Europe is in crisis, but what sort of crisis is it? Should it be explained in terms of leaving Europe's Christian heritage? In this paper, the European crisis is described as a crisis which has its origins within early modern Christianity. This crisis can be made visible through the study of the reception of the Johannine prologue. All the dominant streams in the Reformation, both the mainstream and the radical Reformation, privilege John as a primary source of their doctrines, but differ strongly in their interpretation. The spectrum of interpretation that can be reconstructed through the study of the reception of the prologue sheds light on the present European crisis. The European crisis since the Reformation can be characterized as a tension between a universal and a particular understanding of salvation. The first can be found in radical humanism such as the theology of Michael Servetus or Sebastian Franck, in which church and faith ultimately become superfluous. The second can be found in Anabaptist and Reformed theology, in which salvation is exclusively bound to specific religious communities. Luther's theology is then construed as an attempt to hold the two extremes together.
|Journal||Neue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|