Ever since the 1920s, Rudolf Bultmann has been charged with confining theology to philosophy, owing to his naïve adoption of Martin Heidegger's existentialist ontology. Bultmann's personal friendship with Heidegger is well-known, and the presence of Heideggerian concepts throughout his work is impossible to miss. But there is a great deal of confusion over the details of this relationship, and scholars differ widely over what conclusions we ought to draw regarding the nature of Bultmann's work. This article reassesses the Bultmann–Heidegger relationship from three angles. First, I show that the essential elements of Bultmann's theology were already in place before he met or learnt from Heidegger. Second, I argue that Bultmann circumscribes Heidegger's philosophy within a theology of revelation. Third, I demonstrate that his theological programme is, in principle, open to other conceptualities. Since nothing material rests on the appropriation of Heidegger, one cannot accurately call Bultmann a Heideggerian theologian.
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