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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919

Abstract

BERGES, Ulrich. The fourth servant song (Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12): Reflections on the current debate on the symbolism of the cross from the perspective of the Old Testament. Old testam. essays [online]. 2012, vol.25, n.3, pp.481-499. ISSN 2312-3621.

In the current debates about the relationship of state and religion, the symbol of the cross has not been able to keep out of the headlines. On a political, legal as well as cultural level there continue to be disputes that cannot be resolved by merely referring to the Christian tradition. On the contrary: the controversial discussions challenge not only the Christian Churches, but also academic theology with its various disciplines. From the perspective of OT scholarship, and based on Isa 53,3 an aspect is to be identified which has hitherto not been taken sufficiently into account when clarifying the values surrounding the cross. Prior to this, several examples taken from the social debate will serve to illustrate to what an extent the Christian theology is challenged by it. The function of theological scholarship is, after all, not only or primarily to provide ecclesiastical self-reassurance, but also to inject the values of its own religious tradition into the free social discourse, and thus, in the sense of Habermas, to discursively fluidise them - not to dilute them!

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