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Reginald Horace Fuller (March 24, 1915, Horshammarker, England - April 4, 2007, Richmond, Virginiamarker) was an Anglo-American Biblical scholar, ecumenist, and Anglican priest. His works are recognized for their consequential analysis of New Testament Christology.

Life events

Fuller attended Peterhousemarker at the University of Cambridgemarker (B.A., 1937, First Class Hon., Classical Tripos I and Theological Tripos II; M.A., 1942). He studied at the University of Tübingenmarker, Germany in 1938-39. He prepared for ministry in the Church of England at the Queen's Collegemarker, Birmingham (1939-40) and was ordained a deacon in 1940 and a priest in 1941. He met Ilse Barda in 1940 at a wedding. In 1942 they met at another wedding, their own. Fuller was a curate in England from 1940 to 1950 and lectured in theology at the Queen's College and the University of Birminghammarker, 1946-50. He was professor of theology and Hebrew at St. David's Collegemarker, Lampeter, Wales (1950-55). He also assisted in raising three daughters.

Fuller became a U.S. resident in 1955. He was professor of New Testament at Seabury-Western Theological Seminarymarker, Evanston, Ill., languages and literature (1955–1966), Union Theological Seminarymarker and Columbia (adj.), NYC (1966-72), and Virginia Theological Seminarymarker, Alexandria (1972-85; adj., 1994–2002).*

Fuller was a member of World Council of Churchesmarker study commissions (1957-61), Episcopal-Lutheran Conversations (1969-72, 1977-80), Anglican-Lutheran Conversations (1970-72), and Lutheran-Catholic (U.S.) Dialogue Task Force (1971-73), 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 was a fellow of the American Association of Theological Schools, 1961-62. 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 (S.T.D.), Philadelphia Divinity School (S.T.D.), and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (D.D.).

Fuller became Professor Emeritus at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1985 and a U.S. citizen in 1995. He was Hon. Canon, St. Paul's Cathedral, Burlington, Vt., and Priest in Residence, Emmanuel Church at Brook Hill, Richmond, Va.

* Fuller was also visiting professor at nine other seminaries or colleges around the United States and in 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, D.C. (1990)

The Foundations of New Testament Christology (1965)

Fuller's book The Foundations of New Testament Christology illustrates aspects of his scholarly publications. The treatise 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' refers 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:
  • without elaboration in case of wide acceptance
  • with a summary of the argument in case wide acceptance is lacking
  • with 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 Biblical 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 possible disadvantage of the church's proclamation (p. 11). The analysis of 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

  • Richard Hanson and Reginald Fuller, 1948, 1960, 2nd ed.. The Church of Rome: A Dissuasive, Seabury.
  • Reginald H. Fuller, 1954, The Mission and Achievement of Jesus: An Examination of the Presuppositions of New Testament Theology, SCM.
  • _____, 1962. The New Testament in Current Study, Scribners.
  • _____, 1963. Interpreting the Miracles, Westminster. ISBN 0-334-00681-3 Review cite via JSTOR)
  • _____, 1964. Untitled review (of Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel by C. H. Dodd), Journal of Bible and Religion 32, (3), pp. 270–271 (via JSTOR).
  • _____, 1965, 2002. The Foundations of New Testament Christology, Scribners. ISBN 0-684-15532-X Reviews from Journal of Biblical Literature ( first page) and Theology Today.
  • _____, 1966. A Critical Introduction to the New Testament, Duckworth. Review cite via JSTOR.
  • _____, 1967. [Review of Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus by Norman Perrin,] Theology Today, 24(3), pp. 412-14.
  • _____, 1971, 1980. The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives, Fortress. ISBN 0-8006-1378-3 Review from Theology Today.
  • _____, 1976. Longer Mark: Forgery, Interpretation, or Old Tradition?, Center for Hermeneutical Studies.
  • _____, 1984. Preaching the New Lectionary: The Word of God for the Church of Today, Liturgical.
  • _____, 1990. He That Cometh: The Birth of Jesus in the New Testament, Morehouse.
  • _____, 1993. "Jesus Christ" and "Resurrection of Christ" in Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, ed., The Oxford Companion to the Bible, pp. 356–66, 647-49. Oxford. ISBN 0-19-504645-5
  • _____, 1994. Christ and Christianity: Studies in the Formation of Christology, Trinity Press International. ISBN 1-56338-076-5 ( table of contents from Amazon).
  • _____, 1998. "Scripture," in John Booty et al., The Study of Anglicanism, pp. 87- 100.
  • _____, 2006. "Christology," Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia.[378566]
  • _____, "Christology,", Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2008. © 1997–2008.
  • Reginald H. Fuller and Pheme Perkins, 1983. Who Is This Christ?: Gospel Christology and Contemporary Faith, Fortress. ISBN 0-8006-1706-1 ( Summary from Theology Today.
  • Reginald H. Fuller and Daniel Westberg, 2006, 3rd ed., Preaching the Lectionary: The Word of God for the Church Today, Liturgical. ISBN 0-8146-2792-7. Description and chapter-preview links.



  • 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, & a unique intro 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. 1354–59, 1373-77.
  • The Rev. Steve Schlossberg, 2007. "To Evensong: Reginald Horace Fuller+, 1915–2007," The Missioner. Michaelmas, pp. 8–9 (Cached, pp. 8, 5 of 12). 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 1915–2007," SBL Forum, April.
  • 2007. "Canon Reginald Horace Fuller," Church Times, May 11.

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