Paul invites Christians to enhance liberating solidarity

Eneida Jacobsen at the Fourth International LWF Conference on Hermeneutics. Photo: LWF/I. Benesch
Eneida Jacobsen at the Fourth International LWF Conference on Hermeneutics. Photo: LWF/I. Benesch

AARHUS, Denmark/GENEVA 28 September 2015 – Paul’s significance for Lutheranism and the history of Christianity overall is undeniable. While, on the one hand, his ideas can be highly controversial and divisive on issues regarding gender, spiritual life and politics, on the other, he also provides us with inspiring resources that help us reflect on our unity as Christians and the new life in freedom and community that this unity entails.

The International Hermeneutics Conference in Aarhus has provided a wonderful opportunity to share and confront our various readings of Paul, not only in relation to his own religious and political context but also our own. The variety of hermeneutical perspectives that we have seen emerge in our conversations over the past few days are an indication of Paul's complexity as someone engaged with different challenges, groups and situations. This not only allows but maybe even requires a diversity of approaches to bring to life the powerful news that he claims to be called to announce as an apostle to the nations.

I am especially interested in articulating the political and liberating aspects that permeate Paul's writings and that invite us to foster interconnected communities that exercise a caring and liberating solidarity with one another.

(Dr Eneida Jacobsen holds a doctorate in theology from the Faculdades EST, São Leopoldo, Brazil, and is currently a doctoral student and graduate assistant in philosophy at Villanova University, Philadelphia, USA.)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of Lutheran World Federation policy.