‘Dramatic Theology’ as a Process of Discernment for Our Time

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 September 2022) | Viewed by 5218

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Systematic Theology, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Interests: dramatic theology as a hermeneutical research tool reaching across theological subdivisions; soteriology as nexus of theological ideas

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For many, ‘Dramatic Theology’ has become a household name for a theological framework that aspires to interrelate different, seemingly opposed, theological claims and integrate them into a consistent whole without leveling their distinct emphases and concerns. Thereby, it has made significant contributions to the fields of Christology, soteriology, eschatology, the theologies of (original) sin, grace, and sacrifice, has engendered a theological reckoning with the ideas of God’s wrath and violence and – in connection with that – the theology of revelation and Biblical hermeneutics. To this purpose, Dramatic Theology has utilized but also adapted Mimetic Theory, and also developed a new approach to a theological ethics.

This Special Issue seeks to relate these insights to the specific challenges that face the world and the church today, and to broaden the scope of the themes treated explicitly to the interreligious and intercultural sphere.

We seek contributions that either depict and critically analyze the method of Dramatic Theology or inquire into its contributions to important fields of systematic theology (those already mentioned but also new ones) in the challenges or our present times; furthermore, we welcome contributions that probe the significance of this theological framework for interreligious and intercultural dialog, and show its versatility for important theological endeavors.

Dr. Nikolaus Wandinger
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • theological method
  • Biblical hermeneutics
  • theology of revelation
  • soteriology
  • sacrifice
  • Mimetic theory
  • divine/human violence
  • dramatic ethics
  • dramatic theology’s interreligious implications
  • dramatic theology’s cross-cultural implications

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

25 pages, 393 KiB  
Article
Divine Action and Dramatic Christology: A Rereading of Raymund Schwager’s Jesus in the Drama of Salvation
by Willibald Sandler
Religions 2023, 14(3), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14030390 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1528
Abstract
This article shows that and how Raymund Schwager’s five-act dramatic Christology is at the same time a theology of divine action that takes a Christological, personal, dialogical and dramatic approach. Secondly, this article develops a methodological approach of Jesus in the Drama of [...] Read more.
This article shows that and how Raymund Schwager’s five-act dramatic Christology is at the same time a theology of divine action that takes a Christological, personal, dialogical and dramatic approach. Secondly, this article develops a methodological approach of Jesus in the Drama of Salvation, in which Schwager draws on Anselm of Canterbury and thus understands theology as an unfinishable project of “conversion of thought”. This methodology is developed further in the form of a continuous self-application of theological insights to one’s own theology, so that Schwager’s dramatic five-act theology of divine action opens up to ever new readings. In this way, thirdly, Schwager’s dramatic theology of the Gospels is developed in the direction of a biblically based dramatic-kairological phenomenology of divine action. According to this, God acts through and in Jesus by means of events that make the kingdom of God present to people in an exemplary way, thus pulling them out of previous entanglements of catastrophe and placing them in situations of new beginnings. This liberating action of God towards salvation does not overwhelm the free choice of human beings, but places them in Kairoi, i.e., in extraordinary times of salvation, in which they are released to actively accept this offer of salvation in favour of a salvific self-transformation, or to reject God in an aggravated way. On the methodological path described above, this kairological salvific action of God, mediated by Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God and by the work of the Holy Spirit, is grounded in God’s new creative action of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. In this way there emerges an expanded sphere for God’s personal and dramatic kairological salvific action, which embraces the whole of creation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ‘Dramatic Theology’ as a Process of Discernment for Our Time)
8 pages, 225 KiB  
Article
The Drama of the World, the Drama of Theology
by Michael Joseph Kirwan
Religions 2022, 13(11), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13111093 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Hans Urs von Balthasar speaks of a diversity of contemporary philosophies moving ‘concentrically’ toward a ‘dramatic theology’. This article affirms the coherence of this claim, by establishing some of these convergences, beginning with Gaudium et Spes, and a number of theologians, pre-eminently [...] Read more.
Hans Urs von Balthasar speaks of a diversity of contemporary philosophies moving ‘concentrically’ toward a ‘dramatic theology’. This article affirms the coherence of this claim, by establishing some of these convergences, beginning with Gaudium et Spes, and a number of theologians, pre-eminently Balthasar. Attention is then turned to the ‘Dramatic Theology’ project of the Innsbruck School, inspired by Raymund Schwager; a conception of theodrama which builds on Balthasar’s insight, while also utilising the mimetic theory of René Girard. The third section considers ways in which the insights of the Dramatic Theology project can be enhanced, by attention to three specific insights from within dramatic theory: the possibility of expanding the Aristotelian notion of ‘tragedy’; the borrowing of ‘overacceptance’ from theatrical improvision (Wells); a wider deployment of the unsettling category of ‘tragicomedy’, as applied to Shakespeare. The convergence of these insights on ‘theodrama’ is demonstrated by a comment on the Girardian/mimetic significance of each. A distinction between Balthasar and Girard is suggested, with reference to Walter Brüggemann’s dual perspectives of ‘above the fray’ and within the fray’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ‘Dramatic Theology’ as a Process of Discernment for Our Time)
24 pages, 352 KiB  
Article
Dramatic Theology: A Hermeneutical Framework for Discerning the Cultural Realities and the Role of Christianity in India
by George Thomas Kuzhippallil
Religions 2022, 13(10), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13100954 - 11 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1569
Abstract
This article explains how dramatic theology can discern, evaluate, and interpret critically different cultural institutions and bring forward the uniqueness of Christian revelation in a pluralistic world. It clarifies the concept, methodology, and relevance of dramatic theology, which uses mimetic theory as an [...] Read more.
This article explains how dramatic theology can discern, evaluate, and interpret critically different cultural institutions and bring forward the uniqueness of Christian revelation in a pluralistic world. It clarifies the concept, methodology, and relevance of dramatic theology, which uses mimetic theory as an auxiliary hypothesis; taking the concrete example of cultural realities in India, it unearths the archaic background of their all-encompassing nature, the multiplicity of gods, and the caste system. It also describes how dramatic theology exposes the unique role of Jesus as the human face of God the Father, and the new gathering—through five acts in the Drama of Salvation—in human history and Christianity in such a complex cultural context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ‘Dramatic Theology’ as a Process of Discernment for Our Time)
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