THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCH TOWARDS HUMAN NEED

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CHAPTER 2: INTERDEPENDENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY: A REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND OPINIONS (1)

THE ROLE OF THE SYSTEMIC PARADIGM FOR INTERDEPENDENCE ORIENTED THINKING AND BEHAVIOR

Definitions of the Term Paradigm

Over a little more than the last two decades a new paradigm has started to emerge which has become known by the term « postmodernism ». It seems to have challenged, in fact replaced the modern paradigm of the Enlightenment to such a degree that the latter appears to have come to an end in many parts of society. Stevick (in Betz 1991:1) states this observation as follows:
« Our world, for good or ill, has begun to operate on principles different from those that have dominated much of the century and we tend to see ourselves as part of a culture that we may not altogether understand but which we can recognize as being >after< what we have known. » Betz (1991:1) gives an example of different areas which postmodernism has penetrated: art collections, television, undergraduate curricula, politics, rock music, interior decorating, airline magazines, etc. Jencks (in Betz 1991:2) comes to the conclusion that postmodernism is conquering all fields of cultural production and reproduction:
« After more than twenty years the Post-Modern Movement has achieved a revolution in western culture without breaking anything more than a few eggheads. It has successfully challenged the reign of Modern art and architecture, it has put Positivism and other twentieth-century philosophies in their rightfully narrow place, brought back enjoyable modes in literature without becoming populist and has slowed, if not halted altogether, the wanton destruction of cities This revolution has cut across film, music, dance, religion, politics, fashion and nearly every activity of contemporary life and, like all revolutions, including parliamentary ones,. it entails a return to the past as much as movement forward. »This is demonstrated by the extent to which the foundations of rationalism have been shaken. Rationalism as a prime characteristic and for many the defining category of the modern paradigm can perhaps be best explained in the self-understanding of science as accurate knowledge and absolutely reliable data. Knowledge and facts were seen as factual, value-free and neutral and set over against values, which were based on opinion and belief. In the words of Bosch (1991:266), « Facts cannot be disputed; values, on the other hand, are a matter of preference and choice. » This for so long unquestioned presupposition is now seriously challenged. The prominent German philospher Jlirgen Habermas (in Betz 1991:3) stated his opinion that nothing less is at stake today than the project of modernity: the belief in the liberating capacity and capability of reason, rationality and knowledge. The legacy of modernity has not only fallen victim to suspicion, it has fallen victim to a frontal assault from all quarters (cf ibid., 3). But as strong as the postmodern paradigm is penetrating many areas of society, it has to be understood that this paradigm is still emerging. Bosch (1991:349) points out that new paradigms do not establish themselves overnight, and that it often takes decades, even centuries to develop distinctive contours. He adds his conviction that presently we are thinking and working in terms of two paradigms: the modern as well as the postmodern.Bosch (1991:250-251) identifies a few major reasons for this paradigm change. First he refers to Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr as having introduced a revolution in thinking, and to Werner Heisenberg commenting on this, « that the very foundation of science have started to move and that there was almost a need to start all over again ». Two devastating world wars helped a quicker erosion of the conventional modern paradigm. Karl Barth with his « theology of crisis » broke away from liberal theology. Spengler and Sorokon as philosophers of history started to detect fundamental changes beginning in Western culture even before the Second World War. Guardini’s « Das Ende der Neuzeit » of 1950 stated explicitly that the modern era with its entire worldview was collapsing. Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s « Dialektik der Aufklarung » appeared at about the same time, in 1947. They pointed to the Enlightenment paradigm as having become questionable. It was Polanyi’s « Personal Knowledge »(1958) and Kuhn’s « The Structure of Scientific Revolutions » which provided a more fundamental critique of the Enlightenment paradigm. In the new views, according to Bosch (ibid., 351), »scientific theory, history, scoiology and hermeneutics go hand in hand ( … ) A new vision is emerging, and it affects all the sciences, both human and natural. Habermas contends that, in addition to the Enlightenment’s >instrumental< reason, we should create room for what he calls >communicative< reason. And Kuhn argues that scientific knowledge is not the outcome of objective, >instrumental< or >mechanistic< research but the product of historical circumstances and of intersubjective communication. In this way he challenges the Enlightenment’s thesis of the priority of thought to being and of reason to action .The emerging postmodern systemic paradigm in the Western world provides the « thinking frame » for this study. As this paradigm provides the lenses through which everything in the world has to be seen as interrelated with each other, it calls for a foundational rethinking of the globally interdependent nature of virtually everything, including the nature of interdependent relationships between churches (1). This should make their different dimensions of responsibilities quite transparent, particular as it relates to this, the churches’ interdependence with each other. This particular greater responsibility comes with the greater chances to correct « unequal partnerships ». »On the surface, at least, the Protestant >Three -Selfs< formula (self-government, self-support, and selfpropagation) appeared to be more sound; soon >younger< churches would in all respects be the equals of >older< churches. Reality turned out to be different, however. The younger churches continued to be looked down upon and to be regarded as immature and utterly dependent upon the wisdom, experience, and help of the older churches or mission societies » (Bosch 1991: 378).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
SUMMARY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION – THE PROBLEM IN CONTEXT
1.1. WHY THIS STUDY ON THE NOTHERN LOCAL CHURCH IN HER INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT OF INTERDEPENDENCE,
RESPONSIBILITY, AND PARTNERSHIP FROM A GERMAN
PERSPECTIVE 1
1.1.1 Interdependence
1.1. 2 Responsibility
1.1. 3  Partnership
1. 2  METHODOLOGY
1. 2 .1 Review of Literature and Opinions
1. 2. 2 Case Studies
CHAPTER 2: INTERDEPENDENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY: A REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND OPINIONS
2.1 THE ROLE OF THE SYSTEMIC PARADIGM FOR INTERDEPENDENCE ORIENTED THINKING AND BEHAVIOR 
2 .1.1 Definitions of the Term Paradigm
2 .1. 2 Why the Use of the Systemic Paradigm for this
Study
2.2 THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCH TOWARDS HUMAN NEED
2. 2. 1 Introduction
2.2.2 The Macro Need of Hunger: A Profile
2.2.2.1 The Dimensions of Hunger
2.2.2.2 Physical and Psychological Results of Hunger
2.2.2.3 Geographical Aspects of Hunger
2.2.3 The Role of Politics Regarding Hunger and Poverty
2.2.3.1 Towards a Change in German Development Politics
2.2.3.2 The Responsibility of Politics in the Struggle
Against Poverty
2.2.3.3 Towards a Redemptive Development Paradigm
2.2.3.4 The Vision of a Marshall Plan for Global Action
CHAPTER 3: PARTNERSHIP AND THE PROPHETIC MISSION OF THE CHURCH: A REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND OPINIONS
3.1 PARTNERSHIP: KOINONIA IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD
COMMUNITY REALISED
3 .1.1 The Partnership Debate Introduced
3 .1. 2 Implications of Globalisation on Partnership
3 .1. 3 The Struggle for a Balanced View on Partnership
3 .1. 4  From One-Way-Traffic to Two-Way-Traffic
3 .1. 5  Sharing
3 .1. 6  Resources
3 .1. 7  Important Aspects of Sharing
3 .1. 8  Weaknesses and Strengths of Partnerships Today
3.2 THE PROPHETIC MISSION OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER 4: THE AWARENESS LEVEL OF CHURCHES REGARDING INTERDEPENDENCE, RESPONSIBILITY, PARTNERSHIP (CASE STUDIES)
4.1 REFORMIERTE GEMEINDE BRAUNSCHWEIG
4.1.1. The Church Introduced
4.1.2 The International Partners
4.1.3 Interview with the Pastor
4 .1. 4 Summary of the Information Presented Regarding International Impulses from Sources other than the Foreign Partners
4.2. EVANGELISCHER KIRCHENKREIS WITZENHAUSEN
4.2.1 The Church Introduced
4. 2. 2 The International Partners
4.2.3 Interview with the Pastor
4. 2. 4 Summary of the Information Presented Regarding International Impulses from Sources other than the Foreign Partners
4.2.5 The Uganda-Team Witzenhausen
4.3 THE « FREIKIRCHLICHES EVANGELISCHES GEMEINDEWERK IN DEUTSCHLAND » E.V. (FEGW) WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON THE BONIFATIUS CHURCH IN HANOVER
4.3.1 The Church Introduced
4.3.2 The International Partners
4.3.3. Interview with the Pastor
4.3.4 Further Elements of International CrossFertilisation
Chapter 5: CONCLUSIONS
5.1 OBSERVATIONS FROM THE CASE STUDIES
5.2 WHAT ABOUT THE AIMS AND HYPOTHESIS OF THIS STUDY? SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
FOOTNOTES
APPENDIX – Review of Relevant Articles in « Zeitschrift
fUr Mission » 1984-1996
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INTERVIEWS, CORRESPONDENCES, ARCHIVAL SOURCES

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INTERDEPENDENCE, RESPONSIBILITY AND PARTNERSHIP: A GERMAN PERSPECTIVE ON THE NORTHERN LOCAL CHURCH IN HER INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

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