the development of Schleiermacher’s understanding of election and its systematic implications. … This is a deeply impressive and highly engaging book, offering an accomplished contribution to the ongoing renaissance in Schleiermacher studies.
Paul T. Nimmo, New College, University of Edinburgh

This is an interesting read, with significant work done on contextualising many relevant topics surrounding Schleiermacher and his work
on predestination and election. As such it would be relevant for anyone looking for an in-depth and detailed study of this topic, particularly those looking to set the range of relevant ideas and influences in historical context.
Kris Hiuser, in Theological Book Review, Vol 26, No 1

[An] intuitive and objective investigation of the dogmatic doctrine of the predetermination of humanity towards their ecstatic destiny through God’s advice.
Wolfgang Sommer, in Theologische Literaturzeitung, No 140, Heft 11

… this is a salutory and well researched study …
Paul Brazier, in Heythrop Journal, Vol 56, Issue 6