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 Christian in the Public Square
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Christians have always had a relationship with the secular realm. Like all relationships, it is a never a static relationship, but always dynamic and in motion. The church needs to take seriously and even embrace the new reality where it’s no longer nearly as dominant a voice as it was in the past.
The church has a long history of involvement in the public square. There are, of course, many different notions of the type and character of that public engagement and even if the church should be involved in the polis. This second question is not really a question at all. There is little doubt that people of faith can retreat or withdraw from society as some people would have it.
The Qumran community which had retreated from society to the wilderness was not Jesus’ community. In fact, Jesus’ execution was that of a political criminal as were the charges. Pontius Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” (Mt 27:11) Pilate was asking Jesus if he was making a political claim. In fact, given that Jesus did not respond to the religious authorities, it could be said that he did not acknowledge their authority. They were not worthy or legitimate dialogue partners. This conclusion may or may not be plausible or persuasive, but nonetheless Jesus responded to Pontius Pilate. It seems that political authorities are worthy of a response.
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