|Publiziert in:||M. Doss / A. Vonach (Hg.), Cross-cultural Encounter: Experience and Expression of the Divine. Innsbruck 2009, 101-112.|
Dieser Artikel ist publiziert in: Mohan Doss / Andreas Vonach (Hg.), Cross-cultural Encounter: Experience and Expression of the Divine. Innsbruck: innsbruck university press 2009, 101-112.
1. „A holy painting, spewing flames" - The fusion of violence and religion
Bohemia, November 8th 1620, on the eve of Thirty Year's War. On the top of a hill not far from Prague the Protestant Bohemian army had entrenched itself against the advancing imperial forces of the Catholic League. Nearly thirty-thousand men on each part stood against one other. The troops supporting the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire knew that their adversaries on top of the hill were in an exquisite strategic defence-position, so the council of war had already decided, that they would not attack. Just in this moment a furious monk joined the assembly. He showed them a painting depicting the holy family which had been violated by iconoclastic Protestants. The eyes of Joseph and Mary had been scratched off. The monk prophesied a tremendous victory if they would attack now, because God would avenge the sacrilege, and the saints would fight by the side of the soldiers. The monk convinced the council of war and a horrible battle took place. Finally the catholic army - with the furious battle cry „Santa Maria" - overran the opponents. Amidst them the 60-years old fanatical monk, riding on a horse with the desecrated painting and a crucifix in his hands, and roaring out the words of the following Sunday-gospel: „Pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar; and God what belongs to God." Later on soldiers would attest, that they had seen the monk's crucifix and painting spewing flames against the fleeing enemies. The fatigued fighters received an enormous strengthening. A frantic slaughtering commenced, with thousands dead within a few hours.1
This was the famous and bloodthirsty battle of White Mountain, which actually bestowed an outstanding victory upon the catholic forces and, as a consequence, drove the Protestants out of Bohemia. This victory was assigned to Virgin Mary, to their troops of angels, and to the Carmelite monk, who behaved like the returned Eliah, who once had massacred 450 Baal´s prophets on the mountain of Carmel, - so to speak the first of all Carmelites.
This monk, Dominicus a Jesu Maria, was not at all a screwball, but the former General of the Carmelite Order, who had been sent by the Pope to assist the imperial troops. He certainly knew what he did, when he found the violated painting and framed it carefully. To express his thanks, the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II arranged the foundation of the first Carmelite monasteries on Habsburg territory.
2. The glowing core of monotheistic Faith: Does Religion produce violence?
Though this historic incident shows tremendously the fusion of religion and violence, it is only one of countless examples. And today the history of blood and religion seems to join smoothly with the frightening fundamentalist violence, which is ascribed to radical Islamists. Frequently the conclusion is drawn that religion generally produces violence, and there is no lack of argumentation, which assigns a fatal violent inclination especially to monotheistic religions. Is it not true, that the confession of a unique God automatically causes the rejection of other Gods and their followers? So the equation of monotheism and intolerance seems to be correct. And isn´t there a narrow connection between intolerance and violence? So that, at least for monotheistic religions, the equation results: Religion = violence.
This suspicion is hardened by the bible insofar as it seems to be full of violence, namely a violence that is joined with the belief in a jealous God, who demands to annihilate the followers of other Gods. And is it not true, that these bloody stories time and again served as models for fanatics, just like the Carmelite monk, who saw himself in the footsteps of Elijah, who slaughtered the 450 priests of Baal?
Obviously there exist profound connections between religion and violence. Insofar it is somewhat justified to speak of religion producing violence, - though this assertion is far too categorical and therefore unjust. It fails to notice innumerable contributions to reconciliation and peace-keeping, carried out and motivated by religious people. So it is not surprising, that the correlation of religion and violence is offended by Christian and Theologians almost automatically. Unfortunately by this way the problem of deep-rooted connections between religion and violence threatens to get underestimated.
A couple of months ago an interview of the cardinal and theologian Walter Kasper and of the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, published in the German weekly „Die Zeit", opens up another perspective.2 Kasper concedes, that there exists not only a positive but also a perverted nature of - also Christian - religion. „The perverted nature („Unwesen") may exceed up to a conjunction between religion and violence." And Kasper also admits that religion may be applied in harmful and even destructive ways. Sloterdijk takes up this ambiguity of religion by speaking of „monotheistic religions, who are threatened by their universalistic claim to release a high polemogenic, violent potential." He asks for possibilities, „to use monotheistic energies in a peaceful way" and applies the comparison with reactor technology: „In the moment, when people get near to the glowing core of monotheistic faith, they begin to burn. When man begins to speak „in the Name of the Highest", a powerful energetic reaction will occur, and man will acquire enormous motivational resources." Sloterdijk certifies to the institutional Christianity,
„that, to use the same metaphor, it developed a highly elaborated reactor technology. What within simple-minded people would cause a burning out mania, can be reduced to a livable format by the help of elaborated psychotechniques, by ascetic and meditative exercises and by learned forms of spiritual examinations. This is the attraction of an institution, that is ethically and dogmatically mature and deeply thought through: that it normally knows their dangers better than their external critics."
This was a statement - claimed by a postmodern philosopher - which made the interviewer exclaim: „Twenty years ago it would have been said: Christianity is good, but church hierarchy is spoiling it. Now things get the other way round: Religion is a dubious thing, but fortunately we have something like the church."
Actually Sloterdijk - and also Walter Kasper, who in this point widely agreed - support a really astonishing position: The connection between monotheistic religion and violence is not at all played down. But the obvious conclusion, that religion should be surmounted, oppressed or at least shifted into private spheres, is almost reversed: Fortunately there is something like the church, for it is better able to deal with the potential of violence.
The position of Sloterdijk rests on two preconditions: First he obviously assumes, that the potential of violence, which appears within religion, is such a fundamental fact, that it will make trouble also apart from religion. Secondly he concedes a positive function to these monotheistic energies.
In the following I will support this position of Sloterdijk and Kasper. To this end it will be necessary to translate the catchy metaphor of the „nuclear power of religion" into a comprehensible argumentation. For that I will try to explain Sloterdijk´s implicit supposition that the glowing core of monotheistic faith reaches further than institutionalized religions by using the term transcendence.
According to my opinion religion is deeply connected with transcendence, but for transcendence is a fundamental human property, it reaches further than explicit religion. Moreover I will claim that the violent potential, which normally is ascribed to religion, is primarily connected with transcendence, and with religion only mediated by this way. Religion is at risk to become violent in so far as it touches the fundamental power of transcendence. As transcendence may be up to mischief also apart from religion, the problem of violence won´t be solved by suppressing religion, but rather shifted to even more dangerous fields, - for example the field of nationalist politics. By taking up the metaphoric of Sloterdijk, transcendence can further be described as the fissile material, which under certain circumstances can get processed to a „glowing core".
For this argumentation it will be necessary to clarify the meaning of transcendence, its connection to religion - particularly to monotheistic faith - and its connection with violence. I will firstly do this by means of a short sketch, later in a more detailed way by summarizing the development of a specific Christian understanding of transcendence.
3. Transcendence - Religion - Violence
Religion has to do with a dynamism in or between human beings, which enables them to the best but also to the worst. This dynamism powers everybody. It is not confined to religious people and it is not recognized only by religious people. Even for agnostics and atheists man appears as a „not fixed animal" as Nietzsche puts it. In comparison to animals man is equipped with an unlimited desire. So even in an anthropology apart from religious language-game it makes sense to use the term „transcendence", at least in the literal sense of trans-scending which means going beyond. There does not exist any finishing line, beyond of which man can say: now I am really satisfied. Though, a non-religious perspective won´t be able to answer, where this transcendence is aiming at.
Distinct from that, religious people interpret this dynamics as a constitutive relation to God established by creation. „Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee" - Augustine says in his Confessions. Accordingly humanity is tensioned between creation and redemption, and this tension is even intensified by an entanglement in sin, which alienates man from God and therefore drives him or her violent.
Though these terms God, creation, sin and atonement are inaccessible for non-religious positions, the insight remains open to them that transcendence exposes human beings to high tensions. The infinity of man´s desire contrasts sharply with confinements, that man experiences on all sides: by an unsatisfiable longing for property as well as by escalating competition, which results from boundless desire, - and moreover in an unfixed human existence, which drives the longing for identity, affiliation and home to an incessant interpersonal struggle for recognition: So man gets worn down between the borders of superficial glory and death, as Hegel has worked out in his phenomenology of mind. In this way also a non-religious view may grasp that transcendence is prone to violence.
4. Three stages of developing a biblical-Christian understanding of transcendence
Now I want to unfold a specific Christian understanding of transcendence by looking at three biblical stages of its development.
a) The dignity of all human beings: From „henotheism" to monotheism and creation faith
Time and mode of the development of Israelite monotheism has been discussed controversially in recent years. Though it is widely agreed that monotheism has developed rather late, namely not earlier than the Babylonian Exile. In earlier times henotheism or monolatry - eg worship of only one God though accepting that there exists more than one God - or even polytheism were specific to an Old Testament conception of God: There exist a lot of Old Testament texts, which naturally reckon with a multitude of Gods and in the face of this assumption oblige Israel to worship only one God.
A convincing theory claims that the Babylonian Exile had triggered the breakthrough of monotheism.3 Within a henotheistic conception of God the defeat of Israel would also have meant the defeat of Jahwe. In contrast to that the assumption that the God of Israel is also the God of Babylon as well as the God of all peoples, opened a way out. With this universalistic presuppositions the expulsion of Israel into exile did no more mean a defeat of God, but even a greater proof of His power, as he had used Babylon as a tool to punish Israel for breaking the covenant. So the conditions were given to universalize the belief for Jahwe up to all humans and the whole world. This universalization is expressed not only by the greater prophets but especially in an elaborated way within the biblical prehistory, whose final redaction has to be dated later than the Babylonian Exile.
What influence did this transformation of Israelite conception of God exert on the problem of violence?4 At first appearance intolerance seems to increase. For instance the monotheistic Jeremiah derided the Gods of other religions „as scarecrows in a cucumber field" which „have to be carried, for they cannot walk" (Jer 10:5). But obviously this intolerance remained only theoretical. It did not result in violence against people of a different faith. Israel never forced others to convert, and the devotion to destruction („cherem"), which God commanded against defeated towns according to Exodus and Deuteronomy, firstly was never carried out as a historical fact and secondly must be attributed not to monotheism but to earlier henotheistic stages.5 By the way this is a convincing argument against Jan Assmann´s claim, that biblical monotheism would be the reason for violent biblical texts. 6That biblical henotheism was hardly sensitive to violence against human beings apart from the own people and faith, is shown clearly by the biblical account of the Exodus of Israel out of Egypt. The drowned Egyptians of the passage of the Red Sea did not arouse any compassion - except much later in rabbinic comments. Rather they were mentioned proudly as a proof for Jahwe´s liberating power. Distinct from that, the monotheistic change made Israel aware that every man out of every people has the dignity to be the only God´s creature. This was more than a nice idea, it had concrete consequences. So Jeremiah warned the exiled Israelites not to listen to false prophets with their dreams of revenge, and he instead demanded: „Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare" (Jer 29,7).7
Let us give a short summary of this first stage of development, with regard to Sloterdijk's metaphor which is to be explained: The rise of monotheism really made possible an intensifying of the „glowing core of faith", as from this time on the image of God could be found not only within Israel, and not only in occurrences of victory, but everywhere - even far from home without temple and ritual institutions - and even in disastrous situations. A strong impression of this effect is given by the song of three young men in the furnace of blazing fire in the book of Daniel, - which in a certain way inverts the metaphor of the glowing core, though by giving evidence to its main idea.
„They were then bound in their cloaks, trousers, headgear and other garments, and thrown into the burning fiery furnace. The king´s command was so urgent and the heat of the furnace was so fierce, that the men carrying Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were burnt to death by the flames from the fire; the three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego fell, bound, into the burning fiery furnace. And they walked in the heart of the flames, praising God and blessing the Lord." (Dan 3:21-24)
b) Violence as a consequence of perverted transcendence: The biblical account of the Fall of Man
If you read the biblical accounts of creation in Genesis 1-2 on their own, they seem to depict an idyllic world which has hardly anything in common with the tough world as we know it. Seven times God is told to have valued His creation as „good", finally even as „very good". The abyss between this ideal judgment and the „real world" as it is experienced everyday, must have been even more extreme for the contemporaries in times when this account arouse and gained accepted. As I have already pointed out, this was the extremely violent and painful era of the Babylonian Exile. Psychologists could suppose that this was only a sweet dream apt to compensate the grief of an unbearable reality. But when we read the biblical creation accounts in their context we realize, that the problem of violence is faced uncompromisingly. The sevenfold „good" of Gen 1 is sharply contrasted by Gen 6, saying:
„Now the earth was corrupt in God´s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw that the earth was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth" (Gen 6:11f.)
The extreme task to bridge these two completely opposite valuations of the earth is done by a series of narrations on the Fall of Man. Read together they depict an increasing avalanche of evil, gushing into a world which was proclaimed to be good from the beginning. The later accounts - beginning with the second which refers to Cain and Abel - argue plausibly, how the evil, once it has infected the world, will spread and multiply. More difficult is the task to be served by the first and original story of the Fall of Man in Gen 3: It has to explain how sin and evil can penetrate into a world which is said to be good without any restrictions. From a logical and schematizing point of view three ways can be pursued to answer the question of the origin of evil: the evil can come from outside, from inside, or from above. „From inside" could mean, that the germ of evil is in the world from the beginning; the biblical creation account rejects this position by letting God declare that creation is good up from the beginning. A second possibility would be that the evil descended about the world from outside, - this could mean, by demons, a devil or other Gods which were not part of the world created by God. This was the common way to deal with the problem of arising evil followed by creation myths. For the biblical account this explanation is thwarted due to the assumption of a universal creation. According to biblical understanding, as it arose up from the experience of Babylonian Exile, there does not exist any outside which can be blamed for sin, evil, and violence.
So a third alternative tends to be considered: When the evil neither comes from outside nor it is inside the world from beginning, perhaps it was God who by himself implanted the germ of the evil into creation. Of course this third alternative was unacceptable to a biblical conception of God, but time and again under the heavy load of painful experience this possibility became conceivable. God is said to lose his temper easily, he can punish apostates harshly and, as it sometimes may seem, excessively. A similar suspicion is also woven into the narrative of creation and Fall of Man: Why did God put a forbidden tree in the middle of the garden Eden? Did God put a trap on man? The serpent tempted Eve by playing with this idea. It would go too far in this essay to develop an answer to this problem of theodicy and of the origin of evil. 8
For our theme it is interest to see how the matter of violence is connected with the biblical conceptions of creation and Fall. To assume the source of evil to outside legitimizes to combat others, who represent this „outside", up to their annihilation, just in the name of the good which has to be protected. This is the violent temptation of dualism beginning with early gnosticism up to today´s fight against terrorism. Projection of aggression to a common enemy - from outside or driven outside - may serve as a relief valve when internal conflicts become excessive. The Judeo-Christian revelation has increasingly thwarted this escape. So the only way to deal with growing aggressions is to rely on the true God. When men distract themselves from God they will expose themselves to the power of violence, - in an aggravated mode, due to biblical revelation which blocks easy ways for abreaction.
This is what is shown by the biblical narratives of Fall: First as a result of man's self-distraction from God, confidence to God as well as between humans is affected. Fig-leaves - which stand for all achievements of culture, not only of garment industry - are employed to conceal ones own imaginary nakedness. In this situation the real or imagined preference of somebody other becomes unbearable for ones own self-confidence. So Cain, instead of gratefully participating at the divine access achieved by Abel, can´t afford not to kill his brother. This way an avalanche of violence is kicked off, as is proved by Cain´s descendant Lamech who boasted: „Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold." (Gen 4:23f.)
c) The message of the kingdom of God by Jesus Christ and the uncovering of violent identifications
When Jesus Christ began to work in public, he achieved so strong reactions of the people that this is not easy to comprehend, at least when avoid to play down the clear testimonial given by the gospels. Let´s take Luke 6:19 as an example: „And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them." - What was the kind of power that spread out from him? According to the bible it was not primarily a rhetoric talent to speak, even not primarily the things he did - for sometimes things around him changed without any action from himself. Rather his spreading power was rooted in a certain way of being, - and this kind of being has to do with his unique relation to his Divine Father. Obviously it was this unique relation to the father which spread to the people who met him. The strong impact of this alteration of divine relation becomes imaginable in the light of the Fall of Man as interpreted in the previous chapter. The core of this relation, which was set into the heart of man by creation, begins to glow up again. In the light of this, people receive the freedom to say yes to the appearing true God. And this also means that they become able to reject the facades which they built up to pretend a substitute splendour. In encountering Jesus, people get free to throw away the crutches of their substitute and diminishing definitions of God, of others and of themselves. Though this is primarily a spiritual liberation, it has effects on all levels of human relational existence, - which means also on a social and on a bodily level. In such a view miraculous healing fits smoothly with the core of Jesus´ message of the kingdom of God: The symbolic throwing away of crutches may cause the throwing away of real crutches by a physically paralysed who - by others or by himself - was definitely fixed not to be able to move his body. Here it is necessary to surmount a still existing hidden dualism between spiritual and somatic dimensions.
It is really decisive to say that people, by meeting Jesus, received the liberty to change their relations. It was not at all an automatic process. By this liberation they got capable to repent, which means to change their view - their way of defining others, themselves and God in a fixing and diminishing way. On the other hand this means also that they were able to refuse. Although the lighting up of God´s real glory must have been overwhelming, there were a lot of reasons to shrink back from agreeing. Especially the rich had such reasons, because it was particularly seductive for them to keep back their agreeable and possibly hard-earned substitute splendour. The call for repentance, which Jesus inseparably linked with his message of the rising Kingdom of God, was a call for a self-freeing, to which he enabled people by the help of his spreading relation to the true God. This self-freeing repentance presupposes faith, which implies a courage for nakedness. With this nakedness I mean the good nakedness as addressed to Adam and Eve before the Fall (cf. Gen 2:25), which is a state of purity, where man is ready to live exclusively from that which God bestows on him or her. In the light of God´s glory spread by Jesus, the decision for this naked purity seems to be easy; nevertheless it demands courage. For in the perspective of sin - which still continues to have an effect - this purity appears as a nakedness, in the sense as it was received from Adam and Eve after the Fall (cf Gen 3:7). Nakedness in this disastrous sense is that what man would be by him- or herself apart from any relation to God, and this is absolutely threatening. Bound within this sinful view it is absolutely impossible to throw away all these rampant fig leaves, which especially the rich and respected have accumulated passionately. So the people who met Jesus were challenged to believe, which means to keep the view of the budding new way of being, - freed from sin due to a new relation to God. So the message of the Kingdom of God, proclaimed by Jesus, is a matter of faith, of repentance, of rebirth, of healing, of following Jesus by selling ones possessions to have treasure in heaven (cf Mat 19:21).
These difficulties to keep the new experience of God's glory are multiplied by social interactions. It is astonishing to realize in the gospels how relatively effortlessly Jesus converted, delivered, and even healed individual people, but how bothering it was for him to transform communities and crowds of people.9 The bonds which entangle men in sin, are primarily social ones. The definitions which fix and diminish others, God and oneself, are deeply socially embedded. Just look at the appearing of Jesus in the temple of his hometown in Nazareth, as it is narrated in Lk 4. If you read the text attentively, you can almost feel the sidelong glances of the neighbours which paralyze everybody so that the kairós of the initial glow of God´s experience, aroused by Jesus, is extinguished nearly immediately.10
I must stop here. For time is limited, I can only mention the dramatic process which from that point is kicked off, with the warning judgement-words, Jesus offered, with the cross he suffered and the resurrection he experienced, with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the church arising. By this dramatic way a new possibility arouse to surmount the socially hardened confinements which thwart or pervert the experience of God. Especially in the sacrament of Eucharist church re-enacts this drama of conversion. From there Eucharist proves to be the sacrament of transformation of the social body. It not only inflames the individual with experiences of God's glory, but it also deals with the limitations which threaten to extinct or - even worse - to pervert the glowing core of transcendence.
5. „Excluding transcendence"
I have described three stages within the development of a biblical Christian understanding of transcendence. According to this, transcendence proves to be a relation to God which is founded in man's existence as God's creature. From there human relation to God is not something external to his worldly affairs. In the same extent as God is really encountered, the inner secret not only of God but at the same time of oneself, of the other and of every created being lights up brightly. Therefore to encounter God is a powerful and at the same time dangerous occurrence. If you get admission to the inner secret of others, you can manipulate and harm them. If you really reach the heart of somebody, you can get from him or her whatever you want, and you can move him or her wherever you want. That is the reason why transcendence is highly interesting not only for religion but also for politics, economy, and others.
As the biblical account of the Fall of Man can show, the primary temptation consists in the attempt to confine the whereupon of transcendence, for to make it usable for ones own interests, - especially, as we have seen, for the interest to cover ones own nakedness. The whereupon of transcendence, which means that what transcendence is aiming at is not only God himself, but also every creature regarding to its inner core. So confinement - or, as I have pointed out in previous chapters, a fixing defining - of the whereupon of transcendence results in a fixing and defining not only of God but also of others, of oneself, and of all living and inanimate creation. This way persons and things lose their creational splendour which consists in the reflection of God's glory. And so they decline to serving as simple material, which is more or less suitable to fit ones own interests. Man either abuses others as fig-leaves for covering his own nakedness, which may also mean to enhance their status by ascribing them a substitute splendour, which should light up oneself. Or he or she abuses them as a means for contrast, by devaluing them, to show that the own substitute splendour shines more brilliant than the other's.
These are only two violent ways of abusing others: either by making demands on them in a violent way of including, or by excluding them. Both ways serve to mask existential nakedness, which means to put up a substitute identity. Let me now stress only the second way: It means identification by exclusion. Its logic can be sharpened to the statement: I am what I am, because I am different to the other.
This is not only a mechanism for individual but also for collective self-definition, that is to say: We are what we are, because we are different to others. In a biblical view this proves to be an utterance of fallen transcendence. This is not at all confined to religious matters. You can find it as a symptom for violence all over the world. But in a religious context this dangerous syndrome can be fuelled on a special way: namely by degrading God to an identity-marker: God is our God and not your God.
Concerning religion, men again and again have to choose between two alternatives: Either they let God be their centre and receive identity from Him, or they try to define themselves out of their own, which means that they also define God by devaluing him to an identity-marker. The latter means, that they replace God by an idol. It means, that they drive out or exclude the real God.
Starting out from this point I finally want to explain the title of my presentation. „Excluding transcendence" is meant in a double sense, and if you combine both meanings, you can get an explanation of the type of religious violence which I just pointed out: „Excluding [verb] transcendence = excluding [adjective] transcendence." Let me explain: If we exclude transcendence - in the sense that we exclude the real God, by making Him an identity-marker - transcendence will be perverted to an „excluding transcendence", that is a form of transcendence which reveals its violent character by being exclusive. Just as the statement shows: „God is our God and not your God". As has been shown this kind of exclusive transcendence in fact excludes God.
3Cf. Erich Zenger: Der Monotheismus Israel. Entstehung - Profil - Relevanz, in: Ist der Glaube Feind der Freiheit? Die neue Debatte um den Monotheismus (QD 196). Hg. Thomas Söding, Freiburg i.Br.-Basel-Wien 2003, 9-52.
4Cf. Gerd Neuhaus, Der Absolutheitsanspruch des Christentums, in: Identität und Toleranz. Christliche Spiritualität im interreligiösen Kontext. Hg. H. Schmiedinger, Innsbruck, Wien 2003, 115-150.
5Cf. Norbert Lohfink, Gewalt und Monotheismus - Beispiel Altes Testament, in: Monotheismus - eine Quelle der Gewalt? (Arnoldshainer Texte 125). Ed. H. Düringer; , Frankfurt a.M. 2004, 60-78.
6Cf. Jan Assmann, Die Mosaische Unterscheidung oder der Preis des Monotheismus. München/Wien 2003.
7Cf. Cf. Gerd Neuhaus, Der Absolutheitsanspruch des Christentums, ibidem. Gerd Neuhaus, Frömmigkeit der Theologie. Zur Logik der offenen Theodizeefrage (Quaestiones disputatae 202). Freiburg i.Br.-Basel-Wien 2003.
8Cf. W. Sandler, To be like God: quintessence of sin or promise for salvation? Mimetic reflections on the Fall of Man. Paper presented at the COV&R Conference 2005 at Koblenz in July 2005. http://www.uibk.ac.at/theol/leseraum/artikel/593.html
The social dimension of the healing miracles of Jesus of Nazareth. Paper presented at the COV&R Conference 2006 on „Mimesis, Creativity, and Responsibility! in Ottawa in June 2006. http://www.uibk.ac.at/theol/leseraum/artikel/653.html
10Cf. W. Sandler, ibidem.
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