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HIERARCHIE UND DEMOKRATIE IN DER KIRCHE: Eine empirische Untersuchung unter Theologiestudierenden

Hans-Georg Ziebertz
Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie
Vol. 118, No. 4 (1996), pp. 441-467
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24168442
Page Count: 27
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
HIERARCHIE UND DEMOKRATIE IN DER KIRCHE: Eine empirische Untersuchung unter Theologiestudierenden
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Abstract

Questions of "hierarchy" and "democracy" in the Church present a problem that calls for our constant attention. How much democracy is good for the Church and how much hierarchy is necessary (par. 1)? In our contribution we first pursue the question in a theological sense and then follow it up empirically. We report on a survey of first-semester students of theology in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands – what are their views on hierarchy and democracy in the Church? – With reference to the ecclesiological literature we first intend to show that ecclesiastical tradition does not provide a clear framework for the nature of church organization. We find hierarchical principles and the notion of participating in a community juxtaposed. In this respect the Second Vatican Council has formulated a compromise that can be used by representatives of the antithetical positions to justify their different views. We cannot deny that there is a certain "openness" in Catholic ecclesiology (par. 2). Given this openness, it is legitimate to ask, how that which has come into being will develop in future. Certain criteria are formulated for this critical process (par. 3). – The empirical part of the contribution concentrates on the views of students of theology relating to questions of church organization (par. 4). It will be seen that those interviewed make a clear and negative distinction between the concepts of "democracy" and "hierarchy" and that they are unambiguously in favour of a democratically orientated Church. Finally these findings are examined in relation to a number of pedagogical requirements of institutes of higher education.

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