This discussion piece is the second part of an initially informal lecture. From his current position of humanistic atheism, the author – a former protestant theologian inspired by Rudolf Bultmann and Herbert Braun – puts forward the thesis that the heights of the Christian tradition issue in humanitarian atheism. He draws attention to key places in the New Testament where God is spoken of as love, or where love is exalted over faith. In this spirit he interprets the essence of the message of the historical Jesus and of the first Christian dogmatic testimonies about a God who became man. He compares Schleiermacher’s work Christmas Festival with Feuerbach’s The Basis of Christianity. He also takes note of the new way in which Slavoj Žižek presents the theme of God. Herbert Braun holds that theology is anthropology, that God is the expression of a claim to obedience and a message of grace, an expression of “from where” I am called and from where I am accepted. He attempts to distinguish these theses from the position of Feuerbach, while Funda accepts that philosophical consequence. Transcendence, which theologians and some philosophers understand as a dimension which is valid over us, is really just our own creation – a project of our self-reflective consciousness. God is an expression created by man for human love to man. To speak about God in a Christian spirit is to speak about man, thoroughly and consistently, without the ambivalent and unclear postulation of transcendence as a power “outside us and above us”.
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