Wolfhart Pannenberg

Wolfhart Pannenberg (b. 1928) is a German Christian theologian. Born in Stettin, Germany (which is now Szczecin Poland), Pannenberg was baptized at as an infant into the Lutheran Church. Despite his baptism, Pannenberg had virtually no contact with the church in his early years. Some time in his youth though, he had an intensely religious experience that he called his "light experience." Pannenberg wanted to understand this experience and began to search through the works of great philosophers and religious thinkers. While in High School he encountered a literature teacher who had been part of the Confessing Church during World War II. He encouraged Pannenberg to take a hard look at Christianity. At this time Pannenberg experienced an "intellectual conversion" and decided that Christianity was the best available religious option. This propelled him into his vocation as a theologian.


Pannenberg began his theological studies at the University of Berlin after World War II and also studied at the University of Göttingen and the University of Basel. He completed his doctoral dissertation at the University of Heidleberg where he studied under theologians Karl Barth and Edmund Schlink, among others. ^[1]^


Generally speaking, Pannenberg's theology draws together religion and science. He published his magnum opus, a three-volume Systematic Theology in the 1990s.

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Selected publications

  • Historicity of Nature: Essays on Science and Theology. Templeton Foundation Press, 2007.
  • Metaphysics and the Idea of God. Eerdmans, 2001.
  • Systematic Theology. vol. 1-3. Eerdmans, 1991-1997.
  • Introduction to Systematic Theology. Eerdmans, 1991.
  • Anthropology in Theological Perspective. WJK, 1985; T&T Clark, 2004.
  • Jesus: God and Man. WJK, 1982.
  • The Idea of God and Human Freedom. WJK, 1973.
  • The Apostles Creed in Light of Today's Questions. SCM/Westminster Press, 1972; Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2001.
  • Basic Questions in Theology, vol. 2. Fortress, 1971.
  • Basic Questions in Theology, vol. 1. SCM, 1970; Fortress, 2008.
  • Revelation as History, ed. 1961.

Further reading

  • Timothy Bradshaw, Pannenberg: A Guide for the Perplexed. T&T Clark, 2009.
  • Stanley Grenz, Reason for Hope: The Systematic Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg. Oxford, 1990; Eerdmans, 2005.
  • Christiaan Mostert, God and the Future: Wolfhart Pannenberg's Eschatological Doctrine of God. T&T Clark, 2002.


  1. ? http://www.calvin.edu/news/releases/2000_01/pannen.htm

See also

Online writings