Abstracts numero 2003/2

Articles varia

  • - Le protestantisme est-il capable d’Europe ?
  • In Europe as it is developing, the churches stemming from the Reformation have trouble finding their voice. Besides the political questions involved, this fact challenges the ecclesiology of these church families. In recent years, Reformed, Lutherans, Methodists and Anglicans have signed several declarations stating that they are in full communion. This crucial theological step makes sense only if this unity becomes visible. In contrast to certain protestant voices satisfied with the status quo, this contribution analyses the conditions that would allow the Reformation churches to take up this challenge. It speaks also in favour of an understanding of synodality that would no longer be confined to national borders.

  • - L’éviction du féminin dans la construction du monothéisme
  • Since a few decades, feminist readings of the Bible have regularly emphasised the problem raised by the treatment of the female element in the monotheisms. When the only God is given essentially, if not exclusively, male attributes, it is difficult not to interpret this phenomenon as a way of consolidating the male domination over a given society. In this study, Thomas Römer traces the gradual eviction of the female component in the Israelite religion. After emphasising the importance of the cult of goddesses both in the popular religion and in the official cult, he demonstrates how the emergence of Judaean monotheism from the end of the exile was accompanied by a condemnation of the cult of goddesses. However, some aspects of this cult remained alive, in particular by the transfer of some characteristically « female » images over the representation of the only God. In this resepct, the Hebrew Bible already points to the limits of an exclusively male representation of God, thus opening to a renewed questioning about our ways of thinking and figuring this God who, according to the Bible itself, transcends all differences.

  • - Révélation et violence : la critique de l’économie religieuse dans le cycle d’Elie (1 Rois 17,1 à 19,21)
  • François Nault offers a reading of three scenes from the Elijah cycle (1Kings 17-19) focusing more specifically on the interplay between the episode of the sacrifice on Mount Carmel and that of the « divine epiphany » that Elijah « witnesses » on Mount Horeb. Indeed these narratives forebode a revelation-centered thought ; one may wonder whether this particular type of thought does not question the very concept of « revelation » itself, that is to say what is being disclosed through the very word.

  • - Le repos du pélerin (Hébreux 3,7-4,11)
  • The Epistle to the Hebrews deals extensively with the theme of the desobedience of Israel in the section 3,7-11, applying the words of Psalm 95,7-11 to the situation of the intended readers, calling them to strive without delay to « enter that rest ». What kind of rest is in view, a rest to be compared with the Creator’s rest, a rest from one’s works ? Several well known commentators are convinced that this is necessarily an exclusively eschatological rest, a matter of hope to be enjoyed by the faithful christian at the Parousia or after his death. This interpretation is largely grounded on the conviction of a fixed eschatological meaning for the idea of a rest in God at the disposal of the author of the Epistle. The following study endeavours to prove that a more extended meaning, including also a partial enjoyment in this world, is to be taken into account. The religious text of this period give evidence of a large diversity in the ways the expression is used. The logic of the demonstration undertaken by the author leads to the conclusion that a decisive step to enter the rest immediately is called for. And the idea of a « rest from one’s works » does not necessarily calls to mind the ultimate bliss. One must not forget that, besides a « futuristic » eschatology, there is in the Epistle to the Hebrews a heaven/earth dualism which gives a room for a precious relationship with the invisible realities.

  • - « Diva Maria ». La promotion divine de Marie dans le christianisme ancien et sa cohérence christologique
  • This article follows up a study initiated in a previous article (ETR 2000/2, p. 193-216) about the status of Mary in the contemporary ecumenical discourse. Relying upon recent works, it strives at mapping out the promotion campaign of the character of Mary in ancient Christianity and aims at unveiling a christological consistency. The investigation surveys various contexts, as well as various textual corpora, particularly the heresy sources the apocryphal writings. The Apostle Paul is referred to and regarded as a major and paradoxical conveyor of the outstanding promotion of the mother of Christ. The argument closes on the necessity to distinguish different christological consistencies at work in the discourse on Mary and to refuse, on the basis of these consistencies, any attempt at syncretism that would reduce her ad unum. This is the condition to ensure the freedom of the believer to shift from one to the other, according to his needs or to the evolution of his imaginary representations.

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