Constructing a Public Comparative Theology: Examining Ernst Troeltsch through a Critical Hermeneutic Lens

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Paul Chung 1
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  • 1 Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Hercules, CA, United States

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Abstract

This article explores Ernst Troeltsch’s potential contribution to a Christian public theology. It does so by way of a case being made for a public comparative theology. For this purpose I reconsider investigating Troeltsch’s sociological method through a critical hermeneutic lens provided by Hans G. Gadamer’s hermeneutics and Jürgen Habermas’ sociology of a lifeworld. Through this hermeneutical mediation I propose a more comprehensive understanding of Troeltsch’s project, and how it can bring relevancy to a public theology that takes into account the comparative study of religions in our pluralist context. Troeltsch’s work will thus be hermeneutically refined in a socially responsible manner in keeping with the reality of multiple modernities and the religious humanism in our contemporary context.