Wie kann die christliche Botschaft glaubwürdig werden?Ein Impuls aus der orthodoxen Tradition

Abstract / DOI

How Can Christian Message Restore Its Credibility? An Impetus coming from the Orthodox Tradition. The article deals with the problem of the East-West division of the Christian tradition regarding it however not from the viewpoint of dogmatics or liturgics, but the concrete practice of Christian life. I will argue that resulting from the 1054 Great Schism, the Christian message for both the West and the East has become one-sided und its meaning turned out to be obscure. The contemporary Western preaching, by Roman Catholics and Protestants alike, presumes that Christian life lies in trusting God and servicing one’s neighbour, but says next to nothing of how to achieve this. One can get an impression that this trust and this service will arise automatically as a result of the mere acknowledgement of certain values and moral attitudes. The Eastern Orthodox tradition, on the contrary, regards faith as hard toil – a path of self-knowledge and ascesis. However, one-sided focusing on self-perfection is also fraught with peril to spiritual life such as sinking in despair at contemplating one’s own imperfection and being unable to love one’s neighbour. The awareness of these lacunae might lead not only to the intensification of the ecumenical dialogue but make Christian message more credible both in the West and in the East.

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