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In: Religion im öffentlichen Raum

Abstract

This article examines the task of public theology in contributing to the public debate by drawing from theological resources for ethical orientation and at the same time explaining why this orientation makes good sense for all people of good will. From a concrete example, the different factors involved in political decisions on ecologically relevant issues are revealed. Three fundamental types of defining the relationship between human beings and non-human nature can be identified: a utilitarian anthropocentrism that radically subordinates non-human nature to the interests of humanity; a nature-centred approach that sees humanity embedded in nature, equal with any other part of creation and, finally, an anthropocentrism of responsibility that affirms the dignity of nature while acknowledging a conflict between humanity and nonhuman nature. The article further develops the third approach as most appropriate for public theology and highlights the minimization of human violence as its consequence for political decisions.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: Holding fast to the Mystery of the Faith
In: "Ökumene ist keine Häresie"

Abstract

The article explains the fundamental features of the Lutheran two kingdoms doctrine and the Reformed doctrine of the Lordship of Christ and finds strong convergences of both in addressing political realities without leaving the Gospel perspective aside. Since Catholic concepts show a similar profile, an ecumenical public theology emerges. Six guidelines for a public church are presented to describe the consequences of a public theological approach to politics for the churches. Authentic faith witness is as much part of these guidelines as ‘bilinguality’, that is, the capability to talk the language of secular discourse and prophetic speech, which is put in relationship to the necessity of concrete daily political processes. Thus, in the end the article explains the profile of public theology in relation to liberation theology and political theology.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article describes four models of connecting the biblical option for the poor with theological ethics. The charity model denies any political significance of this option. The fundamental critical model connects this theological option exclusively with a confessional critique of western capitalism and its market approach. The political advice model does not give an explicit account of its theological groundings but tries to present practicable political solutions. Finally the public theology model which is advocated in this article connects a clear theological profile with the involvement in the public debate on economic strategies which reflect the option for the poor. For this, public theology has to be bilingual, speaking a theological and a secular language; moreover, because of its involvement in the public debate public theology can be understood as a liberation theology for a democratic society. The article presents Martin Luther and Dietrich Bonhoeffer as public theologians who, in their time, have been advocates for the poor. The memorandum of the German Protestant churches of 2006 on poverty is presented as an example of public theological involvement of the church in our time. The article ends with a reflection on eschatological justice.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: Wirtschaftsethik interreligiös

Abstract

The article assesses the current intercultural and interreligious situation in Germany after the arrival of a great number of mostly Muslim refugees in 2015. It describes four approaches of interreligious dialogue and further explores the concept of Trinitarian Inclusivism. Among four different ways of defining the relationship between state and religion, the model of ‘Public Religion’ is seen as the most plausible social theoretical counterpart to such Trinitarian Inclusivism. John Rawls’ idea of an overlapping consensus provides the space for constructively exchanging strong religious or nonreligious truth claims in a lively pluralism. Finally, the article pleads for developing a public theology of the religions to contribute to the peacebuilding and reconciliatory task of the religions.

In: International Journal of Public Theology