This was a constant theme throughout his theological development, until finally in his prison letters he spoke of 'Jesus's 'being for others' 'as the experience of transcendence', and as consequence, 'the church is only the church when it is there for others' Bonhoeffer About this, I assume that a clue can be gleaned from recent correspondence in which he said that he did not regard central Christian doctrines as literally true or doing justice to what Jesus was primarily about, and described himself not as post-Christian, but as 'post-credal and post-ecclesiastical'.
That humanism, articulated in the work of Erasmus, the pre-eminent Christian humanist of his day, was more than the forerunner of a post-Enlightenment secular humanism; it was an attempt to recover the Christian humanism of the Patristic period which laid the foundation for Western culture as expressed in education, art and science.
In scriptural terms, human beings are dust that breathes—breathing and longing for peace, for meaning, and for what is sacred and true.
In certain regions, the Church held that human beings could themselves contribute to the fulfilment of that salvation, which creates a space for strong tensions between worldly and ecclesiastical claims to power.Today, some historic forms of humanism smack of an anthropo-centrism that is problematic given our current understanding of ourselves in relation to the biosphere and cosmos. For a philosopher like Voltaire, it was therefore not a question of a turn from theism to atheism; instead his conception of reality was based on the insight that the creator did not actively control all events — which in its turn implies that the Church could no longer be said to possess exclusive insight into the human situation. Although Bonhoeffer's own response to his question 'who is Jesus Christ for us today' was hermeneutically located within that context, it was undoubtedly in continuity with the ancient creeds, despite the influence of his great liberal teacher Adolf von Harnack, for whom they were highly problematic. From this, one would of course be able to conclude that the task of history is thoroughly impossible — while natural science achieves its effectiveness only through the power of its cultural conditions. For that reason the focus of my essay is on my understanding of the theological basis for Christian humanism and how this might relate to Martin's 'progressive Christianity' and the task at hand. For the Christian humanist such a community is not closed or exclusive in character, but exists for and in solidarity with others. Instead of finding solace in prefabricated answers to the great questions of life, humanists enjoy the open-endedness of a quest and the freedom of discovery that this entails. For Zimmermann, this needs to begin specifically with 'the Judeo-Christian roots of values such as human dignity, freedom, hope and social responsibility', in a way that enables both secular and other religious world views to 'unite towards the common goal of becoming most fully human' Zimmermann b:
The only essential thing for the enlightened humanist is to moralize from the actual insight one has, as if it were absolutely true. Gregor eds.
Archbishop K. Critical towards this end is the reintegrating of faith and reason which takes us beyond the deconstruction of fideism and secularism to a widening of the concept of reason, an avoidance of fundamentalism, and a deepening of the meaning of faith.
This movement away from the Patristic tradition radically altered the basis on which Western cultural humanism has to be sustained, not just philosophically but in a world radically changed by historical developments and the dominance of empirical science.Giorgio Agamben has attempted to define more sharply the question of the meaning of Auschwitz during our time. In the letters of John the claim is made that anyone who hates the neighbor and claims to love God is a liar. During the struggle against apartheid, Martin and I were constantly aware that our concern for justice, too often denied by fellow white Christians, was shared by people of other faiths as well as by secular humanists even though they did not share the same Christian beliefs and commitments. Johnson, and K. Volume 4: Discipleship. I agree. Unfortunately scholastic theology was incapable of keeping pace with these developments, and not only became rigid but also fractured. Humanists stand for the building of a more humane, just, compassionate, and democratic society using a pragmatic ethics based on human reason, experience, and reliable knowledge-an ethics that judges the consequences of human actions by the well-being of all life on Earth. Central to the conversation is how we understand the role of creeds and confessions in Christian faith, and the significance of the confession that Jesus, the truly human one, is the Christ of faith.
This brings Zimmermann to the theologians who are his chief interlocutors, Maurice Blondel and especially Bonhoeffer.
He is driven to this by his reflection on the natural disaster of our age, the tidal waves in Southeast Asia, which then assumes the form of a radical cultural event. The key is moderation in all things. To my mind, no one has explored this development more fully than Dunn whose conclusion is that while we 'cannot claim that Jesus believed himself to be the incarnate Son of God', we can say that this conviction was 'an appropriate reflection on and elaboration of Jesus' own sense of sonship and eschatological mission' Dunn Why turn to the Church of all places?