* Now published for the first time in English---Bayer's illuminating biography of the thinker Goethe called the "brightest man of his age." A radical dissenter against secularization, journalist/theologian Johann Georg Hamann churned out publications aimed at undermining the Enlightenment zeitgeist. This probing profile demonstrates that his thought is as relevant today as it was in the 1700s. 256 pages, softcover from Eerdmans.
In this biography -- translated for the first time into English -- German theologian Oswald Bayer describes the life and work of journalist-theologian Johann Georg Hamann (17301788). At a time when it seemed that the forces of secularization were attempting to claim the future, Hamann churned out small publications aimed at undermining the Enlightenment zeitgeist, turning its assumptions upside down and skewering its pretensions. Although largely forgotten until recent times, Hamann as radical dissenter -- whom Goethe called the "brightest man of his age" -- remains relevant today, as Bayer shows in this book.
Oswald Bayer is professor emeritus of systematic theology atthe University of T?bingen, Germany, and director of theLuther Academy Sondershausen-Ratzeburg. He is also anordained pastor of the Lutheran Church of W?rttemberg andwas the editor of Neue Zeitschrift f?r SystematischeTheologie und Religionsphilosophie from 1986 to2006. His research focuses especially on Luther andHamann.,
Roy A. Harrisville is professor emeritus of New Testamentat Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. He is alsocoauthor of The Bible in Modern Culture: Baruch Spinozato Brevard Childs (Eerdmans).
Mark C. Mattes is professor of philosophy and religion atGrand View University, Des Moines, Iowa.
-- Professor of Philosophy, Boston University
"This book by Oswald Bayer has been the classic introduction to Hamann's thought in Germany since 1988. It is first and foremost an attempt to show that Hamann is not merely a historical figure but a thinker whose ideas are just as relevant today as when he first proposed them. I am glad that I can refer my English-speaking students to this book now, and I hope that the English translation will provide an impetus to the further study of this deep thinker who is still not sufficiently appreciated in Englishspeaking countries."
-- Pastor, Trinity Reformed Church, Moscow, Idaho
"It takes a prophet to contribute to debates two hundred years before they start. J. G. Hamann is that rarity. . . . Bayer's excellent book shows Hamann's importance to today's debates about language and meaning, religion and science, God and time, reason and faith, postmodernity, liberal political order, and theological interpretation of Scripture. No century has needed Hamann's profoundly Christocentric dissent more than ours."
-- Director, Lokahi Foundation, London
"Oswald Bayer here draws on his lifetime of scholarship to produce a broad-ranging, fresh, and engaging introduction to this important but neglected thinker. Those who are interested in the core issues of philosophy and theology will benefit richly from acquaintance with Hamann. . . . To this enigmatic and challenging writer there can be no better guide than Oswald Bayer."
Reviews in Religion and Theology
"Bayer presents Hamanns (Lutheran) thought with panache and deep learning, constantly situating Hamann in his intellectual environment and signaling how his thought relates to our own time."
"Bayers lucid retrieval, appropriation and advocacy of Hamann is an important contribution to post-modern theological reconstruction."
Word & World
"Hamann was a man who made considerable contributions to theological and philosophical thought in his own day, and has relevance and significance for theology today."