Theology of Pilgrims


“… according to the measure of my insight, a theological teacher can have “disciples” only in the sense that he teaches them to immerse themselves more thoroughly in the lifelong school of Holy Scripture, in order that there they may find the criteria for the training of their own faculty of judgment. The pastor, by the way, has an analogous task with respect to the congregation. Evangelical (i.e., Protestant) theology is at least in this respect the heir (perhaps even the mother?) of the Enlightenment, because it gives us the courage to use our own understanding as it has been trained by the hearing of God’s Word. Only in this way is the consensus of believers in a common confession before God and before the world worth anything at all. In this sense theology must, I am convinced, pursue enlightenment in the light of the gospel — beyond neoorthodoxy and neorationalism, but also beyond collectivism and individualism. In this way I have tried since 1961 to make theology both appetizing and obligatory to the students entrusted to me: as a theologia viatorum, a “theology of pilgrims,” who are “on the way to the heart of the matter” (unterwegs zur Sache) and who must always keep widening the boundaries of their insight. “New frontiers . “Eberhard Jüngel in “Toward the Heart of the Matter”

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