"Schöpfung" und "Sünde" in ethischen Diskursen liberaler Gesellschaften
Kerygma und Dogma
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The two Christian key-concepts „creation“ and „sin“ refer to an understanding of human life which interpret it as bodily, vulnerable, sociable life destined to individual freedom, but actually unable to realise its destiny without the courtesy of mutual forgiveness. The reference to an absolute transcendental personal ground for such forgiveness is based on the actuality of the latter.
(1) In ethical discourses of liberal, secular societies, the two Christian key-concepts „creation“ and „sin“ are mostly abandoned for different reasons and in different intensity, in addition they are at least partly replaced by secular concepts like “human dignity” and “responsibility”. Nevertheless, such replacements do not function perfectly. At least the concept of creation is already reappearing in secular political contexts (like the Swiss constitution of 1999).
(2) There is a need and also an opportunity to re-import those Christian concepts into secular ethical dialogues. For that purpose they have to be interpreted by connecting them with basic human biographical experiences of social and bodily individualisation.
(3) A good example for both, the problems of a purely secular understanding of basic human relationships and the helpful potentiality of a Christian anthropology to solve such problems, are the present ethical and legal debates on marriage and family. The German term “Lebensgemeinschaft” (cohabitation, properly: “symbiotic community” or “community of life”) which is often used to define a (intentionally exclusive) privileged partnership refers to a anthropological concept of individuality which is itself fundamentally connected or connectable with associations being preserved in the Christian concepts of “creation” and “sin”.