Raymund Schwager: Dramatic Theology

Dramatic theology as an Interdisciplinary Paradigm for Doing Theology in the Service of a Peaceful Society. Reconstruction, Edition and Annotation of Raymund Schwager's S.J. Academic Estate

Programme of the Conference (2012, Dec 13-15)

Raymund Schwager S.J. (1935-2004), Professor of Dogmatic Theology in Innsbruck, Austria, has laid the groundwork for a new methodical approach to theology by engaging it in an intensive dialogue with cultural and social, and also natural sciences, and putting it in the context of urgent problems of today's society. It has to be noted, as well, that the goal of reaching a coherent view of initially contrasting data is central to the dramatic approach. It refuses to produce a premature coherence by downplaying the seriousness of the contrast or to merely state the contrast as insurmountable.

Since 1973 Schwager developed his ideas in exchange with the cultural anthropologist and literary scholar René Girard (Prof. em. of Stanford University, member of the Académie Française) and his mimetic theory. Consequently, it seems most likely that both Schwager's dramatic theology and Girard's mimetic theory influenced and enriched each other, so that none of the two theories would have its current shape without the other. Following up these interdependences in detail and explicate them in annotations and commentaries is an important aim of this research project. Another notable influence for Schwager's developing of his Dramatic Theology is the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, a small, yet important correspondence with whom is in the Raymund-Schwager-Archive. This archive was founded after the sudden death of Schwager in 2004 at the Institute for Systematic Theology, Innsbruck, and holds the essential material this project is engaged with.

This research project, financed by the Austrian research fund FWF, aims at the publication of two important volumes with so far unpublished material from the estate of Raymund Schwager in said archive:

The first volume will consist of an annoted edition of Schwagers last and incomplete monograph "Dogma und Dramatische Geschichte. Christologie im Kontext von Judentum, Islam und moderner Marktkultur "(Dogma and Dramatic History. Christology in the context of Judaism, Islam and the modern culture of the market). With respect to Schwager's opus this monograph is the keystone of his theology and displays it in full development. With respect to its systematic relevance it is pivotal for Schwager's understanding of the relationship between history, theology, religion and violence. Moreover it develops concrete hypotheses about the Christological dogma's influence on all important aspects of Western culture, about the relationship between Christianity and Judaism and between Christianity and Islam.

In a second volume Schwager's correspondence with René Girard will be published. The Raymund-Schwager-Archive holds 56 letters by Girard to Schwager and 37 counterparts from the years 1974-1991. This corresponcence was conducted in French. The edition will consist of the French original text, a German translation and in depth commentaries, thus contributing to a better understanding of the development of both dramatic theology and mimetic theory in the decisive time of their respective genesis.  

For further information please contact:

Dr. Mathias Moosbrugger (coordinator of the project), Institut für Systematische Theologie, Karl-Rahner-Platz 1, 6020 Innsbruck (Austria)

e-mail: mathias.moosbrugger@uibk.ac.at

Tel.: + 43(0)512/507-8565

Fax: + 43(0)512/507-9839

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