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Theo-politics. Conversing with Barth in Asian and Western Contexts
Markus Höfner
Volkswagen Stiftung ;
This project endeavors to analyse how distinctly Christian thinking engages the political sphere, and it does so with an eye to comparing Christian views with observations from the fields of religious studies, political science, and sociology. The project concentrates on the tradition of Protestant theology – particularly with reference to Protestant theologian Karl Barth (1886-1968) – and it will analyse and critically compare theological proposals for how religion and politics are and should be related from Western (Germany, USA) and Asian (Hong Kong, Taiwan) contexts.
The project focuses specifically on how to analyse the ways normative selfdescriptions of Christian communities can adjust to processes of democratisation and how they define the role of religion in democratic, pluralistic societies where religion is not a ‘frame’ for the whole of society, but only one societal factor among others. The project thereby builds on the insight that ‘democracy’ cannot be fully explained by state neutrality, public reason, or democratic procedures, but rather has to be viewed as a complex and rich tradition to which religious voices have contributed in the past and can and should contribute
in the present (Cf. Stout 2004).
To ensure a broad array of assessments of the relationship between religion and politics, this project involves scholars from both Western (Germany, USA) and Asian (Hong Kong, Taiwan) contexts.
Still more specifically, this project will invite the theologians in the project to engage in a critical conversation with the thought of Karl Barth (1886-1968).


Karl Barth, Political Ethics, Political Theology, Surveillance Studies

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