189. „Springing Cultural Traps: The Science-and-Theology Discourse on Eschatology and the Common Good“

a. „Springing Cultural Traps: The Science-and-Theology Discourse on Eschatology and the Common Good“, in: Theology Today 58 (2001), 165-176.

 

There are many different definitions and theories of culture. The period between the late fifties and the late sixties saw intensive debates in the social and cultural sciences concerning the possibility of gaining a theoretically founded common concept of „culture“. All theories and definitions seem to share a certain helplessness with respect to their subject. This helplessness is best grasped in the tendency to proffer summarizing formulas for what a culture really is: we get many listings, from the symbolic foundations of human action to the most important human artifacts. But all the definitions and theories of culture seem to agree explicitly or implicitly on the fact that cultures serve the communication of human beings via memories and expectations. With the help of our culture we develop astounding abilities to connect and disconnect, to share and to differentiate our memories and our expectations. We anticipate, reproduce and reconstruct in our memories and imaginations what others remember, anticipate and expect. Moving in the realms of memory and imagination we attune our emotions, thoughts and practices in very powerful ways. We do not have to talk to each other, to see each other and to touch each other all the time. We can, so to speak, manage most of our communication by flying above physical reality, with only occasionally illustrative landings. The complex entity „culture“, which one sociologist has called the „brain of the society,“ makes this possible.

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b. „Springing Cultural Traps: The Science-and-Theology Discourse on Eschatology and the Common Good“, in: Lyn Holness u. Ralf K. Wüstenberg (Hg.), Theology in Dialogue. The Impact of the Arts, Humanities, and Science on Contemporary Religious Thought, FS John DeGruchy, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002, 53-67.

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