09 November 2009

Recent books on German "new political theology"

Volume 5 of the German "Jahrbuch Politische Theologie" (literally, "Yearbook" Political Theology, but only really published four times since 1995) was released in 2008 under the title "Politische Theologie – gegengelesen" (hard to translate, as "gegenlesen" can mean anything from proof-reading to cross-examination; the book's intention seems to lie in corrections, criticism, expansion, even a re-focusing).

The volume's co-editor – with Bernd Wacker –, Jürgen Manemann (Professor of Christian Weltanschauung, Religious and Cultural Theory at the University of Erfurt), is a former student of Johann Baptist Metz, who introduced the concept of "new political theology" in the 1960s (without obvious reference to Carl Schmitt's prior "old" political theology). Manemann and Wacker are also involved in the running of the "Ahauser Forum Politische Theologie", a series of events that have been organized sporadically in the German town of Ahaus since 1998.

This book has now become available for perusal on Google Book Search:


There you will also find a list of contents and contributors.

On occasion of Metz' 80th birthday last year, the LIT Verlag (publishers of the "Jahrbuch" series) also released, in 2009, an edited collection, "Theologisch-politische Vergewisserungen: Ein Arbeitsbuch aus dem Schüler- und Freundeskreis von Johann Baptist Metz" (Theological-political [self-]re-assurances/verifications: a workbook from the circle of students and friends of Johann Baptist Metz), edited by Thomas Polednitschek, Michael J. Rainer, and José Antonio Zamora:


Like the "Jahrbuch", this collection seeks to re-assess and further develop Metz' concept of a political theology "after Auschwitz", influenced by Marxism, defined by the "dangerous memory" of the suffering of humans and Christ alike, confronting both the past and the future.

Two more monographs on political theology have already been announced by the LIT Verlag and will be published shortly: Thomas Polednitschek's "Der politische Sokrates: Erfahrungen eines Philosophischen Praktikers an der Grenze zu Psychotherapie und Politischer Theologie" (The political Socrates: Experiences of a philosophical practitioner on the border to psychotherapy and political theology); and Seok-Guy Lee's "'Leidenserinnerung' in der Politischen Theologie von J.B. Metz und 'Leiderfahrung' in der Minjung-Theologie Südkoreas" ("Memory of suffering" in the political theology of J.B. Metz and "experience of suffering" in the Minjung theology of South Korea).

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