Die Auferstehung Jesu als ein historisches Ereignis bei Wolfhart Pannenberg (German Edition)

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The flesh in which they suffered pains and torments for the Lord will also share in their happiness. Just as they rejoice now only in their souls, they will then rejoice in the glory of their bodies as well. The development of scholasticism and, in particular, the adaptation of Aristotelian anthropology within Christian theology lent greater precision to medieval discussions of intermediate states, e. Greater precision brought with it, however, the possibility of more focused debate on the precise nature of the intermediate state.

During , Pope John XXII delivered a series of sermons in which he argued that the souls of the redeemed do not enjoy the face-to-face vision of God until the resurrection. These sermons were not binding teaching and were circulated with the request for response. An intense debate was set off, with John's views both supported and criticized. On his death bed in , John retracted his views.

Life beyond our Planet?

John's successor, Benedict XII, called together a group of theologians to discuss the question and in issued the constitution Benedictus Deus. Moreover, by this vision and enjoyment the souls of those who have already died are truly blessed beatae and have eternal life and rest. No one in the debate denied the existence of an intermediate state; the question was the nature of the soul's participation in salvation during this intermediate state.

When in the early 16th century a renewed Aristotelianism denied the immortality of the soul, the Fifth Lateran Council condemned "all those who assert that the intellectual soul is mortal. The Lutheran Reformation had no distinctive teaching about death or intermediate states. The Lutheran Confessions simply assume that the souls of the dead exist and are in a blessed communion with Christ. No debate with Catholics or among Lutherans called for any discussion of the question and thus the Confessions do not address the nature of death or the way in which the soul survives death.

In the debate over whether Christians can invoke prayers from the saints in heaven, the Confessions consistently accept as Christian teaching that the departed saints are in heaven, although we cannot know whether they are aware of our invocations of them.

Authoritative statements such as Benedictus Deus , however, ceased to carry weight with Lutheranism. Lutheran theology of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries continued to teach the survival of the soul beyond death and an immediate judgment, followed by acceptance into heaven or banishment to hell. Luther himself often took the biblical language of death as sleep more literally than his medieval predecessors, but was unsure about what such "sleep" might be and also on other occasions used the more common language of souls in heaven.

While, as will be noted, some twentieth-century interpreters insisted that Luther consciously rejected earlier notions of an intermediate state, much contemporary scholarship denies that Luther had a settled teaching on the question. Lutheran attention was thus not focused on the soul and its intermediate state, but on resurrection as the Christian's hope. In the course of the twentieth century, the classical soul-body anthropology shared by Lutherans, Catholics, and others came under critique. On the one hand, this anthropology was criticized as unbiblical.

The Bible, it was claimed, understood the self as essentially embodied in a way that excluded the ongoing existence of a disembodied soul. Biblical hope, it was argued, focused on bodily resurrection, not on a soul that survived death. In differing ways, both Lutheran and Catholic theologians sought to engage this two-pronged critique.


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Particularly important for the Lutheran discussion was the argument that Luther himself had rejected "the immortality of the soul," i. Some affirmed that beyond death, there is no time and the dead directly enter eternity. A statement by Luther in his Genesis lectures is often cited and used as a theological springboard: "where and with whomever God speaks, whether in anger or in grace, that person is surely immortal.

For example, Werner Elert would only state: "He [the departed] 'is' in judgment, in the eternal memory of God, who also will not forget him on the Last Day. There is thus good reason to write on the grave: 'He rests in God'. These theological discussions have been reflected in Lutheran church documents in various ways.


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On the one hand, the Finnish Catechism of approved by the church's General Synod repeats a traditional position regarding the soul surviving death. While the soul is not "by nature and by virtue of an inherent quality immortal," it is "not annihilated" in death; there is a "persistence of personal identity beyond death. Man is thereby God's dialogue partner; he is addressed and he should answer. God does not revoke this relation to man — and so we are related to God in life and in death; we cannot escape him. Because the relation to God is indestructible, so is the human person. Lutheran discussions were paralleled by Catholic discussions, especially in the German language world.

Four themes were particularly important in the period prior to God is the 'last thing' of the creature.

Die Auferstehung Jesu ALS Ein Historisches Ereignis Bei Wolfhart Pannenberg

Gained, he is heaven; lost, he is hell; examining, he is judgment; purifying, he is purgatory. He it is to whom finite being dies and through whom it rises to him, in him. This he is, however, as he presents himself to the world, that is, in his Son, Jesus Christ, who is the revelation of God and, therefore, the whole essence of the last things. The human spirit is by the Creator's word made to live in an enduring relation with God, with the great possibility of this relation becoming the eternal dialogue of mutual love. Otto Karrer treated in the eschatological events and resurrection of the dead.

General resurrection is not an event at the end of time. Resurrection occurs seriatim after Christ began the "era of resurrection.

Resurrection Faith Today

This conception marked the "Dutch Catechism" of , which said that beyond death there occurs "something like the resurrection of a new body. Gisbert Greshake proposed in a single-stage eschatology centered in a conception of "resurrection in death.

God, the Lord of life Rom. If so, they could be integrated with his outlook, but only as a completion of what has already been occurring. Greshake's ideas had their supporters 69 and their critics. In the edition of Eschatologie — Tod und ewiges Leben , Ratzinger offered his own, dialogical account of the human soul 71 and leveled a series of arguments against Greshake's proposal. The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, under Card. Of the Letter's seven main affirmations, no. According to no. After laying down its specific doctrinal reminders, the Letter admits that we do not have from Scripture "a proper picture" of life after death.

But Christians should hold firmly to two essential points, with which this section can conclude. On the one hand they must believe in the fundamental continuity, thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit, between our present life in Christ and the future life. We shall be with Christ and "we shall see God" 1 Jn.

[Kasper, Walter] Jesus the Christ

Our imagination may be incapable of reaching these heights, but our heart does so instinctively and completely. Our churches affirm that death cannot destroy the communion with God of those redeemed and justified. The nature of the life that the justified departed share with God cannot be described in great detail and in this life remains a great mystery.

Nevertheless, Lutherans and Catholics share the sure and certain hope that the justified departed are "in Christ" and enjoy the rest that belongs to those who have run the race. As Hebrews reminds us, "Do not lose your confidence, which has a great reward" Heb. Our churches thus teach an ongoing personal existence beyond death, to which our divine Creator relates in saving love. This affirmation of a central aspect of our hope of eternal life is grounded in the witness of Scripture and the consensus of our authoritative traditions. This dialogue finds the understanding of a dialogical immortality that has been developed in both our traditions to be especially valuable.

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Those with pastoral responsibilities in our churches would do well to draw on such accounts of life in Christ that transcends bodily death when they minister to those facing death and to the grieving left behind. Catholic doctrine on 1 the soul, 2 its immortality, and 3 the beatific vision prior to the general resurrection is more elaborated than what is found in the Lutheran Confessions on these subjects.

Since these teachings were not disputed in the Lutheran Reformation and not denied in the Confessions, this dialogue finds that, in the light of the convergence shown above, official teaching on these three subjects is not church-dividing. Christian hope has always been a hope for the reign of God's justice. Isaiah says of the Lord's servant: "He will bring forth justice to the nations" The restitution of justice, however, involves judgment, both on humanity as a whole and on individuals.

What we have been and done will come to light. All judgment, whether a yearly performance appraisal or the final judgment before the throne of God, inevitably carries with it anxiety. Hebrews speaks of "a fearful prospect of judgment" for those who "willfully persist in sin" f. Some artistic portrayals of the last judgment easily elicit fear. For those who are in Christ, however, judgment, while sobering, is also hopeful for we know that the one who will judge us is also the one who has given up his life for us on the cross.

Our judge is also our advocate 1 Jn. That God judges humans on the basis of their works in their earthly lives is an affirmation that we find throughout the Scriptures. From the beginning of their existence humans stand before God "naked," unable to hide from him the truth about their lives and their works Gen.

In his law God makes clear that he punishes the guilty and rewards the righteous e.