Between Humanist Philosophy and Apocalyptic Theology : The Twentieth Century Sojourn of Samuel Stefan Osusky
Author(s): Paul R. Hinlicky
Samuel Stefan Osusky was a leading intellectual in Slovak Lutheranism and a bishop in his church. In 1937 he delivered a prescient lecture to the assembled clergy, "The Philosophy of Fascism, Bolshevism and Hitlerism", that clearly foretold the dark days ahead. As wartime bishop, he co-authored a "Pastoral Letter on the Jewish Question", which publicly decried the deportation of Jews to Poland in 1942; in 1944 he was imprisoned by the Gestapo for giving moral support to the Slovak National Uprising against the fascist puppet regime.
Paul R. Hinlicky traces the intellectual journey with ethical idealism's faith in the progressive theology of history that ended in dismay and disillusionment at the revolutionary pretensions of Marxism-Leninism. Hinlicky shows Osusky's dramatic rediscovery of the apocalyptic "the mother of Christian theology", and his input into the discussion of the dialectic of faith and reason after rationalism and fundamentalism.
“[An] erudite intellectual biography ... This book exhumes [Osuský's] intellectual legacy. It does this by exhaustive analysis and by extensive summaries of his numerous writings, supplemented by situating him within the currents of Lutheran theology.” —Theology
“Slovakian intellectual Samuel Stefan Osusky lived through and reflected on the European disasters of the twentieth century, despite the threat of the Marxist-Leninist regime in Czechoslovakia to destroy his legacy. Here, Paul Hinlicky combats that erasure and relays Osusky's valuable story to an English-speaking audience. Only Hinlicky - a theologian of the highest order with high-ranging interests, mastery of the Slovak language, and a record of interrogating the place of philosophy and theology in the rise of fascism and bolshevism - could have written this welcome book.” —Michael P. DeJonge, University of South Florida, USA
“Paul Hinlicky has done a signal service by unlocking the witness of the Slovak Lutheran theologian and bishop Samuel Stefan Osusky for a wider audience. Osusky faced two world wars, democracy, fascism and finally the communist regime that silenced him, moving gradually from the idealism he inherited to a more biblical and apocalyptic message. Hinlicky deftly traces this halting move from "apologetics" to "catechesis." illuminating Osusky's struggle to speak the authentic gospel to a church under fire. The history is fascinating and the lessons for the current church profound.” —Jonathan Sorum, Institute of Lutheran Theology, USA
“Paul Hinlicky has done great service by bringing the theological achievement of Osusky (1888-1976) onto the radar of English and American theologians and scholars. Hinlicky not only follows the intellectual journey of a Slovak theologian from liberalism to biblical theology but shows how Osusky resisted Fascism and Communism. Moreover, Hinlicky translates several key passages from Slovak into English, thereby letting Osusky speak for himself. This book fills a gap on the theological map of the 20th century.” —Tibor Fabiny, Karoli Gaspar, University of the Reformed Church, Hungary
“Paul Hinlicky provides us here with an excellent theological endeavour into the world of widely gifted Osusky. Hinlicky brilliantly shows how Osusky enters into the dialogue of how to think critically about God, and thus encourages us to see the Austro-Hungarian born Slovak lawyer, diplomat, politician and university professor known even beyond his life's work.” —Ralf Wüstenberg, University of Flensburg, Germany
“In today's socio-political climate some might say Between Humanist Philosophy and Apocalyptic Theology is timely.” —The Expository Times