(C11) The Renunciation of Violence in Religious Traditions: Modern Catholicism in the Field of Tension between Distinction and Integration

The secular standard of the modern political world stands in sharp contrast to the claims to power of traditions of religious truth. In Europe numerous conflicts have been sparked by this, especially between the Catholic church and the democratic public. Before this background it is thus surprising that, within a few decades, the initially strongly anti-modernistic Catholicism has integrated itself into the modern constitutional state, whose normative foundations – for example the sovereignty of the people, freedom of conscience and religion – were, however, long considered “illegitimate.” The newly observable self-confidence of re-politicised religions, often with a militant style – and not only in the context of Islam – makes clear that this fundamental conflict has by no means been resolved but rather continues to work at least latently.

With the declaration of religious freedom of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, Catholicism programmatically renounced the state-coercive enforcement of its claim to truth. This “Declaration of Renunciation”, considerably influenced by United States Catholicism, can be considered an act of voluntary self-restriction that is virtually unique in the history of religion, and one whose meaning can scarcely be overestimated. Even today it remains largely unclear how such a fundamental change of position could have come about in an institution that is as tied to tradition as the Catholic church. The specific context of its origin and the various conflicts and learning experiences that made this upheaval possible are the subject of this interdisciplinary research project. Methodologically, structural analyses shall be linked with the reconstruction of semantics of identity and images of the world. The project shall examine whether specific structural patterns are at work here in the field of tension between religion and modernity, which can play a role not only for Catholicism, but in similar form also for other religions, for example Islam. At the same time this poses the further question of whether this self-modernisation of Catholicism in the context of distinction and integration attains a paradigmatic significance for the relationship between religious communities and the modern political world in general.

Publications

Cover "Religionsfreiheit und Pluralismus"

Karl Gabriel, Christian Spieß, Katja Winkler (Eds.), Religionsfreiheit und religiöser Pluralismus – Entwicklungslinien eines katholischen Lernprozesses (Religionsfreiheit - Katholizismus - Gewalt, Band 1) , Schöningh: Paderborn 2010. Tagungsband („Wie fand der Katholizismus zur Religionsfreiheit?“ Internationale Fachtagung, Münster 11.-13. März 2009) mit Beiträgen von Roman Siebenrock, Silvia Scatena, Urs Altermatt, Wilhelm Damberg, Rudolf Uertz, Antonius Liedhegener, Hans Maier, Joseph Komonchak, Klaus Unterburger und Hartmann Tyrell.

Cover „Religion – Gewalt – Terrorismus“

Karl Gabriel, Christian Spieß, Katja Winkler (Hg.), Religion – Gewalt – Terrorismus. Religionssoziologische und ethische Analysen (Religionsfreiheit - Katholizismus - Gewalt, Band 3), Schöningh: Paderborn 2010. Mit Beiträgen von Hans Kippenberg, Christoph Baumgartner, Hans-Gerd Angel, Johannes Frühbauer, Wolfgang Heinz, Katharina Klöcker, Wolfgang Palaver, Sebastian Schilling, Verena Voigt, Christian Spieß).

Cover „Die Anerkennung der Religionsfreiheit auf dem Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzil“

Karl Gabriel, Christian Spieß, Katja Winkler (Hg.), Die Anerkennung der Religionsfreiheit auf dem Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzil – Texte zur Interpretation eines Lernprozesses (Religionsfreiheit - Katholizismus - Gewalt, Band 4)

Cover „Modelle des religiösen Pluralismus“

Karl Gabriel, Christian Spieß, Katja Winkler (Hg.), Modelle des religiösen Pluralismus – Historische, religionssoziologische und religionspolitische Perspektiven (Religionsfreiheit - Katholizismus - Gewalt, Band 5)