Original Research

J S Semler (1725-1791) se beskouing van geskiedenis, kerkgeskiedenis en heils-geskiedenis - 'n Verkenning

Christo Pretorius, S. J. Botha
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 54, No 1/2 | a1412 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v54i1/2.1412 | © 1998 Christo Pretorius, S. J. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 1998 | Published: 12 December 1998

About the author(s)

Christo Pretorius, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa
S. J. Botha, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

Full Text:



J S Semler's (1725-1791) view of history, church history and salvation history - An exploration. Johan Solomon Semler introduced a new understanding of Scripture through his view of history. This article tries to indicate that the scheme according to which he viewed history is one based on the distination between content and form. By means of this  scheme, Semler endeavoured to reconcile faith and revelation with ideas from the Renaissance, Enlightenment and English Deism. Semler's premises were not just influenced by scholars like Leibnitz and Baumgarten, but his association with Pietism and Orthodoxy further contributed to the formation of his view of history. However, as a result of his premises, Semler surrendered church history and salvation history to the Enlightenment view of history. Church history and salvation history were consequently interpreted in terms of progress in the perfection of morality. Unaware of his own historical position, Semler subjected the contents of church history and salvation history to his own premises.


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