Evangelical adult catechism
The Evangelical Adult Catechism (EEK) was developed on behalf of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany ( VELKD ) as a “course book of faith”. The first edition of the EEK appeared in 1975, the current 8th edition in 2010. With more than 300,000 copies sold, the EEK has established itself as the standard work on the presentation of the Protestant faith in Germany. The aim of the evangelical adult catechism is to develop the evangelical faith in the context of the contemporary world. This takes place in a threefold way: The work aims to convey elementary knowledge of faith, offer an examination of life and the world from an evangelical perspective and give impulses for a life shaped in the Christian faith.
As early as 1969 the church leadership of the VELKD set up a commission with the task of developing a book of faith for adults. After a wide-ranging test procedure, the first edition of the Evangelical Adult Catechism (EEK) was finally published in May 1975. More than 200 experts from various fields of knowledge were involved in the creation process. In addition, sections of the text were tested in 35 groups from adult education. A reprint was necessary in the year of the first edition. The work at the EEK was continued in contact with readers and discussion groups. This led to the 3rd edition in 1977, in which questions and suggestions from this process were incorporated. In the 4th edition (1982) individual chapters were revised. There was also a three-volume school edition of the EEK. Finally, in the 5th edition, which appeared in early 1989 - before the political change in Germany - the subjects of "creation" and "environment" as well as other newer social issues were given greater consideration. With the 6th edition from the year 2000, the EEK was completely revised and also received a new external design. In particular, the changed social and ecclesiastical situation since the fall of 1989 was taken up. For the first time, authors from the Eastern churches were also able to participate. A consistent streamlining should also make the book clearer and more reader-friendly. In 2001 the 7th edition followed in the form of a slightly updated reprint. Against the background of increasing social and ecclesiastical pluralization , the EEK finally underwent a fundamental revision in the years 2007 to 2010, which, as in 2000, also took place in the currently 8th edition of the EEK in a changed external form and a new internal structure precipitates. In terms of content, the 8th edition contains more empirical results; Central chapters of the work were also revised with a view to their comprehensibility and elementization. The social and scientific development and discussion since the time of the last revision has led to additions or to the complete reworking of individual chapters, e.g. B. on the subjects of “ ethics of technology and biotechnology ”, “community of women and men”, “ communication and media” or “ volunteering in the church”.
In order to promote educational work with the EEK, two workbooks and a workbook on the Evangelical Adult Catechism were published to accompany the first editions. From 1979 to 1994 the Evangelical Catechism (EGK) was published in five editions, in which the theologically fundamental sections of the EEK were concretized and expanded to include literary texts, images and prayers. This was accompanied in 1980 by Manfred Kießig's paperback “Faith, Teaching, Confessing”, which relates the Small Catechism , the Augsburg Confession and the texts of the EGK to one another. The reading book “Tell about faith” by Ludwig Schmidt, published in 1981, opens up theological content of the EGK for religious instruction . With the Small Evangelical Adult Catechism (KEEK) from 2004 (2nd edition 2011), an abbreviated form of the EEK is now also available, which largely draws on text material from the 7th edition of the EEK, but already anticipates the internal structure of the 8th edition.
The EEK is perceived beyond the German-speaking area. This can be seen in the translations of the EEK into Danish and Korean as well as in the American edition of the Evangelical Catechism ("Evangelical Catechism", Minneapolis 1982).
Since 2004, the work on the Evangelical Adult Catechism has been the responsibility of a catechism committee appointed by the church leadership of the VELKD. The current chairman of this committee is Martin Rothgangel , Professor of Religious Education at the University of Vienna .
Method / structure / content
The basic methodological principle since the first edition has been the correlation of question and answer, which follows the path of thought that Paul Tillich called the "method of correlation". This basic methodological principle of the correlation of question and answer takes up the internal structure of the individual chapters. In the 1st – 5th The first edition was the form of a four-fold subdivision into entry (where am I, where have we met?) - information (what do I, what do we need to know?) - reflection (how do I take, how do we take a position?) what can I, what can we do) chosen. The 6th and 7th edition divided into three parts "Information - Background - Experience", which was replaced in the 8th edition by the three-step "Perception - Orientation - Design":
- The perception directs the gaze “on the questions of the time and on the situation in which people find themselves. ... This perception is followed by an orientation in which the fundamentals of belief are presented in an elementary and understandable way and related to the present. ... Finally all chapters end with a look at how faith can become practical in life. "
The macro structure of the adult catechism largely follows the structure of the Apostles' Creed and is represented in the 8th edition as follows:
- The EEK opens with a theological foundation on the subject of "Living Faith", in which Martin Luther's interpretation of the 3rd Article of Faith ("I believe in the Holy Spirit") is developed in the Small Catechism .
- In the 1st main part “God” the questions about the knowledge of God (“God reveals himself”), the world as God's creation, after God's work in history and in religions are taken up. Further sub-chapters concern the “Bible” and the discussion of atheism (“God in conflict”). A separate sub-chapter is devoted to the relationship between Jews and Christians (“The God of Jews and Christians”).
- The 2nd main part “Man” looks at man as “God's creature” and at the experience of “sin and guilt”.
- In the 3rd main part "Jesus Christ" there is a fundamental chapter on the life, work and meaning of Jesus Christ ("Jesus of Nazareth - the Christ"), followed by the chapter on "The justification of man", which also contains the " At the heart of the EEK.
- The 4th main part "Living in the World" is devoted to basic and individual ethical questions and, after an "Introduction to Ethics", is subdivided into the subsections "Person and Community", "Society and State" and "Global Responsibility".
- “God the Holy Spirit” is at the center of the 5th main part, which also deals with the question of the “Triune God”.
- The 6th main part "Life in the Church" opens with a chapter that looks at the nature, meaning and concrete forms of "Church". The following chapters deal with “Word and Sacrament” (worship, sermon, baptism, Lord's Supper), “Church activities” (confirmation, confession, blessing), the “mission of the church” (pastoral care, diakonia, mission) and the practice of Beliefs (e.g. spirituality, prayer, meditation).
- In the 7th main part "The goal of all paths - Eternal life", the topic of "dying and death" is first introduced from a Christian perspective. The chapter “Hope - Life in Eternity” concludes the entire work.
- Since the 6th edition, a selection of church confessions and teaching certificates has been attached to the EEK. At the end of the book there is a “small lexicon of theological terms”. The 8th edition also includes a CD-ROM with the complete text of the EEK.
The initiative to develop the EEK came from the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany, but the entire area of the Protestant churches in Germany was included in the composition of the commission and the authors of the initial drafts as well as in the test procedure. In addition, experts from the Roman Catholic Church participated in the development. The EEK is in the Lutheran tradition, but at the same time it is open to knowledge from all of Christianity and pursues the goal of combining Protestant concentration with ecumenical breadth. In accordance with this approach, the EEK has in its presentation of the Christian message both the ecumenical Christian understanding, the common evangelical view and finally the special Lutheran emphasis in view. In its positions, the EEK largely reflects a consensus within the Protestant churches and marks the areas in which the church is currently still struggling for a consensus. Since, according to Lutheran tradition, every baptized person is in principle capable of judging himself, the EEK does not see itself as a “doctrinal document”, but rather establishes the maturity of a Christian - i.e. H. the "courage to think, compare and weigh up" and has the goal of promoting this ability to judge and empowering people to live their evangelical being self-confidently and in dialogue. In this sense, the VELKD describes it as a "navigation aid". As early as 1976, the church conference of the Evangelical Church in Germany expressly recognized and recognized the EEK as a service of the Lutheran Church to the whole of Protestant Christianity. In keeping with this tradition, the VELKD has also presented the current 8th edition as “a contribution of the Lutheran Church to education from a Protestant perspective”.
The 8th edition of the Evangelical Adult Catechism is currently available. Comprehensive revisions were associated with the 6th and 8th editions, which were also reflected in a changed internal structure as well as a new external appearance and a new subtitle.
- Evangelical adult catechism. Course book of faith, ed. Commissioned by the VELKD Catechism Commission by Werner Jentsch, Hartmut Jetter, Manfred Kießig and Horst Reller, Gütersloh 1975, 1355 pages.
- Evangelical adult catechism. Course book of faith, ed. on behalf of the VELKD catechism commission by Werner Jentsch, Hartmut Jetter, Manfred Kießig and Horst Reller, 2nd edition, Gütersloh 1975, 1355 pages.
- Evangelical adult catechism. Course book of faith, ed. on behalf of the VELKD catechism commission by Werner Jentsch, Hartmut Jetter, Manfred Kießig and Horst Reller, 3rd edition, Gütersloh 1977, 1355 pages.
- Evangelical adult catechism. Course book of faith, ed. Commissioned by the VELKD's Catechism Commission by Werner Jentsch, Hartmut Jetter, Manfred Kießig and Horst Reller, 4th revised edition, Gütersloh 1982, 1355 pages.
- Evangelical adult catechism, school edition, 3 volumes, 1. Christian faith in our time / 2. Being a Christian in our time / 3. Church in our time, Gütersloh 1984, total of 1290 pages.
- Evangelical adult catechism. Course book of faith, ed. on behalf of the VELKD's Catechism Commission by Hartmut Jetter, Horst Echternach, Horst Reller and Manfred Kießig, 5th revised and supplemented edition, Gütersloh 1989, 1445 pages.
- Evangelical adult catechism. Faith - recognize - live, published on behalf of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church by the directors of the Catechism Commission of the VELKD Manfred Kießig, Lothar Stempin, Horst Echternach, Hartmut Jetter with the assistance of Gerhart Herold, 6th completely revised edition, Gütersloh 2000, 866 pages .
- Evangelical adult catechism. Faith - recognize - live, published on behalf of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church by the directors of the VELKD Catechism Commission Manfred Kießig, Lothar Stempin, Horst Echternach, Hartmut Jetter with the assistance of Gerhart Herold, 7th updated edition, Gütersloh 2006, 866 pages.
- Evangelical adult catechism. Search - believe - live, published on behalf of the church leadership of the VELKD by Andreas Brummer, Manfred Kießig and Martin Rothgangel with the collaboration of Wiebke Bähnk, Norbert Dennerlein, Heiko Franke, Peter Hirschberg, Jutta Krämer, Michael Kuch, Ralf Tyra and Ingrid Wiedenroth-Gabler , 8th newly edited and supplemented edition, Gütersloh 2010, 1020 pages.
- Evangelical adult catechism: seek - believe - live. Gütersloher Verlagshaus , 2010. 8th edition, revised and supplemented edition on behalf of the church leadership of the VELKD edited by Andreas Brummer, Manfred Kießig and Martin Rothgangel. ISBN 978-3-579-05928-0 .
- Spread the word about what is Christian. On the meaning of the catechisms today, texts from VELKD 110/2002.
- Passing on the faith. Presentation of the “Catechism Family” of the VELKD, texts from the VELKD 98/2000.
- Chung Ii-Ung, The Theological and Didactic Significance of the Evangelical Adult Catechism for Church Adult Education in Korea, 1984.
- ↑ Preface to the 8th edition, Evangelical Adult Catechism. Search - Believe - Live, 2010, p. 9.
- ↑ See the whole section: Epilogue to the 6th edition, Evangelical Adult Catechism: believing - recognizing - living, 2000, pp. 842f.
- ↑ So the then leading bishop Hans Christian Knuth in his vote on the presentation of the 6th edition of the EEK, in: Texts from the VELKD 98/2000, p. 7.
- ↑ Preface to the 5th edition, Evangelical Adult Catechism. Course book of faith, 1989, p. 14.
- ↑ Preface to the 8th edition, EEK, p. 9.