Year of publication
- Charity in inter-religious perspective (2001)
- Charity has a long tradition in the Christian religion. From the early beginning there was some organized charity. In the Acts of the Apostles we read about socalled diakonoi being responsible for the needy Christians. During the whole church history there was the rule that 1/3 of the tithe, the decima pars, the religious tax, had to be spend for the poor people of a parish. Of course, there was much misuse of that portion; the tithe became private and the new owners of the tax mostly living far away were not interested in supporting the poor people. Yet, the Christian people organized additional charity. It is very important to see that religious mentality was very helpful for that ...
- Nammalvar, god’s decoy : anthropocentric and theocentric soteriology in the Hindu religions of the Tamil Shrivaishnavas (2001)
- The basic argument the canonical and apocryphic theologies of the South Indian Tamil Shrivaishnavas grow worm over since centuries is the question: Has God set into motion the process of salvation in order to save mankind - the anthropocentric tradition is teaching -, or in order to save himself, the way a theocentric soteriology would teach. To answer this question we have to examine particularly the theocentric religion of salvation because it was held apocryphic by the anthropocentic orthodoxy and has therefore to be reconstructed from sources that are all concealed anthropocentrically. ...
- Die Bedeutung der Theologie Martin Luthers für die Begründung einer multireligiösen Gesellschaft (1997)
- Wenn wir nach der Bedeutung der Theologie Martin Luthers für die Begründung einer multikulturellen und einer multireligiösen Gesellschaft fragen, dann müssen wir zunächst auf die realen religionspolitischen Positionen des Reformators eingehen und in einem zweiten Schritt seine theologischen Ideen zur Begründung einer polymorphen Gesellschaft behandeln. Dieser Zweierschritt ist nötig, weil ansonsten ein einseitiges Bild über Luthers multireligiöse Vorstellungen entsteht, das seiner ganzen Wirklichkeit nicht entspricht. Einseitig ist seine Idealisierung: sie unterschlägt seine Bereitschaft zur Unterdrückung von Andersgläubigen und einseitig ist seine pauschale Diffamierung: sie ignoriert seine Bedeutung für die religiöse Befreiung. Beide Seiten Luthers werden zur Sprache gebracht. Zugleich wird versucht, ihre jeweilige historische Bedeutsamkeit zu ermitteln. Aus dieser Differentialanalyse soll dann die gestellte Frage eine mögliche Antwort finden. Zunächst jedoch werden die realen religionspolitischen Optionen Luthers behandelt. Dazu werden seine Stellungnahmen zu Muslimen und Juden unter Berücksichtigung der Katholiken ausgewählt und auf ihre höchst unterschiedliche Bewertung der drei Religionen hin befragt.
- Modern Hindu culture : a study on modernization of Hinduism by considering the parallels in modern Christianity (1997)
- The Christian culture experienced a deep-going change with the uprising of the Civil Society ("Bürgerliche Gesellschaft"), the industrialization of economic production, the urbanization of life-style and the individualization of religiosity in the 19th century. The Christian formation of inner- and outer-world in those days became obsolete. From this conflict the civil or modern Christianity origi-nated. In a painful changing process most of the people of this new society have newly interpreted religion, moral and ritual of traditional Christianity and cre-ated to their new conditions of life new institutional forms of transmission and realization of Christian cultural heritage. Under the recourse of the Reformato-rian heritage the modern Christianity developed the religious-moral doctrine: A true Christian is before all a citizen who is living in the midst of the world self-determinate and socially engaged fulfilling all his worldly duties; the modern Christian has to get this motivation for a world-oriented existence on his own responsibility because religion is not restricted anymore. ...
- The religion of the ISKCON Vaishnavas in the perspectives of diacritical theology (1997)
- In Germany, theological studies on the Hindu religion of the International Soci-ety of Krishna Consciousness and its Vaishnava theology are still only just be-ginning. Previously this relevant task was left mostly to religio-political polemics, resulting in a politically highly problematic research deficit which seriously impeded the necessary social and clerical confrontation with these new religious impulses in the German society. But theological passiveness and polemic activ-ism actually reduce the chances for religiously relevant analyses and socially acceptable solutions of philosophical and spiritual problems. Ignorance rather than dialogue, and polemics inimical to dialogue, have directly or indirectly stabilised the destructive forces in the new religious communities for decades, and consequently favoured a diminution and isolation of reformative tendencies. Due to an increasing respect for the freedom of religion as a human right, the profane alliance of the aggressive forces of both sides has recently ended, and a public, and differentiating, discussion of participants and persons concerned has cautiously started, reinforcing a freer and more competent inter-civil dialogue about spiritual affairs. Clear signs may be seen, not only of a reform within the ISKCON religion, but also in the churches setting about discussing the multi-religious topic on a higher level. A so-called broader theological research, partly transcending the border-lines of Christianity, is developing in the universities, and the free science of religion in Germany is receiving a surprising impetus. It was the suppression of the science of religion that had been impeding a constructive discussion in society of the new religious situation in Germany. The rejection of an inter-civil dialogue of spiritual affairs, however, contradicts an effective democracy which subsists on the continuous confrontation of free citizens with their common culture, especially with the ultimate questions of human existence. But the success of this inter-civil confrontation is solely guaranteed if the participants in the dialogue respect their mutual freedom as citizens and take the mutual dialogue among citizens for granted. This is the only way to attain a reasonable range of solutions concerning the ends of our existence and its proper means. As a contribution to this inter-civil dialogue a theological analysis is to be made of the religious culture practised by citizens of this country engaged in the ISK-CON religion and from there desiring to exert an impact on our civil culture. I. Subject and Aim of Diacritical Theology Because of the diffuse understanding of theology it is necessary to explain what it is, where it should and should not be engaged. Theology is not a religious ideology of a particular community that argues the interests of social organisations, but a universal science. It is not limited to a certain religious culture or form of society but is committed to its specific subject (1). Such an autonomous theology has the task of discrimen inter legem et evangelium—the diacritical analysis of Law and Gospel according to the description of its function by Martin Luther. We will follow these basic categories of diacritical theology and explain them here (2).
- Swami Vivekananda's ethics of religion : a contribution to a modern concept of religion and inter-religious relations (1997)
- Many religious people believe that the integration of world society is of the greatest importance for mankind. They think that the religions of the world should strive to attain this goal through multi-religious agreement, through inter-religious dialogue, even through the merger of their organisations. Religious unification is supposed to be an effective instrument to encourage world society and to guarantee social peace. Religious differentiation, however, is dubious to these people. It would lead to social splintering and would ultimately be anti-social and extremely dangerous, especially to the economic unification of the world. The people who advocate religious unification look upon the progressing cultural, political and economic unification of the world as a model for religious unity. Therefore, many religious people believe that a unified global religion, or at least a union of world religions, should be implemented today. Options of this kind, however, are utopian in the extreme - confronting the ever-expanding conflicts between the established international religious organisations. Pragmatists who espouse the doctrine of religious unification therefore propagate the following fundamental tenets: 1. All religious people believe in the same god or whatever the ultimate reality may be called. 2. Each religion may believe in the ultimate reality in its own way. 3. No religious community is allowed to make converts. 4. Everybody should remain in his original religious community forever. These tenets are in reality nothing but a kind of a cartel agreement. And this agreement should establish an inter-religious combine, which had to stop competition between the religious organisations and to prevent the individual to leave his original religion. The basic supposition of this concept, however, is that religion today has mainly to be seen as an organised, congregational and institutionalised one. And because of this historical error they are only interested to keep the status quo of the established religious organisations. The propagation of that cartel agreement is rooted in the fear, that the established religions wouldn't survive the radical religious revolution at the end of the 20th century.
- Thesen zum interreligiösen Dialog und zur protestantischen Apologetik (1997)
- Prolegomena Protestantische Theologie in der Nachfolge Martin Luthers hat allein Gesetz und Evangelium zum Gegenstand. Ihre Aufgabe besteht allein in der Unterscheidung der beiden verba Dei. Als ars practica hat sie für jede Epoche existenzrelevant herauszufinden, was hier und jetzt heißt: 1. Erlösungswille Gottes, d.h. was Christum treibet und im Unterschied dazu 2. Erhaltungswille Gottes, d.h. was das Gesetz treibet. Das Evangelium ist allein Sache des geistlichen Regiments. Das Gesetz ist allein Sache des weltlichen Regiments.
- Swami Vivekananda and the Buddhism (1997)
- Modern Hindus use the term 'Hindu' in a positive sense. It is no more a derogatory appellation used by foreigners and oppressors, but a powerful self chosen name. The historically most valid ideologue of that positive Hindu understanding is Narendra Nath Datta (1863-1902). This highly talented son of a regarded lawyer family in Calcutta became disciple of Ramakrishna, the flaming son and priest of the goddess Kali and greatest religious virtuoso in the 19th century. Becoming a sannyasin Narendra received the title and name Swami Vivekananda; after the death of his master he set up the famous Ramakrishna Order. ...
- Svami Vivekananda i buddizm (2000)