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How does Erik Peterson call us into question?

Erik Peterson shows clearly, in the expressionistic features of his biography and of his theology, that true theology must shake one, in order to comfort truly and deeply. Must shake ones' alleged certainties deeply: even religious certainties. Erik Peterson left the Evangelical Church, in which he grew up and in whose pietistic traditions he had found refuge during his studies (as shown by Cardinal Lehmann in this volume), because he left Evangelical theology further and further behind him. Even such a shaking must serve to identify the traces of good theology, starting from the ecumenical motivation, in a time of renewed confessional certainties. In the best of cases, the "blow" received was at the basis of the ecumenical commitment, as documented by one of Erik Peterson's prominent student, Ernst Käsemann, that we rarely recognize as such.




St. Peter’s Square

Feb. 19, 2020