Definition of higher criticism in English:

higher criticism

noun

  • The study of the literary methods and sources discernible in a text, especially as applied to biblical writings.

    • ‘They have tried to find what they call ‘a historical Jesus, ‘following in the footsteps of 19th century higher criticism.’’
    • ‘Accusers usually identify higher criticism with liberal theology, but in Baptist circles, many of the teachers and writers are often conservative in their theological views, but still appreciate sound critical scholarship.’
    • ‘In the early 1900s a conservative movement sprung up within Protestantism in reaction to liberal theology and the form of Biblical interpretation known as higher criticism.’
    • ‘The conflict between science and religion, and the controversy engendered by higher criticism of the Bible, challenged the theological foundations of evangelicalism.’
    • ‘With liberal theology, the postliberal school takes for granted that the Bible is not infallible and that biblical higher criticism is fully legitimate and necessary.’