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NTT 67/1 – voorjaar 2013

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  1. Petruschka Schaafsma, Rick Benjamins, Mechteld Jansen, Theo Hettema – Vervreemding en vertrouwen: Over hermeneutiek en theologie
  2. Marcel Sarot – Aan God recht doen: Systematische theologie tussen analyse en hermeneutiek
  3. Wouter H. Slob – Op zoek naar een relevante theologie
  4. Edward van ’t Slot – Kenosis en opstanding
  5. Petruschka Schaafsma, Rick Benjamins, Mechteld Jansen,Theo Hettema – Meer vertrouwen, minder vervreemding?
  6. Peter J. Tomson – Cruciale Teksten: Harnack, Marcion – das Evangelium vom fremden Gott
  7. Boeken

 

English summaries

PETRUSCHKA SCHAAFSMA, RICK BENJAMINS, MECHTELD JANSEN, THEO HETTEMA:
ALIENATION AND TRUST: ON HERMENEUTICS AND THEOLOGY
The authors search for a renewed hermeneutical approach in systematic theology. The reason for this search is given by the urgency of hermeneutic questions in three fields: a) the postsecular social and academic context, b) the theological reflections on the great critiques of religion, and c) the immanent themes of Christian theology. This situation asks for a reflection on the interpretative aspects of alienation and trust. The characteristics of this hermeneutical approach in theology are set out in dialogue with the weak thinking of Caputo and Vattimo, analytical theology, and the radical theology of Dalferth. The outcome of this reconsideration of hermeneutics in a postmodern con¬text is an attitude of daring to trust in the possibility of religious meaningfulness, while modestly distrusting an easy interpretation of this meaning, wherein the complicated situation of theology after the ‘death of God’ is ignored.

MARCEL SAROT :
DOING JUSTICE TO GOD: SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY BETWEEN ANALYSIS AND HERMENEUTICS
In this reply to Schaafsma et al., the author argues that it is inevitable that hermeneutics is part of the enterprise of systematic theology, and that the approach of Schaafsma et al. has the following advantages: (1) It is applicable within secular universities; (2) It ap¬peals to the many who have few religious certainties but are seeking for religious truth; (3) It can be applied in comparative theology and interreligious dialogue. Never¬the¬less, he argues that the hermeneutical approach that is proposed by itself does not suf¬fice as the method of systematic theology, because (1) It does not enable theo¬lo¬gians to go beyond the interpretation of texts and to check their theological proposals against the realities behind these texts, and (2) It no longer takes its starting point in faith, thus as¬similating systematic theology to the humanities. If confessional theology would limit itself to this, it would lose its reason for existence.

WOUTER H. SLOB:
LOOKING FOR RELEVANT THEOLOGY
Discussing several contemporary theological methodologies, Schaafsma, Benjamins, Jansen and Hettema propose a hermeneutical approach to theology. While not ques¬tio¬ning their constructive purpose, this contribution points out that there is a difference between understanding hermeneutics as a method of interpretation and hermeneutics as serving an epistemological aim. While the latter asks after the truth, the former may life out of truth. For a constructive contemporary theological approach, it is argued, we should step beyond the epistemological approach and focus on interpretation.

EDWARD VAN ’T SLOT
KENOSIS AND RESURRECTION

In opposition to ‘Alienation and Trust’, the author argues that ‘kenosis’ demands a suspicious approach of all human categories in theology and that only belief in, for instance, ‘resurrection’ can provide systematic theology with a basis for trust. This is no reason, however, to think about theology as an esoteric, non-academic field of study.

PETRUSCHKA SCHAAFSMA, RICK BENJAMINS, MECHTELD JANSEN, THEO HETTEMA:
MORE TRUST, LESS ALIENATION?
Notwithstanding the differences between the three responses to ‘Alienation and Trust’, they agree in their criticism of a lack of ‘trust’, based on the reliability of God. The ele¬ment of alienation is neither recognised nor even discussed in these responses. In our re¬ply, we distinguish three aspects in their criticism: a) a lack of faith, b) a lack of open¬ness to the realities behind the interpretations, and c) the modernistic subject-object dis¬tinc¬tion. We point out the specific character of the faith that is implied in our her¬me¬neu¬tic approach, i.e, a faith that springs from dealing with given confessions as meaningful to our existence. As a result, hermeneutic questions cannot be ignored, nor can the dan¬ger of misinterpretation. Especially in times as indifferent or hostile to religion as ours, this danger cannot be passed over by emphasising God’s self-evident presence, or the mutual dependency of God and the believer.

PETER J. TOMSON – HARNACK, MARCION:
DAS EVANGELIUM VOM FREMDEN GOTT
As a student, Adolf [von] Harnack wrote a prize-winning thesis on Marcion, the influential preacher condemned by the church in Rome as a heretic in 144 CE. Basically a collection of sources and never printed, the work kept occupying Harnack until he finally published it half a century later, in 1920. It had become a monograph which not only offered a reconstruction of Marcion’s life and work, based on exhaustive source study, but also an interpretation of his importance. Harnack, having become one of the most important historians of Church and doctrine, brilliantly situated Marcion in a crucial phase of the history of the early Church. Joining in with the anti-Semitic spirit of the age, he also propagated Marcion’s radical rejection of the Old Testament as a recipe for healing twentieth-century Christianity.

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