Sola scriptura: Was sollte reformatorische Theologie von katholischer Theologie lernen?

Zusammenfassung / Summary

In this paper, delivered at the festive opening of the winter-term 2016/2017 at Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main, it is argued, that the principle sola scriptura should be understood in an ecumenical way and not as a principle of division between the churches. Therefore, in a first step, the original meaning of this principle in the 16th century is reconstructed from an analysis of certain texts of the Reformation era, e.g. the Confessions. In a second step, discussions of 20th century German systematic theology under the keywords “crisis of the Reformation principle of scripture” are analyzed. Our proposal is that we should always read sola scriptura together with different traditions, thus using the Bible itself to avoid a one-sided reception and self-referential reading of it. Such reductionist reading of the Bible in the 2017 jubilee year of the Reformation was rightly criticized by certain Roman-Catholic theologians. A common duty for the coming years should be a common reading of the bible in order to bring together the richness of other traditions as well as one’s own. That integration of different tradition is supported with some examples.

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