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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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Post-Democracy, Ecclesial Niche Construction, and Theology’s Public Concern


Markus Mühling


“Post-democracy” is used here for analyzing contemporary societies and “niche construction” for the church’s relationship to the civic realm. Focusing on the genuine task of witness improves the church’s niche constructing abilities, alters its civic environment and provides sustainable effects.

The present situation in the civic realm, especially with regard of the state of the health of the representational democracies of the northern hemisphere, is highly debated. Whereas Colin Crouch experienced a lot of backlash when he started using the term post-democracy at the beginning of the last decade1 – originally introduced at the end of the last century by Jacques Rancière2 –, today the description of the Western societies as “post-democratic” seems to be relatively moderate, somewhere in between more optimistic characterizations such as “multiple democracies”3 and more pessimistic ones such as “post-political societies”.4 Crouch uses the term post-democracy in a descriptive way, but not without certain normative presuppositions. One normative presupposition, the canon against which a society or societies can be described as post-democratic, is the ideal of the representative democracy. Crouch therefore describes post-democracy and all other “post-” phenomena with the help of the metaphor of a parabola over time. During times of democratization the actual state runs towards the center of the parabola, whereas in the era of post-democracy the development departs from this center, but it does not go the same way back: many of the achievements of ← 219 | 220 → the first era are...

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