Hans Schwarz zum 75. Geburtstag- Hans Schwarz on the Occasion of his 75 th Birthday
Edited By Matthias Heesch, Thomas Kothmann and Craig L. Nessan
The 39 contributions to this special issue develop the theme Theology in Engagement with Church and Politics from a variety of perspectives. Alongside the exploration of historical aspects, both contemporary political questions and ethical dilemmas are examined. Further contributions are devoted to the reflection upon practical theology, Christian congregational praxis, and contextual studies, which demonstrate the political and cultural relevance of this theme beyond Europe. The international circle of authors is constituted largely of colleagues and students of Professor Hans Schwarz, systematic theologian from Regensburg, Germany. In conjunction with the 2014 University of Regensburg Summer School, the authors dedicate this volume to the lifetime achievement of Hans Schwarz on the occasion of his 75
The Role of Politics in the Message and Ministry of Jesus, and in the Formulation of Christian Theology
Terry C. Dohm
There has always been an intertwining of politics and the Christian message and doctrine. Whether implied or wrongly perceived, politics played a role in the ministry and message of Jesus. This was also true for the formulation of the New Testament documents and later in the discussion of doctrines
There is a debate among scholars today as to whether there was a political aspect to Jesus’ message and ministry. Was he political or apolitical? One of the objectives of this study is to delve into that question. The will also determine whether politics played a role in the formation of Christian theology in the years that followed Jesus’ death, both in the first century and the centuries which followed.
In investigating a possible political dimension of the activities of Jesus, Gerd Theissen differentiates between politics in the narrower sense and politics in the broader sense.1 He suggests that in antiquity, politics in the broader sense, as advocated by Aristotle for example, pertained to “policies” with the goal of a meaningful and successful life within the Greek city for its citizens. On the other hand, politics in the modern sense pertains to gaining and maintaining power.2 Theissen claims if Jesus was political it would have been in the broader sense of the word. He says, “[I]f we employ the broader meaning, there is no doubt that Jesus’ activity includes a political dimension, since politics and ethics, policies and...
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