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Document Details :
Title: The Tension Between 'Gesinnungsethik' and 'Verantwortungsethik'
Subtitle: A Critical Interpretation of the Position of Max Weber in 'Politik als Beruf'
Author(s): VERSTRAETEN, Johan
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 2 Issue: 4 Date: December 1995
A consensus exists in the Christian tradition concerning the idea that a faith conviction based on the gospel also has ethical and political implications. Much disunity remains, however, with respect to the interpretation of the relationship between the two. Throughout the history of theological thought we can find a variety of hypotheses on the question ranging from ideas of theocracy and 'status confessionis' declarations to manifold interpretations of the 'two kingdom' theory. In the political praxis of modern secularised society, the latter 'two kingdom' theory, even when it is not explicit, is given some preference because it responds to our desire to guarantee the autonomy of politics in the face of ecclesiastical or ideological paternalism. Such a position is theoretically rendered by the liberal 'ethod of avoidance' and those political theologies which make a clear distinction between one's secular dealings as a citizen or politician and one's 'ecclesiastical' dealings as a believer.