Theology

Thomas Wabel

Die nahe ferne Kirche

Studien zu einer protestantischen Ekklesiologie in kulturhermeneutischer Perspektive

[The Close Distant Church. Towards a Protestant Ecclesiology from the Perspective of Cultural Hermeneutics.]

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sewn paper
ISBN 978-3-16-150369-6
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Published in German.
Engl. Kurztext: The latest decennial nation wide survey done by the Protestant church in Germany (EKD) shows that the numerous forms of participation which characterize an open people's church (Volkskirche) are defined by mutual inclusion and exclusion. In discussion with Ernst Cassirer's philosophy of culture and Bernhard Waldenfels' phenomenology, Thomas Wabel argues that the stabilizing element of criteria for membership and the destabilizing experience of transgressing existing boundaries are equally important for the church as an institution which is sensitive to an element of foreignness in the familiar.
For the Protestant churches in Western Europe, the self-definition within and against a pluralistic environment is becoming increasingly difficult. In a situation of »believing without belonging« (G. Davie), the distinction between the inside and the outside is blurred. Based on the results of the latest decennial nation-wide survey done by the Protestant church in Germany (EKD), Thomas Wabel argues that the numerous forms of participation which characterize an open people's church (Volkskirche) are defined by mutual inclusion and exclusion. Ernst Cassirer's philosophy of culture and Bernhard Waldenfels' phenomenology provide the theoretical framework for developing the categories of identity and alterity, order and disruption, and the metaphor of the boundary that allows for the re-entry of what has been ruled out. The stabilizing element of criteria for membership and the destabilizing experience of transgressing existing boundaries are equally important for the church as an institution which is sensitive to an element of foreignness in the familiar.
Authors/Editors

Thomas Wabel Geboren 1966; Studium der Ev. Theologie, Philosophie und VWL in Heidelberg, Bonn und Oxford; 1993–94 Gastaufenthalt an der Harvard University; 1996 Promotion; 1996–2002 Vikar/Pfarrer der Ev. Kirche in Hessen und Nassau; 2002–08 wiss. Assistent für Systematische Theologie an der HU Berlin; 2008 Fellow am Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala; seit 2009 Privatdozent an der HU Berlin und Pfarrer der Ev. Kirche in Hessen und Nassau.

Reviews

The following reviews are known:

In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 138 (2013), S. 1272–1275 (Stephan Schaede)
In: Theologische Revue — 107 (2011), S. 142–144 (Hans-Peter Großhans)
In: PV-aktuell (Nachrichten des Pfarrvereins Westf.) — 2011, Nr. 1, S. 8–9 (Karl-F. Wiggermann)