Kurt Cardinal Koch
- Created: February 26, 2013
- Written by Cardinal Kurt Koch
Ladies and gentlemen!1
It was with pleasure and gratitude that I have accepted the invitation to come to Cambridge to meet you here at the Woolf Institute for Interreligious Dialogue between the three great monotheistic religions. It is a pleasure to encounter here once more old acquaintances whom I was privileged to get to know in Rome: I thank Dr Edward Kessler, the founder–director of the Institute, for the invitation; I am grateful to meet again Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, whom I was honoured to accompany to a private audience with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in December 2011. Good relations with the Jewish communities are a matter close to my heart; therefore I hope that my presence here today in Cambridge, a venerable place of encounter and exchange, may be able to contribute to making our relationship more intensive and above all more trusting. The subject requested for this evening has to do in a wider sense with human encounter, which can only succeed and flourish on the foundation of mutual trust. Jewish–Christian dialogue is not in the first instance an encounter between Christianity and Judaism as abstract entities but between living individuals from the Jewish and Christian faith traditions to which they personally bear witness.
1. Fear and trust as a question for humanity
It is surely not a coincidence that Jewish thinkers in particular have contributed much thought and effort to illuminating the human realities of encounter and trust. The Jewish religious philosopher Martin Buber, for whom interpersonal encounter constitutes a fundamental constant of his thought, is above all one of the most renowned representatives of dialogical personalism. In his view the ‘I’ does not simply confront the THOU, but rather grows through it, achieves maturity and gains identity in the encounter with the THOU and in its relation with its surroundings. Since interpersonal encounter is grounded in the anthropological constitution of relationality, it can ultimately only succeed if I and YOU relate and communicate with one another in an atmosphere of mutual trust.
a) Primal trust and primal fears
Interpersonal relationships depend on the presumption by both sides that they are reciprocally well–intentioned towards one another, and therefore they are living proof of mankind’s need for a basic trust in reality. Without a fundamental trust in existence as a whole, interpersonal encounters and relations too would be threatened by an ultimate uncertainty provoking mistrust. Even a small child is from the beginning imbued with so–called “child–like trust”, which the developmental psychologist Erik H. Erikson in his seminal work “Childhood and Society” termed “basic trust”, judging it to be foundational for the healthy development of the child. In the same way as a child in its first year of life, through experiencing the reliable and loving attention of its parents, develops a basic feeling for which people and social constellations it can trust, primal trust represents the foundation for the trust a person places in other people, in himself, and in reality as a whole. In this elementary sense, psychological studies on primal trust as a conditio sine qua non demonstrate that no human being can live without a basic trust in life.
Primal human trust, and all the expressions of trust grounded in it, are first put to the test – the test by which they stand or fall as it were – in the existential encounter with the fundamental anthropological phenomenon of human fear and in the practical processing of that fear, which exists in a fundamental tension with trust. Because fear and trust constitute the essential tension of human life and are most intimately linked with one another, one cannot speak about human trust without at the same time addressing the question of fear. This fundamental anthropological tension finds incomparable expression in the last words of Jesus in his farewell prayer, as handed down by the John the Evangelist: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In this challenge it is apparent on the one hand that Jesus in no way glosses over mankind’s fear. Instead he names it and expresses it realistically: “In the world you will have tribulation.” On the other hand, Jesus does not simply leave it at this realistic assertion of mankind’s tribulation in this world. Instead he immediately adds: “But take heart, I have overcome the world.” With these words of encouragement Jesus promises that human fear can be overcome, or at least resolved, through trust in him.
The sober awareness of human fears, together with the promise that those fears can be overcome in faithful trust, form the two dimensions that characterise every human life and constitute the fundamental anthropological dilemma. In the realistic awareness of the tribulation of human life, it becomes apparent in the first instance that there can in principle be no human life free from fear: fear forms such an essential part of the humanity of humankind that one would have to abolish human beings in order to abolish fear.2 As a primal anthropological datum, fear remains a persistent companion of the human life path.
In the life of the individual, fear shows a four-fold face: We are afraid of our fellow men, whether they really are well-intentioned towards us or whether it would not be wise to always maintain an ultimate safe distance between us. But as human beings we are also afraid of ourselves, the fear that from the bottom of our heart isolation could stare us in the face. We are afraid of God, whether he really is unconditional love, as he has revealed himself in the biblical history of salvation, or whether he may not remain silent rather than being present near us. In these three fears, finally, mankind’s primal fear of his own death makes its presence felt, the great wound with which we human beings have been afflicted. Because we are oppressed by death, we try in many different ways to repress it. But then it approaches by the back door, the back door represented by nothing other than the fear that is virtually our daily death.
Fear with its various facets is thus revealed to be the counterpart and counter-pole of trust. The incompatibility of these two realities occurs to us of course only when we ask after the deeper roots of human fear. The philosopher Martin Heidegger has with great sensitivity interpreted ‘angst’ as the manifestation of the basic structure of human existence in the world, determined by man’s ‘care for himself’. Accordingly, ‘angst’ is the expression of an understanding of existence which has as its central issue man’s ‘care of the self’.3 ‘Care of the self’ can of course only be the elementary basic structure of the conduct of human life if the human ego wills itself as the quintessence of its existence, or more precisely if the amor sui discussed in detail by Augustine constitutes the focus of human life. But where man is dominated by care for himself, his life is not characterised by a trust that ultimately sustains life, but instead by the striving for security: “When our lives are completely dominated by such a striving for security and for control of the conditions of our existence, then they are ruled by amor sui, by sin.”4 If love for one’s own ego, which is then only concerned with itself, occupies the centre of human life, then this reversal of the basic structure of human behaviour, which the biblical tradition defines as sin, expresses itself in fear.
To that extent, fear is an expression of sin, which is the exact opposite of trust. Etymologically the German word Sünde (related through its Indo-Germanic stem with the English ‘sin’) comes from “absondern”, and signifies the negation of the circumstances of human life. Sin is the destruction of that which is necessary for human life and the relationships that support it: man’s relationship with himself, with his fellow man, with his community, the relationship with the whole of creation, and in these four relationships, the relationship of mankind with God.5 Sin is precisely that phenomenon that in the language of the young people of today is aptly called “the relationship thing”. The Reformer Martin Luther defined the sinner as “homo incurvatus in seipsum”, man curved in upon himself, which is to be understood literally: The man who is turned inward is unable to perceive anything of the world apart from his own navel, which he promptly declares to be the high altar of his private religion, which is therefore in most instances also a religion of the belly.
b) The Copernican revolution through trust
Man’s sin, which expresses itself in fear, could be defined as a pre-Copernican illusion. As scientifically enlightened human beings, we not only still maintain on the basis of appearances that the sun rises and sets, but also, in a much more profound sense, we still live existentially in the time before Copernicus by persisting in the illusion that we may and should consider or own ego the centre, around which all people and the whole world have to turn.
By contrast, trust means man’s liberation from the prison of revolving around himself, and liberation towards human relationships and humane conditions. The individual who trusts, completes the one essential “Copernican revolution of his own life”, as Pope Benedict XVI called it in one of his very early works: that we no longer see ourselves as the centre of the world around which all else must turn, but that we instead begin to affirm with full seriousness “that we are one of many of God’s creatures who all revolve together around God as their centre”.6 In conducting a life of trust, man is challenged to transcend egoism, self-satisfaction and self-contemplation. Egoism, the real counter-pole and opponent of love, can only be eliminated in trust, in that basic human process by which man no longer seeks and finds the centre of his life in himself, and in which fear can be transformed into trust.
Trust thus proves itself to be an anthropological datum just as basic as fear. It belongs to the fundamental dimensions of every human life. In that sense, in its most elementary core, trust means abandoning oneself, placing one’s reliance on another, and entrusting oneself to the other wholly. In this fundamental sense, trust correlates to the ecstatic nature of all spiritual experience, such as the insight which occurs through enlightenment, the experience of freedom, or artistic inspiration, which can be compressed in the formula that one is “outside oneself”,7 not of course in the sense of being alienated from oneself, but in the sense that in abandoning oneself, one finds oneself again in the Other in whom one places one’s reliance.
In this fundamental sense, the word ‘trust’ is related to the other basic anthropological concept “glauben”, which is likewise at home in the wordplay of personal experience. The German word ‘glauben’, like the English word ‘to believe’, is derived from the Indo-Germanic stem “leubh”, which is also the root of the German verbs “lieben” and “loben”, which give expression to a personal attachment. An equally strong interpersonal tone is discernible in the French word “foi” which stems from the Latin word “fides”, “bhidh” in Indo-Germanic, and in turn signifies loving devotion and faithful trust. Finally, a similar personal life-context is indicated by the French “croir”, derived from the Latin “credere”, which was in turn a combination of the Indo-Germanic “kerd” (heart) and “dhe” (to give), and thus as in the Latin “credere” means “cor dare”, to give one’s heart and with it one’s full trust: faith is as it were the “credit” which a person entrusts to another as a gift. Thus it becomes clear that faith and trust do not simply exist within and for themselves; rather they exist only in being enacted by a faithful and trusting individual, who is of course always accompanied by his fear.
2. Variations of the basic tension of fear and trust
In the light of this basic reflection, it is possible to identify numerous variations of the basic anthropological tension between fear and trust. The following discussion seeks to exemplify and clarify the liberating significance of trust in human life and social interaction, by way of demonstrating in each instance the phenomenon of fear, and showing how trust can assist at least in dealing less fearfully with the phenomenon of fear.
a) Fear of lack of time, and trust in God’s time
The first instance seeks to raise awareness of that fear which is directly linked with modern man’s sense of time. Time has to a large extent become a problem for man in a twofold sense: on the one hand he chronically has too little time and on the other hand he wastes too much time. Fear in dealing with time is expressed in the fact that modern man is always in a hurry. This is betrayed by the language itself, in that he needs to always “be up-to-date” in everything, and therefore enters into a race against time. He wants to overcome time by means of high-speed trains and planes, through fax, email and internet. He consumes “fast food” and is served by McDonalds, still on his feet if possible, because he is barely capable of enjoyment any more. Because he is always trying to gain time he no longer has any time. And because he is always running behind time he robs himself of his life, in the most extreme case even in a literal sense. Under the enormous pressure of the lack of time today, the time-span of his life becomes the “last chance” to forcibly extract the maximum, for himself of course. The fear of coming too late thus becomes fear of time itself, with its ruinous effect on interpersonal relationships.
The great difference in the contemporary sense of time no doubt lies in the fact that today we are indeed living longer and longer, but our lives are really much shorter. The German sociologist Marianne Gronemeyer diagnosed this difference in this way: In the past people lived forty years plus eternity. But today they just live ninety years. That is incomparably shorter.8 On the basis of this perceptive observation, the question arises whether the acceleration of contemporary life is not after all connected with the fact that we live too little from the perspective of eternity and its corollary of trust in God’s time. Would we not have much more time if we lived with eternal life in view, and structured our present time on the basis of the eternal life of the future? If we, with our basic attitude of trust, know that our life is not the “last chance”, we do not need to cling desperately to our limited life span. A person who is assured of eternal life has a good deal of time, and will discover that the vivid intensity of a single moment in the presence of God means far more than hastening extensively through our lifetime: “The experience of the presence of the eternal God brings our own temporal life as if into an ocean that surrounds and supports us as we swim in it.”9
The fear of modern man regarding time can be overcome if he comes to trust the biblical promise of an indestructible love, in which he can not only desire eternal life, but will also find it granted to him. In view of the contemporary scarcity of time, it is only in such faithful trust that the religious mode of the “discovery of slowness” (Sten Nadolny) becomes possible; by the same token, the limitation of our lifespan becomes liveable, so that interpersonal relationships can succeed in a culture of mutual trust.
b) Fear of death, and trust in an open heaven
Awareness of the limited span of a human lifetime points to another basic fear in human life. The temporal limit of life finds expression most clearly in mortality. Behind mankind’s fears regarding life and the future, man’s fear of his own death ultimately lies in wait. Although death is the most deathly-sure future in human life, for the duration of his life, man sees it as the most improbable future, as Sigmund Freud observed with deadly accuracy: “Every individual considers everyone mortal – except himself.” In the matter of repressing death, today’s society in fact deserves an award.
The wide-ranging exclusion of the reality of death from public life has its basis in the widespread basic attitude of rigorous temporality in modern life. This can be detected even among believers, following the charges that have been laid against religion of escapism and the illusory consolation of a prospective afterlife. This fear has been massively implanted into the faithful by Ludwig Feuerbach and Karl Marx and others. They have accused them of ignoring real life, of being “candidates for the afterlife”, who by trusting in eternal life have betrayed the here-and-now of this life on earth. While these charges were in part justified in their time, in the meantime even the faithful seem to have increasingly abandoned the prospect of eternal life beyond death in favour of insight into the real situation of human life before death, to such a degree that hardly anyone can accuse them of being “candidates for the afterlife”, blind to this life. Instead they have to a great extent become students of life on earth. “For us today, heaven remains closed most of the time. Contenting oneself with the promise of the afterlife, rightly feared for many centuries, has been displaced by rigorously contenting oneself with this life.”10
But if we here on earth can no longer catch sight of God’s heaven, and being content with life on earth is celebrated instead, mankind is forced to virtually seek heaven on earth. This in turn leads to fear, since in the social world of today very few fields of activity remain available for this endeavour, that is, those of amusement, work and love. The great danger today is that people amuse themselves to death, or work themselves to death, or even love themselves to death, as has been diagnosed by prominent experts of modern life.11 In the political sphere too the modern concept of this earthly life has produced dangerous and even deadly consequences, which the Giessen philosopher Odo Marquard has summed up in the formula: “Anyone who wants to turn earth into heaven can be relied on to turn it into hell”.12 This profound truth has been precisely confirmed by the past century: the “thousand year empire” of National Socialism did not bring about the kingdom of heaven but the exact opposite, of which we were – thank God! – spared more than 980 years. But nor did Marxist society produce the promised heaven on earth, but provided us instead with the dictatorship of the Party and its social class.
Such experiences provoke the worrying but justified question of what we human beings can then ultimately trust, and which realities prove in the end to be trustworthy. If the process of trust essentially means abandoning oneself and placing one’s reliance in another, then it is crucially important on what foundation man establishes his whole life, and with whom he finds security when he is “outside himself”. Thus all depends on the reliability of the one on whom a man relies and to whom he entrusts himself. Because trust is not possible without acknowledgement of truth and truthfulness, trust is closely related to the Logos and Ethos of truth. Anyone who wishes to rely on untruth or superficial illusion is literally abandoned. Anyone who abandons himself, but does not hold fast to the one who is unshakeably reliable and unwaveringly faithful, will not endure. In this sense the Prophet Isaiah warned King Ahaz of Judah: “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all” (Is 7:9), which one could translate more accurately as “If you do not have faith and do not hold fast to Yahweh, you will not have anything to uphold you”. In this profound word-play the linguistic root “’mn” appears, which we also encounter in the word “Amen” and which encompasses a range of meanings such as faithfulness, entrust oneself, place oneself on something, but also truth, firmness, good soil and solid ground. The word “Amen” accurately sums up what faith really means in the biblical sense, that is, that a person places himself on solid ground, which supports him precisely because he himself has not made it and has not even assessed it, but which he can only allow himself to be granted. It is therefore no coincidence that in the biblical message, such trust is articulated in the language of worship in the psalms, above all in Psalm 56: “In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (v. 4).
Biblical faith differs from all human trust in that it entrusts itself to the living God alone, and relies solely on him. To take oneself outside of one’s own hands and to allow oneself to fall utterly into the hand of an other, is ultimately possible only with God. Only he is able to live up to mankind’s chronic dependence on absolute trustworthiness. Faith in the biblical sense of reliance and trust in God is that steadfastness in God by which man gains a firm hold on life, as the Protestant theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg rightly says: “Only trust in God fulfils the full sense of the biblical word faith.”13 That trust alone does not suffice, but that it crucially depends on what man places his trust was masterfully expressed by the Reformer Martin Luther in his explanation of the First Commandment in his Large Catechism, in answering the question who God is: “A god means that from which we are to expect all good and to which we are to take refuge in all distress, so that to have a God is nothing else than to trust and believe Him from the [whole] heart; as I have often said that the confidence and faith of the heart alone make both God and an idol. If your faith and trust be right, then is your god also true; and, on the other hand, if your trust be false and wrong, then you have not the true God; for these two belong together, faith and God. That now, I say, upon which you set your heart and put your trust is properly your god.”14
In this answer Luther obviously assumes that each person always and everywhere believes and trusts. To what extent man is unable to live without faith and trust is evident from what he sets his heart on. And this in turn is revealed for example by what sacrifices he is prepared to make. Think of the victims of road accidents, the sacrifices states are willing to make in their wars, the sacrifices we humans demand in our exploitation of nature, or the everyday sacrifices we humans make in the name of power, honour and prestige. “God” can obviously be given the most varied names in human lives, for in my life “my God” is precisely that in which I ultimately place my trust and on which I set my heart. Martin Luther himself gave a vivid example of this: “Many a one thinks that he has God and everything in abundance when he has money and, possessions; he trusts in them and boasts of them with such firmness and assurance as to care for no one. Lo, such a man also has a god, Mammon by name, i.e., money and possessions, on which he sets all his heart, and which is also the most common idol on earth. He who has money and possessions feels secure, and is joyful and undismayed as though he were sitting in the midst of Paradise. On the other hand, he who has none doubts and is despondent, as though he knew of no God. For very few are to be found who are of good cheer, and who neither mourn nor complain if they have not Mammon. This [care and desire for money] sticks and clings to our nature, even to the grave.”15
This example has gained new currency in today’s world, more than ever infected with a „money-dominated pantheism“, in which money has advanced to become an earthly God.16 This very example makes abundantly clear that the crucial difference setting it apart from biblical faith does not consist in the opposites of trusting or not trusting, nor even in the opposition of belief and unbelief, but much more radically in the opposition of “god or idol”, and thus of faith and superstition. The crucial question posed by biblical faith is the question: in what do we place our trust, in whom do we have faith?
c) Fear of the future, and trust in God
The question of the carrying capacity of trust takes on a new edge when we look into the situation of the world today and allow ourselves to be moved by man’s growing fear of current social and political developments. The dramatic extent of these fears become clearly visible when we take a brief look back into history and the evident trust expressed there in a better future for humanity. Since war always means the defeat of humanity, since the end of the Second World War the conviction that mankind must put an end to war has become entrenched in human thinking, and is repeated endlessly as a litany. At the same time, the absolute priority of politics and diplomacy have been constantly stressed, so that war can no longer be seen, as it was previously, as the continuation of politics by other means, but must instead be condemned as the failure of politics. And in order to better secure world peace and more effectively prevent the escalation of violence and military conflict, people have set great trust in the creation of human rights organisations.
These have without a doubt been the three great achievements of humanity in the 20th century. At the beginning of the third millennium however these essential convictions seem to have been to a large extent forgotten and unlearned once more, as demonstrated not least by the terrible wars that have become the order of the day. But even the failure of politics and the powerlessness of human rights are becoming increasingly apparent. Humanity has become all the poorer through the loss of this great hope, and its trust in a better future has suffered massive damage. In that we must perceive the result of a creeping and increasingly manifest erosion of those fundamental humane convictions which we had hoped would come to form an abiding good of humanity. The first decade of the new millennium has shown how brittle these convictions are. Military conflicts in so many trouble spots, appalling terrorism and the global financial crisis confront us with major new questions. Above all, we find that many certainties that had previously sustained us have been put in question. We have had to discover that we can no longer rest assured of the political and economic certainties we had taken for granted. We have become insecure and vulnerable, and our trust in a positive future has been shaken to the core.
In view of these events which have given rise to many new fears, we cannot ignore the question: what can we still rely on in this world and what can we still trust? Developments in today’s world are to be understood as signs of the times which urge and demand a response of faith. This response can only be: God is the only reality which the most terrible terrorism cannot destroy, and which the greatest wealth in the world can neither buy nor sell. It is therefore fitting to seek and find new trust in God. If we commence to root ourselves in God, we certainly gain new confidence in the human being, who is called to live as the image of God in our world. In the same way, it is natural to respond to the globalisation of the economy and the market in the contemporary world with the religious and ethical globalisation of responsibility and love.
3. Trust within Jewish-Christian dialogue
In view of man’s current fears, a new reassurance of the biblical tradition of God is long overdue. This can only occur in dialogue and collaboration between Jews and Christians, as the two religions are profoundly linked in their confession of the God who has revealed himself in the history of Israel and in the history of the church as a God turned towards the world and present in the history of mankind,17 whose deepest essence consists in dialogue, as the Catholic Judaicist Clemens Thoma has established in clear analogy to the dialogical personalism of Martin Buber. “The one God is You-related. He not only possesses his You within himself but seeks it also in the earthly realm among the humble and the persecuted. His seeking signifies a process of redemption for the sought.”18
This joint testimony to the living God in his devotion to the world forms the real basis for the capacity of Jewish-Christian dialogue to be sustained by a deep trust in one another, as it has been sensitively expressed on the Catholic side by Pope John Paul’s definition of the Jews as the “older brother” of Christians, and as “the fathers of our faith” by Pope Benedict XVI. If we look back at history and observe that in the first centuries after Christ the paths of Christians and Jews divided, and as a consequence reciprocal boundaries were drawn up and hostilities came into effect in later centuries, we are bound to judge that the relationship on the Christian side was not initiated until the Second Vatican Council Declaration “Nostra aetate”, leading to the situation now, in which Jewish-Christian dialogue is placed under the banner of conciliation and reconciliation.
This process demands time and patience, since the wounds of the past heal slowly, and trust does not arise spontaneously. That is true above all of the great wound inflicted on the Jewish people in the human tragedy of the Shoah. It has been erected as a “memorial block” between Christianity and Judaism, and has every right to demand reconciliation, since this catastrophe was inflicted upon Jews by Christians – admittedly by Christians who had allowed themselves to be led astray by a barbarous ideology. This painful process of conciliation and reconciliation can only be advanced in trust, which must culminate in a confession of guilt and a plea for forgiveness, as expressed by Pope John Paul in a Penitential Liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome in the Jubilee Year 2000 with these words: “Let us pray that, in recalling the sufferings endured by the people of Israel throughout history, Christians will acknowledge the sins committed by not a few of their number against the people of the Covenant and the Doxologies, and in this way will purify their hearts … asking your forgiveness, we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood.”
Genuine brotherhood can however only develop and flourish where conciliation is dared in trust, so that the former hostility can be transformed into friendship. In this regard, we can claim with gratitude that since the conciliar declaration “Nostra aetate”, the friendship between Jews and Catholics has become one of trust. It has been possible to overcome the former mistrust through new trust; the two sides encounter one another with the mutual intention of reaching greater understanding, of engaging more intensively with one another, and collaborating together more effectively to bear witness to the world of today that even after a tragic history of conflict, reconciliation can take place and trust can become possible. Jews and Christians are in any case called and obligated – not only by history but also on the basis of the shared foundations of their faith – to engage with one another in profound inner conciliation, in order that their mutual reconciliation can become a vital force for peace and trust in the world.
Or to express this shared mission in the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “Through their witness to the one God who cannot be adored apart from the unity of love of God and neighbour, they should open the door into the world for this God so that his will may be done and so that it may become on earth “as it is in heaven”, so that “his kingdom come”.”19 Opening the door to God proves without a doubt to be the best way to bring into the world that trust without which man cannot live, but which he can find in the mystery of God to which Jews and Christians are to bear witness in today’s world. Thus they make their contribution to the establishment of a new culture of humanity in which the elixir of life is trust.
 Cambridge Lecture at the Woolf Institute in St Edmunds College in Cambridge on 26 February 2013.
 Cf. the sensitive observations of E. Jüngel, Mut zur Angst, in: Jüngel, Entsprechungen: Gott – Wahrheit – Mensch. Theologische Erörterungen (München 1980) 362-370.
 M. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (1927), esp. 182ff.and 191ff.
 W. Pannenberg, Anthropologie in theologischer Perspektive (Göttingen 1983) 100. / Anthropology in Theological Perspective 103.
 Cf. E. Jüngel, Das Evangelium von der Rechtfertigung des Gottlosen als Zentrum des christlichen Glaubens. Eine theologische Studie in ökumenischer Absicht (Tübingen 1999), bes. 75-125: Die Unwahrheit der Sünde.
 J. Ratzinger, Vom Sinn des Christseins. Drei Predigten (München 1966) 58.
 Cf. E. Jüngel, Ausser sich. Theologische Texte (Stuttgart 2011).
 M. Gronemeyer, Das Leben als letzte Gelegenheit. Sicherheitsbedürfnisse und Zeitknappheit (Darmstadt 1993).
 J. Moltmann, Christlicher Glaube im Wertewandel der Moderne, in: Ders., Gott im Projekt der modernen Welt. Beiträge zur öffentlichen Relevanz der Theologie (Gütersloh 1997) 73-88, zit. 87.
 P. M. Zulehner, Ein Obdach der Seele. Geistliche Übungen – nicht nur für fromme Zeitgenossen (Düsseldorf 1994) 18.
 Cf. N. Postman, Wir amüsieren uns zu Tode. Urteilsbildung im Zeitalter der Unterhaltungsindustrie (Frankfurt a. M. 1985); D. Fassel, Wir arbeiten uns zu Tode. Die vielen Gesichter der Arbeitssucht (München 1991); U. Beck / E. Beck-Gernsheim, Das ganz normale Chaos der Liebe (Frankfurt a. M. 1990).
 O. Marquard, Moratorium des Alltags. Eine kleine Philosophie des Festes, in: W. Haug und R. Warning (Hrsg.), Das Fest = Poetik und Hermeneutik XIV (München 1989) 684-691, zit. 689.
 W. Pannenberg, „Extra nos“ – Ein Beitrag Luthers zur christlichen Frömmigkeit, in: A. Raffelt (Hrsg.), Weg und Weite. Festschrift für Karl Lehmann (Freiburg i. Br. 2001) 197-205.
 Die Bekenntnisschriften der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche (Göttingen 1976) 560.
 Ibid. 161
 F. Wagner, Geld oder Gott? Zur Geldbestimmtheit der kulturellen und religiösen Lebenswelt (Stuttgart 1984) 134.
 Cf. K. Koch, Die Wirklichkeit Gottes als Herz des jüdisch-christlichen Dialogs, in: S. Käppeli (Hrsg.), Lesarten des jüdisch-christlichen Dialoges. Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag von Clemens Thoma (Bern 2002) 127-145.
 C. Thoma, Das Messiasprojekt. Theologie jüdisch-christlicher Begegnung (Augsburg 1994) 110.
 J. Cardinal Ratzinger, Israel, die Kirche und die Welt, in: Ratzinger, Die Vielfalt der Religionen un der Eine Bund (Hagen 1998) 17–45, cit. 44–45.