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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


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 75th birthday, in whose work the engagement of theology with the secular world plays a major role.
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Unbelief and Ecclesiastical Own Goals


Russell Briese


While religious institutions may not be the primary cause of unbelief as such, they could usefully undertake some self-analysis in this area, as various matters of omission and commission do feature on the landscape of unbelief. This becomes more clearly when viewed historically.

Belief in no god, or adherence to no recognised world religion, is an increasing phenomenon in the modern world. Insofar as the rise in atheism or agnosticism marks an erosion of adherence to recognised world religions, organised religion is often on the defensive in the face of dwindling support.

In a seeming battle for allegiance, there is certainly a place for putting one’s best foot forward, arguing one’s case, and engaging in what has been called apologetics. This contribution, however, looks at the rise of unbelief from a different angle, that of organised religion and the blame that religious organizations themselves might need to bear for the rise of unbelief. While some have moved away from religion and faith for well thought out and clearly considered reasons, many also stay away because of corruption and the abuse of power, or are simply uninspired by the public face of religion today.

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