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