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Rudolf Karl Bultmann Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bultmann, Rudolf, 1884-1976.
Title: Rudolf Karl Bultmann Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1929-1965
Quantity: 4.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the German dialectical theologian. Correspondence, manuscripts (mostly in German), lectures, notebooks, and published material; correspondence includes three letters from Albert Schweitzer (1929-1931).
Language: English and German (manuscripts are mostly in German).
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Rudolf Karl Bultmann (1884-1976) was a German dialectical theologian. Born in Germany in what was then the grand duchy of Oldenburg, he studied theology at the Universities of Tübingen, Berlin, and Marburg; at the latter he was influenced by systematic and liberal theologian Wilhelm Hermann and New Testament scholars Johannes Weiss and Wilhelm Heitmüller. He received his PhD from Marburg in 1910 and shortly thereafter began teaching, first at Breslau and then at Marburg where he was made a full professor and taught for thirty years. His colleagues there included Rudolph Otto, Martin Heidegger, Karl Barth and Friedrich Gogarten. His History of the Synoptic Tradition (1921) is still highly regarded as an essential tool for gospel research. Bultmann was a proponent of "form-criticism," an approach which attempted to discover historical roots of religious writings. Bultmann held that "[t]he aim of form-criticism is to determine the original form of a piece of narrative, a dominical saying or a parable. In the process we learn to distinguish secondary additions and forms, and these in turn lead to important results for the history of the tradition."

[Adapted from "Rudolf Karl Bultmann" in Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Modern Western Theology]

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Karl Bultmann Papers consists of correspondence, writings, memorabilia, printed material and miscellanea. Correspondence covers more than 50 years; notable correspondents include Albert Schweitzer, Gerhard Burgmann, Schubert Ogden, and Thomas C. Odun. Writings contains interviews, class lecture notes, essays, and books. Memorabilia includes articles about Bultmann, class notebooks, and material from Syracuse University. Published material contains two articles in German. Miscellaneous consists of a poster and audiorecordings (cassettes) from a Bultmann symposium,

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically; the exception is that of Albert Schweitzer, Gerhard Burgmann, Schubert Ogden, and Thomas C. Odun, which has been separated and arranged alphabetically at the beginning of the series. Writings are divided by types but are in no particular order. Memorabilia is alphabetical by type.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Bultmann, Rudolf, 1884-1976.
Schweitzer, Albert, 1875-1965.


Dialectical theology.
Theology -- History -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms




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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Rudolf Karl Bultmann Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: Oct 1966
Revision history: 3 Dec 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC); 15 Jun 2015 - processed posters, updated rights statement (MRC); 12 Sep 2016 - updates/corrections (MS); 1 Oct 2019 - use restriction lifted (MRC)

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Box 1 Bergmann, Gerhard
Box 1 Odun, Thomas C.
Box 1 Ogden, Schubert
Box 1 Schweitzer, Albert
Box 1 General 1916-1921, 1923-1924, 1926-1932, 1936-1943, 1946-1964, 1968, undated (45 folders)
Box 1 Der Spiegel, "Ist Jesus auferstanden wie Goethe?" 1966
Box 1 TV, "Glauben und Verstehen" and "Theology and the Church in the 20th century " Jan 9, 1969
Box 2 Class lecture notes, Galather brief
Box 2 Class lecture notes, Konuther briefe
Box 2 Class lecture notes, Philipen brief
Box 2 Class lecture notes, Urchristundunn (2 folders)
Box 2 "Concepts of life after death - from primitive religions to German idealism"
Box 2 "Der Christ liche Gotteslaube und der Moderne Mensch" 1963
Box 3 "Die religiosen Stromungen inder hellenistischen Kultur" 1920's
Box 3 "Religions movement in Hellenistic times"
Box 3 "Griecheneum, Judentum, und Christentum" 1930-1940's - includes notes (3 folders)
Box 3 "Jesus Christ and the modern interpretation of the New Testament" 1951
Box 3 Kommentar zu den Johannesbriefen (Commentary to the letters of John)
Box 4 Kommentar zu den Johannesbriefen
Book reviews
Box 4 Miscellaneous
Box 4 Korner, Eschatologie und Geschichte
Box 4 "Geschichte und Eschatologie"
Box 4 "Geschichte und Tradition"
Box 4 Habilitation thesis 1912
Box 5 Corpus Hermenenticum
Box 5 "Exegetica" (published)
Box 5 Faith, Love, Hope
Box 5 "God and Salvation in Paul" (essay)
Box 5 Humanism and Christianity
Box 5 "Marburger Predigten" 1956
Box 5 Minor motifs in Paul
Box 5 "Pessimismus und Optimismus in Antiken Welt" (essay)
Box 5 "Reflections on Christian education"
Box 5 "Reflections on Wilhelm Kamlah's Christentum und Selbstbehauptung"
Box 5 Suffering in the New Testament
Box 5 "Zum Problem der Entmy Thologisierung"
Box 5 "Zur Frage nach den Quellen der Apostelgeschichte" 1958
Box 5 "Das Verhauduis der Geschichte in Griechentum und Christentum" 1960
Box 5 "Das Verhauduis der Christusbolschaft zum historichon" 1960
Box 5 Unidentified
Box 5 Articles about Bultmann
Box 5 Class notebooks 1903-1904
Box 6 Class notebooks 1903-1904 (2 folders)
Box 6 Class notebooks 1905-1906 (2 folders)
Box 6 Class notebooks 1908
Box 6 Class notebooks undated
Map-Case 99 Poster advertising "Rudolf Bultmann Symposium" 1/17/86
Map-Case 99 Poster, unidentified
Box 6 Syracuse University, spring semester 1959 - mss. and clippings
Printed material
Box 6 "Staat- Kirche-Religion-Schule" 1919
Box 6 "Das Urchristentum" 1986 reprint, c1949
Box 7 Bultmann symposium recording, tape #1 1986 (audiocassette) (ID#: bultmann_rk_001)
Box 7 Bultmann symposium recording, tape #2 1986 (audiocassette) (ID#: bultmann_rk_002)
Box 7 Bultmann symposium recording, tape #3 1986 (audiocassette) (ID#: bultmann_rk_003)

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