Ecumenical working group of Protestant and Catholic theologians
The Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians (ÖAK) is a group of theologians who have been supporting the ecumenical process in Germany since 1946 by discussing dogmatic issues together . The ÖAK works independently of the churches, but regularly informs the German Bishops' Conference and the EKD Council about its deliberations.
Occasionally the group is called "Jaeger-Stählin-Kreis" after its founding fathers.
Already during the Second World War the Archbishop of Paderborn Lorenz Jaeger suggested a working group between Catholic and Protestant theologians. But it was only after the end of the war that the plans could be concretized.
In April 1946, both a Catholic and a Protestant working group were founded in Werl, Westphalia - at that time theologians could not yet imagine a single working group. Jaeger took over the management on the Catholic side and the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg , Wilhelm Stählin , on the Protestant side . The initiative for this meeting came from the Catholic side. The Protestant participants decided to initially only include Lutheran theologians in their circle in order to have a clear basis of confession in the dialogue.
Since 1946, these theologians have met regularly "to discuss the theological questions that need to be resolved between the two churches". The group was named after a suggestion by Edmund Schlink "Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians". For years it was deliberately refrained from giving this circle any kind of publicity. The circle first appeared in public in 1963 with the anthology Pro Veritate (Aschendorffsche Verlagsanstalt Münster and Johannes Stauda-Verlag Kassel), in which 14 of its lectures were published and all of the conferences since 1946 were presented with their topics. The lectures on the theology of marriage at the March 1968 conference in Heilsbronn near Ansbach were published in 1969. At that time, the working group had 32 members, preventions were recorded.
After Pope John Paul II's visit to Germany in 1980, the representatives of the Evangelical Church presented the Pope with specific ecumenical concerns. To clarify this, the EKD and the DBK founded a Joint Ecumenical Commission (GÖK). The first step was to come to an understanding about the mutual damnations that arose in the course of the Reformation in the 16th century . For this purpose, the ÖAK was commissioned with the scientific investigation. The result of these efforts was the widely acclaimed study Doctrinal Condemnations - Church Separating? . Important agreements in the areas of justification , sacraments and ministry were reached here. In the subsequent study, Binding Certificate , the ÖAK examined the denominations' understanding of scripture , with a particular focus on the Protestant sola scriptura . From 2002 and 2008 the topic of church offices was dealt with,
Since the work on the teaching condemnations, Reformed theologians on the Protestant side have also been members of the ÖAK.
Concern and way of working
At the end of his term of office, Lorenz Jaeger formulated the concerns and the working methods of the ÖAK as follows:
“The schism in the church was once brought about by theologians; it must be overcome again through theological work. At that time we had nothing else to do than clear away rubble, examine theological terms that were in circulation as utility coins for their content so that we could understand each other again during our conversation. In the current situation of controversial theological efforts, we really tried to work towards each other and thus create a basis for the conversation again. "
The ÖAK works independently of but with financial support from the major churches. At the beginning, the circle met twice a year, but since 1955 only once a year. The meetings usually last four days. The results of the deliberations have only been published since the early 1960s, when Edmund Schlink published a review of the work done shortly before the Second Vatican Council .
The ÖAK published excerpts from its work for the first time in 1963 and 1969. Further documents and “joint statements” have been published since 1982 in the series Dialog der Kirchen , which is published jointly by the publishers Herder ( Freiburg i. Br. ) And Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht ( Göttingen ).
On September 11, 2019, the most recent document “Together at the Lord's Table. A vote of the Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians ”presented. The publication took place in 2020.
|catholic side||evangelical side|
|1946–1975 Cardinal Lorenz Jaeger||1946–1970 Wilhelm Stählin|
|1976–1988 Hermann Cardinal Volk||1970–1986 Hermann Kunst|
|1988–2018 Cardinal Karl Lehmann||1986–1998 Eduard Lohse|
|2019– Georg Bätzing||1998–2008 Hartmut Löwe|
|2008– Martin Hein|
|1946Paul Simon||1946–1979 Edmund Schlink|
|1947–1957 Josef Höfer|
|1958–1975 Hermann Volk|
|1976–1988 Karl Lehmann||1980–1998 Wolfhart Pannenberg|
|1988-2005 Theodor Schneider||1998–2008 Gunther Wenz|
|2005– Dorothea Sattler||2008– Volker Leppin|
In the early years, the circle consisted of 12 theologians from both denominations. On the Roman Catholic side they included Gottlieb Söhngen , Otto Kuss , Michael Schmaus , Klaus Mörsdorf , Robert Grosche , Heimo Dolch , Joseph Lortz , Josef Pieper , Karl Rahner , Heinrich Fries , Viktor Warnach and Remigius Bäumer . Long-term Protestant members during this period included Hans Asmussen , Heinrich Schlier (until his conversion), Hans Heinrich Wolf , Hermann Dietzfelbinger , Peter Brunner , Wilhelm Maurer , Hans von Campenhausen , Otto Heinrich von der Gablentz , Günther Bornkamm , Heinz-Dietrich Wendland , Heinrich Greeven and Wilfried Joest . In the 1960s, among others, Claus Westermann , Ulrich Wilckens , Bernhard Lohse and Hans-Heinrich Harms appeared on the Protestant side, while the Catholic Karl Hermann Schelkle , Rudolf Schnackenburg , Peter Bläser and Josef Ratzinger (from 1964 until his appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981 full member, then corresponding member until he was elected Pope in 2005); in the 1970s Horst Bürkle , Reinhard Slenczka , Wolf-Dieter Hauschild (Protestant) and Erwin Iserloh , Franz Böckle and Alfons Deissler (Roman Catholic). In the 21st century the members were or are Christine Axt-Piscalar , Jörg Frey , Christian Grethlein , Ulrich HJ Körtner , Ulrich Kühn , Michael Beintker , Volker Leppin , Walter Dietz , Katharina Greschat , Hans-Peter Großhans , Thies Gundlach , Corinna Körting , Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr , Christian Schad , Helmut Schwier , Gerard den Hertog , Jennifer Wasmuth , Birgit Weyel , Christoph Markschies and Friederike Nüssel (Protestant) as well as Eva-Maria Faber , Lothar Lies , Thomas Söding , Vinzenz Pfnür , Lothar Ullrich , Michael Theobald , Eberhard Tiefensee , Franz Xaver Bischof , Christoph Böttigheimer , Benjamin Dahlke , Albert Gerhards , Johanna Rahner , Dorothea Sattler , Wolfgang Thönissen , Klaus Unterburger , Myriam Wijlens and Peter Walter (Roman Catholic).
Publications of the ÖAK (selection)
- Pro Veritate , anthology with lectures and a chronological directory of the conferences since 1946 and their topics, Aschendorffsche Verlagsanstalt Münster / Johannes Stauda-Verlag Kassel, 1963
- Theology of marriage . At the 29th conference with contributions from Heinrich Greeven , Joseph Ratzinger , Rudolf Schnackenburg , Heinz-Dietrich Wendland ; List of members of the working group, documents of the churches on marriage and marriage, publishers Friedrich Pustet Regensburg and Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Göttingen, 1969.
- Karl Lehmann, Wolfhart Pannenberg (ed.): Creed and church fellowship. The model of the Council of Constantinople (381) (= dialogue of the churches 1). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1982. ISBN 3-451-19554-2 / ISBN 3-525-56921-1
- Karl Lehmann, Wolfhart Pannenberg (Hrsg.): Doctrinal condemnations - church dividing? Volume 1: Justification, sacraments and office in the age of the Reformation and today (= dialogue of the churches 4). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1986. ISBN 3-451-20849-0 / ISBN 3-525-56925-4
- Karl Lehmann, Wolfhart Pannenberg (Hrsg.): Doctrinal condemnations - church dividing? Volume 2: Materials on doctrinal condemnations and the theology of justification (= dialogue of the churches 5). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1989. ISBN 3-451-20850-4 / ISBN 3-525-56926-2
- Karl Lehmann, Wolfhart Pannenberg (Hrsg.): Doctrinal condemnations - church dividing? Volume 3: Materials on the teaching of the sacraments and of ecclesiastical office (= dialogue of the churches 6). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1990. ISBN 3-451-20851-2 / ISBN 3-525-56927-0
- Karl Lehmann, Wolfhart Pannenberg (Hrsg.): Doctrinal condemnations - church dividing? Volume 4: Responses to Church Statements (= Dialogue of Churches 8). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1994. ISBN 3-451-23559-5 / ISBN 3-525-56929-7
- Wolfhart Pannenberg, Theodor Schneider (ed.): Binding testimony. Volume 1: Canon, Scripture, Tradition (= Dialogue of the Churches 7). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1992. ISBN 3-451-22868-8 / ISBN 3-525-56928-9
- Wolfhart Pannenberg, Theodor Schneider (ed.): Binding testimony. Volume 2: Scripture interpretation, teaching post, reception (= dialogue of the churches 9). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1995. ISBN 3-451-23625-7 / ISBN 3-525-56930-0
- Wolfhart Pannenberg, Theodor Schneider (ed.): Binding testimony. Volume 3: Understanding and Use of Scripture (= Dialogue of the Churches 10). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1998. ISBN 3-451-26673-3 / ISBN 3-525-56931-9
- Theodor Schneider, Gunther Wenz (ed.): The church office in apostolic succession. Volume 1: Basics and basic questions (= dialogue of the churches 12). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2004. ISBN 3-451-28320-4 / ISBN 3-525-56933-5
- Dorothea Sattler, Gunther Wenz (ed.): The church office in apostolic succession. Volume 2: Origins and Changes (= Dialogue of the Churches 13). Freiburg i. Br .: Herder / Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2006. ISBN 3-451-28618-1 / ISBN 3-525-56934-3
- Dorothea Sattler, Gunther Wenz (ed.): The church office in apostolic succession. Volume 3: Understandings and differences (= dialogue of the churches 14). Herder / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Freiburg i. Br./ Göttingen 2008. ISBN 978-3-451-29943-8 / ISBN 978-3-525-56936-8
- Dorothea Sattler, Volker Leppin (Ed.): Heil für alle? Ecumenical reflections. (= Dialogue of the Churches 15), Herder / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Freiburg i. Br. 2012. ISBN 978-3-451-34547-0
- Volker Leppin, Dorothea Sattler (eds.): Reformation 1517–2017. Ecumenical Perspectives. Herder, Freiburg i. Br. 2015, ISBN 978-3-451-34745-0
- Volker Leppin, Dorothea Sattler (Ed.): Together at the Lord's table / Together at the Lord's table. A vote of the Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians / A statement of the Ecumenical Study Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians. (= Dialogue of the Churches Volume 17) Herder / Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht, Freiburg / Göttingen 2020, ISBN 978-3-451-38647-3 (144 pages) online
- Ulrich Ruh : 50 years of the Ecumenical Working Group . In: Herder Korrespondenz 5/1996, pp. 230–232.
- Barbara Schwahn: The Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians from 1946 to 1975 (= research on systematic and ecumenical theology 74). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1996, ISBN 3-525-56281-0 ( digitized version )
- Lorenz Cardinal Jaeger and D. Wilhelm Stählin in the foreword to theology of marriage , p. 7 f and appendix p. 155 ff, Pustet / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1969,
- See Peter Neuner: Ecumenical Theology. The search for the unity of the Christian churches ; Darmstadt: Scientific Book Society, 1997; Pp. 171-173
- See Ruh: 50 Years of the Ecumenical Working Group ; P. 231
- Jaeger in 1970. Quoted from Schwahn: Der Ökumenische Arbeitskreis ; P. 21f
- Schwahn: The Ecumenical Working Group ; Pp. 47f.59-62
- WWU Münster> Department 2> Ecumenical_Arbeitskreis. Retrieved September 10, 2019 .
- Reference on a page of the Theological Faculty Paderborn , accessed on September 10, 2019