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Theologie im Spannungsfeld von Kirche und Politik - Theology in Engagement with Church and Politics

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

Die 39 Beiträge dieses Sonderbandes beleuchten das Thema Theologie im Spannungsfeld von Kirche und Politik aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven. Neben historischen Aspekten werden sowohl politisch-zeitgeschichtliche Fragen als auch ethische Problemstellungen bedacht. Weitere Aufsätze widmen sich der praktisch-theologischen Reflexion und Konkretion im Rahmen der christlichen Gemeinde, wie auch der Relevanz des Themas in außereuropäischen politisch-kulturellen Kontexten. Der internationale Autorenkreis setzt sich überwiegend aus Kolleginnen und Kollegen, Schülerinnen und Schülern des Regensburger Systematikers Hans Schwarz zusammen. Im Rahmen der Regensburger Summer School 2014 haben sie damit auch das Lebenswerk von Hans Schwarz anlässlich von dessen 75. Geburtstags gewürdigt, in dem das theologisch geleitete Umgehen mit der säkularen Welt eine wichtige Rolle spielt.
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 th birthday, in whose work the engagement of theology with the secular world plays a major role.
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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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