Monday, November 22, 2010

The beginning of pluralism

Stimulated by a discussion about doubt with a friend I have been re-reading the chapter Doubt in Karl Barth's Evangelical Theology: an introduction. It is really stimulating and helpful. But this post is just to note how I was intrigued with the following claim:
doubt can also have its cause in the community that encircles the theologian, in the feebleness, disunity, and perhaps even the perverseness of the form and proclamation of his own familiar Church. The great crisis of Christian faith, as well as of Christian theology, that arose in the seventeenth century did not have its primary basis in the rise of modern science, for instance, or of the absolute state which later also became religiously indifferent. According to the illuminating hypothesis of Emmanuel Hirsch, this crisis arose prior to all such shocks, simply in the painfully confusing fact of the stable juxtaposition and opposition of three different churches. Sealed officially and demonstratively in the Peace of Westphalia, these three different confessions each represented exclusive claims to revelation which relativized the claims of each. Subsequent acquaintance with the great non-Christian religions of the Near and Far East underlined this relativity still more painfully. 

1 comment:

  1. The human world has always been pluralistic even within Christian Europe (despite the efforts of the church to wipe out all opposing or contrary points of view and systems of belief, practice and culture)

    It is now entirely pluralistic and cannot be any other way.

    There is also a huge diversity among Christians. According to Wiki there are now over 30,000 different Christian sects and sub-sects.

    The dis-integration of the once dominant ideology of Christian-ISM began at the time of the European Renaissance. The set of references available via this reference describe what happened. And more importantly the situation we are all in in 2010.

    This related reference re the Great Tradition as our now common inheritance

    This reference re the contents and purposes of what is promoted as religion in 2010

    This reference on the necessary politics of the future.