Ways Out Of The (European) Christian Ghetto
By Joseph Weiler
Prof. Joseph Weiler, legal scholar in the United States, specialist on EU-law, and an orthodox Jew by faith, coined the term of the „ghetto“ with regards to Christians in Europe. The ghetto has, he says, twofold walls. External walls built by secularists and contemporary European society which to some extent seek to exclude Christians. It also has internal walls, built up by Christians themselves, consisting of bricks of misunderstandings and fear.
In his contribution to the publication „Exiting a Dead End Road. A GPS for Christians in Public Discourse“, Weiler describes his suggested ways out of this ghetto. Find below a concise summary and download the entire paper here.
You can order the entire book as e-Book or hard copy – please find the description and the conditions here.
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Ways Out Of The Ghetto (summary)
The Ghetto can be recognized by three symptoms:
- Firstly, Christians and non-Christians conceive faith as opposed to reason. This results in faith being limited to the vocabulary of faith.
- Secondly, faith is being marginalized into the exclusively private realm of conscience.
- Thirdly, Christianity has had a tendency to reduce its core to mere ethics, leaving holiness on the side.
Exiting the self-imposed ghetto requires inroads into the public sphere but also inroads into the Self and the Community: self-education and the transmission of one's knowledge, faith and holiness. Education is a main challenge!
Requiring a superior right to religious freedom is no „corporatist“ claim. It goes beyond the separation of the internal from the external life. And it entails that laicity is not the sole guarantee to neutrality towards all religious or non-religious conceptions of life.
Finally, Christian intervention in public life should go beyond opposition to wrong public policies but bear witnesses of the gift of life. One way of doing so, Weiler describes like this: „Pro-life? Make life! It is giving birth with abundance and finding joy in the large family and struggling to raise our children worthy of the gift of life. If you were to ask me for a sign that the walls have come down, that will be it, more important than anything else – hundreds of strollers before every place of worship.“
Ways Out Of The Ghetto is a contribution to the publication „Exiting a Dead End Road. A GPS for Christians in Public Discourse“ (2011, Kairos Publications). You can order the entire book as e-Book or hard copy – please find the description and the conditions here.