Let us play : (un)shackling liaisons, (un)masking games and (un)hindered dialogue in the arena where theology takes place

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    In 1973 the theme of the May issue of the theological journal Concilium was ‘The crisis of religious language’. The linguist Harald Weinrich (1973:329) used the compositum (composition) ‘narrative theology’ for the first time. In the same issue the German political theologian Jean-Baptiste Metz (1973:334–342) argued that ‘narrative theology’, within the broader context of political theology, is a mode of discourse which is particularly sensitive to the ‘experience’ of people. At the time, and in that particular context, this argument was not met with enthusiasm. Eberhard Jüngel (1974; [1977] 1992) and Dietrich Ritschl (1976; 1984) did not appreciate any theology that had anything to do with life experience and social relevance, and Ritschl (1976:18) referred to narrative theology as ‘that idiom’. Metz, on the other hand, argued that theology cannot in any circumstances be ‘socially uninvolved’ (Metz 1973; 1967). It was Metz who together with Jürgen Moltmann developed the notion ‘Political Theology’ during the 1960s as a sociocritical theology (Van Wyk 2015:1 of 8; cf. Schüssler Fiorenza 2013:38). Political theology is a theology ‘with its face toward the world’ (Metz 1968 [1969]:83; cf. Van Wyk 2015:1 of 8), committed to ‘justice, peace, and the integrity of creation’ (cf. WCC 1983). The three main tasks of political theology are: (1) socio-theoretical awareness of the complexity of different relationships; (2) an assessment of the state of affairs based on continuous social analysis; and (3) courage to engage multi-contextual and pluralistic environments (Schüssler Fiorenza, Tanner & Welker 2013:xiii–xiv; cf. Van Wyk 2015:6 of 8).