Hilfe für Schwache im Alten Testament: Motivation und Formen der Hilfe im Kontext von Familie und Staat

Ausgangspunkt der Arbeit ist die Frage nach der ethischen Begründung von Aktionen, welche die Überwindung sozialer Ausgrenzung zum Ziel haben. Bei der Beantwortung muss der gesellschaftliche Kontext berücksichtigt werden: Christliche Sozialethik ist gemeinhin sehr stark von Konzepten wie „Barmherzig...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Kleine, Michael
Contributors: Gerstenberger, Erhard S. (Prof. Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Doctoral Thesis
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2004
Online Access:PDF Full Text
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Starting point for the present investigation is the problem of how to motivate ethically such actions which do aim at overcoming social segregation. Any answer has to take into account the specific social contexts. Normally, Christian social ethics relies on concepts like “mercy” and “love”. These notions, however, have their origin in inter-personal and familial relationships; they are rather inadequate in regard to structures and institutions of society at large. The author, basing himself on a strict sociological differentiation of primary and secondary groups, first scrutinizes and compares relevant Old Testament texts, elaborating their specific ways and motivations of “offering help to frail persons” in the context of family (primary group). He then proceeds showing a model of institutional care within state-structures (secondary group), oriented principally towards “law” and “justice”. In contradistinction to “love” and “mercy” these latter concepts are, of course, quite impersonal; they do not permit emotional involvements between participating actors. Distinguishing in this fashion between social levels of ethical reasoning does have a significant impact on pertinent modern discussions.