The Theological ‘Clarity’ of Eberhard Jüngel: The love of God that makes us understand

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Paolo Gamberini, SJ

 Paolo Gamberini, SJ / Church Life / 23 December 2021


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Eberhard Jüngel, one of the most important contemporary Protestant theologians, died September 28, 2021, at the age of 86, in his beloved city of Tübingen.

A resident of this German university town since 1969 when he took up a post at the Evangelical Faculty of Theology to teach systematic theology, he later became ephorus (president) of the Evangelical College of Tübingen, a position he held for 18 years. The college trains the theology students of the Evangelical Church of Baden-Württemberg for ministry as pastors and school teachers of religion.

Jüngel became known in  Catholic Church circles  for his ability to make the thought of the 16th century Reformation relevant to the contemporary world. The acumen and clarity of his theological thought were manifest in various essays and in a number of works of considerable value, including what has now become a classic of world theological literature, God as the Mystery of the World. On the ecumenical level, his theological clarity and evangelical vigor made themselves felt when the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. Jüngel harshly criticized this common consensus in a famous essay published before the document was signed.[1]  

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