Reginald H. Fuller

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Reginald H. Fuller
Born
Reginald Horace Fuller

(1915-03-24)March 24, 1915
Horsham, England
DiedApril 4, 2007(2007-04-04) (aged 92)
Nationality
  • English
  • American (after 1995)
Spouse(s)
Ilse Barda Fuller (m. 1942)
Ecclesiastical career
ReligionChristianity (Anglican)
Church
Ordained
  • 1940 (deacon)
  • 1941 (priest)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisDr. Alexander Geddes: A Forerunner of Biblical Criticism[2] (1968)
InfluencesFerdinand Hahn [de][1]
Academic work
Discipline
Sub-discipline
School or traditionNeo-orthodoxy
Institutions

Reginald Horace Fuller (1915–2007) was an Anglo-American biblical scholar, ecumenist, and Anglican priest. His works are recognized for their consequential analysis of New Testament Christology.[3] One aspect of his work is on the relation of Jesus to the early church and the church today. For this, his analysis, which uses the historical-critical method, has been described as neo-orthodox.[4]

Life events[edit]

Fuller was born on 24 March 1915 in Horsham, England. He attended Peterhouse at the University of Cambridge (BA, 1937, first-class honours, Classical Tripos I and Theological Tripos II; MA, 1942). He studied at the University of Tübingen, Germany, in 1938–1939. He prepared for ministry in the Church of England at the Queen's College, Birmingham (1939–1940), and was ordained a deacon in 1940 and a priest in 1941. He met Ilse Barda in 1940 at a wedding. They married in 1942. Fuller was a curate in England from 1940 to 1950 and lectured in theology at the Queen's College, 1946–1950. He was professor of theology and Hebrew at St David's College, Lampeter, Wales (1950–1955). He also assisted in raising three daughters.

Fuller became a US resident in 1955. He was professor of New Testament at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill., languages and literature (1955–1966), Union Theological Seminary and Columbia (adj.), NYC (1966–1972), and Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria (1972–1985; adj., 1994–2002). Fuller was also visiting professor at nine other seminaries or colleges in the United States, Canada, and Australia: University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. (1960, ..., 1988, 7 terms), Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Ca. (1975), College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, Saskatoon, Sask., Canada (1978), Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va. (1985), Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, Tx. (1986), Nashotah House, Wis. (1986, ..., 2004, 7 terms), St. Mark's College of Ministry, Canberra, Australia (1987), and Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC (1990).[5]

Fuller was a member of World Council of Churches study commissions (1957–1961), Episcopal–Lutheran Conversations (1969–1972, 1977–1980), Anglican–Lutheran Conversations (1970–1972), and Lutheran–Catholic (US) Dialogue Task Force (1971–1973), and the New Revised Standard Version Bible Translation Committee (1981–2006).

Fuller authored some twenty books and over 100 journal articles or book chapters. He also translated such works as Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship (1948) and Letters and Papers from Prison (1953), Jeremias's Unknown Sayings of Jesus (1957), Bultmann's Kerygma and Myth, 2 v. (1953 & 1962) and Primitive Christianity (1956), Schweitzer's Reverence for Life (with Ilse Fuller) (1969), and Bornkamm's The New Testament: A Guide to Its Writings (1973).

Fuller died on 4 April 2007 in Richmond, Virginia.

Honours[edit]

Fuller was a fellow of the American Association of Theological Schools, 1961–1962. He was president of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, 1983-84 He was recipient of the first annual Ecumenism Award from the Washington Theological Consortium (2001) and of honorary degrees from among others General Theological Seminary (STD), Philadelphia Divinity School (STD), and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (DD).

Fuller became Professor Emeritus at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1985.

In 1990, his former students presented a festschrift in his honour.[6]

Fuller became an American citizen in 1995. He was an honorary canon of Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington, Vermont, and Priest in Residence at Emmanuel Church at Brook Hill, Richmond, Va.

Fuller was survived by his wife Ilse Barda Fuller, his daughters, Caroline Sloat and Sally Fuller, four grandchildren; and five great-grandsons.[4][7]

The New York Times obituary recorded Fuller's belief that the Bible must be proclaimed every Sunday. It closed by noting that, "On March 25, the day he suffered the fall that eventually led to his death, he taught a Sunday school class on the Resurrection."[4]

The Foundations of New Testament Christology[edit]

Reginald H. Fuller's treatise, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (1965),[8] illustrates aspects of his scholarly publications. The book defines key terms, states assumptions, describes the method used, and develops implications in cumulative fashion. Thus, 'Christology' (the doctrine of Jesus Christ's person) refers to a response to a particular history, not the action of God in Jesus as such nor the history itself. Analysis of New Testament Christology begins with the disciples' belief in the resurrection. It is concerned with "what can be known of the words and works of Jesus" and how these were interpreted. 'Foundations of New Testament Christology' is foundational in referring to presuppositions of NT writers rather than to the theology of their finished product (pp. 15–17). The book considers the response of the early church as to conceptual tools available in successive environments of Palestinian Judaism, Hellenistic Judaism, and the Graeco-Roman gentile world. "What can be known" of the historical Jesus and the early church's mission depends on critical methods and tests applied to documents from the gentile mission. Such methods and tests distinguish the knowledge of early writers about Jesus, their own theology, and other traditions to which they responded (pp. 17–20). The book makes explicit which elements of sources are accepted as going back to each stratum of the early church. It accepts assignment of a tradition to a specific stratum with:

  • elaboration in case of wide acceptance
  • a summary of the argument in case wide acceptance is lacking
  • elaboration in case a common assignment is rejected or a new assignment is proposed (p. 21).

With the emergence of a post-Bultmann school of "historical-traditio criticism", the concern of the book is "to establish a continuity of the historical Jesus and the christological kerygma of the post-resurrection church." The real continuity, Fuller felt, "was obscured, if not actually denied, by Bultmann's own work", to the disadvantage of the church's proclamation (p. 11).

The book concludes that the christological foundations of the early church (as recoverable from the New Testament and formulations of church fathers) "are also the foundations of Christology today" (p. 257).

Selected publications[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Fuller, Reginald H.; Hanson, Richard P. C. (1948). The Church of Rome: A Dissuasive. London: SCM Press. OCLC 560315647.[9] - 1960, 2nd ed.
  • ——— (1954). The Mission and Achievement of Jesus: An Examination of the Presuppositions of New Testament Theology. Studies in Biblical theology. 12. London: SCM Press. OCLC 2560151.[10]
  • ———; Wright, G. Ernest (1957). The Book of the Acts of God: Christian Scholarship Interprets the Bible. Christian faith series. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. OCLC 530493.[11]
  • ——— (1962). The New Testament in Current Study. Scribner studies in biblical interpretation. New York: Scribners. OCLC 8003601.
  • ——— (1963). Interpreting the Miracles. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster. ISBN 978-0-334-00681-7. OCLC 383436.[12]
  • ——— (1965). The Foundations of New Testament Christology. New York: Scribners. ISBN 9780684155326. OCLC 383751.[13]
  • ——— (1966). A Critical Introduction to the New Testament. Studies in Theology series. 55. London: G. Duckworth. OCLC 339842.[14]
  • ——— (1971). The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives. London: Macmillan. OCLC 313093002.[15]
  • ———; Westberg, Daniel (1974). Preaching the Lectionary: The Word of God for the Church Today. Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press. ISBN 9780814613511. OCLC 11114298.[16]
  • ———; Wuellner, Wilhelm H. (1976). Longer Mark: forgery, interpolation, or old tradition?. Colloquy (Center for Hermeneutical Studies in Hellenistic and Modern Culture), December 7, 1975. 18. Berkeley, CA: Center for Hermeneutical Studies. ISBN 9780892420179. OCLC 854089196.
  • ———; Perkins, Pheme (1983). Who Is This Christ?: Gospel Christology and Contemporary Faith. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press. ISBN 9780800617066. OCLC 8846197.[17]
  • ——— (1984). Preaching the New Lectionary: The Word of God for the Church of Today. Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press. ISBN 9780814608470. OCLC 1161560.
  • ——— (1990). He That Cometh: The Birth of Jesus in the New Testament. Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publisher. ISBN 9780819215444. OCLC 21677534.
  • ——— (1994). Christ and Christianity: Studies in the Formation of Christology. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International. ISBN 9781563380761. OCLC 30359043.[18]

Edited by[edit]

Chapters or entries[edit]

Journal articles[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Higgins, A. J. B. (1966). "Review of The Foundations of New Testament Christology, by Reginald H. Fuller". Journal of Biblical Literature. 85 (3): 360–362. doi:10.2307/3264254. ISSN 0021-9231. JSTOR 3264254.
  2. ^ Fuller, Reginald Cuthbert (1968). Dr. Alexander Geddes: A Forerunner of Biblical Criticism (doctoral thesis). Cambridge, England: University of Cambridge. OCLC 60563470.
  3. ^ Raymond E. Brown, 1990. "Christology" and "The Resurrection of Jesus," in Raymond E. Brown et al., ed., The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, pp. 1354–1359, 1373–1377.
  4. ^ a b c Douglas Martin, 2007. "Reginald H. Fuller, 92, New Testament Scholar, Dies," The New York Times, April 14.
  5. ^ Who's Who in America 2006, p. 1596.
  6. ^ Arland J. Hultgren and Barbara Hall, ed., 1990. Christ and His Communities: Essays in Honor of Reginald H. Fuller, Forward Movement. ISBN 0-88028-104-9
  7. ^ Ellen Robertson, 2007. "The Rev. R.H. Fuller, 92, Dies After a Fall", Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 6.
  8. ^ Reginald H. Fuller, 1965. The Foundations of New Testament Christology, Scribners. ISBN 0-684-15532-X.
  9. ^ Hanson, Richard Patrick Crosland; Fuller, Reginald Horace (1960). "The Church of Rome: A Dissuasive (snippet view)". Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  10. ^ "The Mission and Achievement of Jesus - Table of Contents". 1954. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  11. ^ "The Book of the Acts of God: Christian Scholarship Interprets the Bible (full text)". 1957. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  12. ^ Hutchison, Russell S. (1963). "Review cite via JSTOR". Journal of Bible and Religion. 33 (1): 72–73. JSTOR 1460476.
  13. ^ Reviews from Journal of Biblical Literature (first page) and Theology Today
  14. ^ Rollins, Wayne G.; Fuller, Reginald H. (1966). "Review of A Critical Introduction to the New Testament via JSTOR". Journal of Biblical Literature. 86 (2): 229. doi:10.2307/3263285. JSTOR 3263285.
  15. ^ "The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives review from Theology Today". 1971. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Preaching the Lectionary - Description". 1984. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Who Is This Christ?: Gospel Christology and Contemporary Faith - Summary from Theology Today". 1983. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Christ and Christianity - Table of contents from Amazon". 1994. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Preaching the Lectionary - Description". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Preaching the Lectionary - chapter-preview via scroll down". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  21. ^ Booty, John E.; Sykes, Stephen; Knight, Jonathan (1988). The Study of Anglicanism. ISBN 9781451411188. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  22. ^ "Review of Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus". 1967. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  23. ^ "The Conception/Birth of Jesus as a Christological Moment - Abstract". 1978. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

References[edit]

  • Arland J. Hultgren and Barbara Hall, ed., 1990. Christ and His Communities: Essays in Honor of Reginald H. Fuller, Forward Movement. ISBN 0-88028-104-9 (Also contains CV, publications list through 1989, & an intimate introductory essay by Ilse Fuller on R.H.F.: the man, churchman, & scholar.)
  • Who's Who in America 2006, p. 1596.
  • Raymond E. Brown, 1990. "Christology" and "The Resurrection of Jesus," in Raymond E. Brown et al., ed., The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, pp. 1354–1359, 1373–1377.
  • The Rev. Steve Schlossberg, 2007. "To Evensong: Reginald Horace Fuller+, 1915–2007," The Missioner. Michaelmas, pp.7-9 (numbered). A remembrance.
  • Douglas Martin, 2007. "Reginald H. Fuller, 92, New Testament Scholar, Dies," The New York Times, April 14.
  • Ellen Robertson, 2007. "The Rev. R.H. Fuller, 92, Dies After a Fall," Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 6.
  • Mary Rourke, 2007. "Reginald Fuller, 92; Biblical Scholar," Los Angeles Times, April 18.
  • 2007. "Reginald H. Fuller, Former VTS Frofessor, Dies at 92," Episcopal Life Online, April 18.
  • Jeremy Davies, 2007. "Reginald Fuller - A Theologian of Stature," The Salisbury Journal, May 24.* Jeremy Davies, 2007. "Reginald Fuller - A Theologian of Stature," The Salisbury Journal, May 24.
  • 2007. "Reginald H. Fuller 1915–2007," SBL Forum, April.
  • 2007. "Canon Reginald Horace Fuller," Church Times, May 11.