Friday, January 14, 2011

Against world views

The Christian faith is bound neither to an old nor to a modern world-picture.The Christian Confession has passed through more than one world-picture. And its representatives were always ill-advised when they believed that this or that world-picture was an adequate expression for what the church, apart from creation, has to think. Christian faith is fundamentally free in regard to all world-pictures, that is, to all attempts to regard what exists by the measure and with the means of the dominant science of the time.. as Christians we must not let ourselves be taken captive either by an ancient picture of this nature or one newly arisen and beginning to be dominant... Weltenschauung means something still more comprehensive than world-picture...
but by the decisive content of the Bible, Jesus Christ, we are by no means enjoined to adopt a Weltanschauung for our own.
Karl Barth, Chapter 9, Heaven and Earth in Dogmatics in Outline

According to the Wikipedia entry on the Language of the Third Reich
Welt- ("world", as in Weltanschauung, "intuition/view of the world"): this was quite a rare, specific and cultured term before the Third Reich, but became an everyday word. It came to designate the instinctive understanding of complex geo-political problems by the Nazis, which allowed them to openly begin invasions, twist facts or violate human rights, in the name of a higher ideal and in accordance to their theory of the world.

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