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There is a lot of integral theological innovation with regard to humanity and redemption. But with a mystical, individualistic side. We need more purple!

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Tilman Haberer – On the grace of the world; meeting (2)

This is the second part of my review of the "Draft of an integral theology" by Tilman Haberer. Part 1 of the book review revolved around the classical theological fields, God, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Trinity. With the image of humanity, which then corresponds to the idea of sin/salvation, he clearly brings in new-spiritual impulses from the integral theology around Ken Wilber.

Cape. 4: Man - a mystery to himself (and divine?) 

Haberer presents the evolutionary biology perspective as a basic framework story, then he takes up some interpretations and then reinterprets classical (Western!) theological anthropology:

  • His interpretation of the term “God’s image”: “representing God in the world”!
  • Haberer's own leading thesis on anthropology: People carry the two natures within themselves "we all are Children of God and therefore in deepest core immortal, eternal, divine, just like all of us mortal, finite people are. ...what fascinates me personally about these ideas is this: the idea that we humans are elevated in God, that we have a divine nature in our innermost being, is not some postmodern, esoteric nonsense." 
    Haberer's evidence after reading the Bible is the biblical image/child of God idea
  • The Eastern Church term “Theosis" he takes as a reason - man becomes God: “God became man so that we humans can recognize that in our innermost, deepest being we are of divine nature are. We cannot become God, we are already God. And now it’s time to grow into our divine nature.”

Cape. 5: Sin and Redemption - a cosmic drama in several acts 

He first talks about the different sins and ideas of redemption of the different color segments and spaces of consciousness and then interprets the creation myth from his YELLOW perspective as follows: Gen. 3 does not describe a “fall of man” but those discovery of ego consciousness, no punishment follows immediately, but this Awareness of having to die and the suffering through that awakened self-awareness of humanity. Since Kant, this primal myth has been known as the history of... mature becoming people or the consciously interpreted by people who are becoming.

Haberer thinks of sin entirely as a problem of “twoness”: “It describes the fact that we humans do not live in the original unity, at least as long as we are in this world. And that is not a moral deficit. What would be immoral about the fact that we breathe in and breathe out, that we have a right and a left hand, a right and a left hemisphere of the brain? What would be immoral about there being high and low, hot and cold, male and female, front and back, pleasant and unpleasant, alive and dead and, yes, good and bad? God is the great whole, that is, being itself. God is the ultimate unity, or actually that “Trinity” (see part 1).”

The psychological one Polarity of love and fear (instead of love and hate!) they are the basic human motivation. Here you can take a look at the neurobiological research around Klaus Grawe/Julius Kuhl Approach/avoidance patterns as a motivational pattern for behavior control can be linked very well with Haberer's presentation. This means that his idea is actually compatible with the latest neuropsychology.

Haberer's steepest thesis (for the classical theological dogmatics!) is the Rejection of belief in salvation: 
Christianity is not a religion of salvation. On the contrary, it's about processing alienation, or positive about that good lives with duality and "thus the problem of salvation solves itself. God loves us, period." ... "There is no need for salvation from his wrath, because God was never angry. If God is not angry, if God does not punish, then God doesn't need all this cosmic drama. God does not need the vicarious performance of the one righteous person, that all sinners and sins are attributed to them, even though they actually don't deserve it. God does not need to be reconciled, God has never been unreconciled. Why did you still need Jesus Christ? In fact, he is not needed in the cosmic drama of redemption, he is not needed as a mediator between God and people, he is not needed as an “innocent sacrificial lamb who takes away the sin of the world.” He is not needed as a savior from the wrath of God and from hell, death and the devil.” Haberer thus takes away the fundamental criticism of Klaus-Peter Jörns on.

Haberer argues somewhat differently than Jörns, entirely in the spirit of an integral one Neo Gnosis: It would be about growth in knowledge (Greek: "gnosis") and pragmatic practice (Greek: "asceticism") to change alienation: "The only thing that is important for Christians is that Jesus showed us how to overcome sin, that is, DUALITY Be able to overcome separation or separation. Yes, that it has already been overcome and we only have to grow and can grow into the love and community that has long been established. Growing into this, the redemption that has long since happened is realized. How about we say to ourselves: you know, you have a much greater potential that you have only partially realized so far. There's so much more life in there! And I'll show you how to do it." Like Klaus-Peter Jörns, for him the key to his theological ethics is the sentence: It's about love. We should see in our fellow human beings the very image of God that we ourselves are and treat them as if they were Christ himself. After all, they are.”

At the end of the chapter Haberer describes his ideas of reincarnation in contrast to the resurrection concept of the Bible. The idea of the resurrection is first presented by Haberer in a somewhat appropriate historical perspective and introduced in a historically alienated way. At the same time, however, I lack interpretations and classification in the Jewish apocalyptic tradition of thought, as offered by A. Perriman. See more in my review below. His doctrine of heaven Haberer still constructs a Christian hope of resurrection but the resurrection of no one Individual soul(s) in eternity, but as one Absorbing into the total consciousness of God taking all possible experiences and consciousness developments with you.

And the church? None! There are 6 types of YELLOW spirituality 

In an integral theology, Haberer can get by without any idea of the church because it actually has no theological necessity (here he is consistent because the justifications that are present in Catholic dogmatics, e.g. church, are also missing for a traditional Protestant church doctrine as a sacrament).

In his final chapter he works on an individual Ethics of responsibility (penultimate in Bonhoeffer's sense) critical and self-critical of the one-sided shift in the tension between in the integral scene transformation (through meditative consciousness work) and Translation (actually “translation”; Haberer means embodiment in more ethical work). He tries and does well with his approach without the risk of being a perfectionist Twists Shaping Christianity in the direction of transformation and meditation practice even expects “holiness work” in the diaconal field.

Like Ken Wilber, he is concerned with freedom and responsibility integral life practice, which not only keeps an eye on spiritual development, but also other perspectives of psychological, physical and social developments. With that he pursues one holistic “sanctification work” (which is not one-sidedly ethically formatted). Nice.

His concept of church remains purely functional, church is perhaps useful as a loose one Networking of integral islands, which help realize integral life or as an integrally open community practice that accommodates all different color spiritualities and gives you space to grow. It is important to design the transitions of the various growth steps from BLUE to ORANGE and from ORANGE to GREEN and from GREEN to YELLOW well. This makes the church a practice or learning space for integral (communal) life practice. In his In his latest book (Church at the End!) he tries to fill in the blank space about church. 

My critical assessment from a historical-narrative perspective:

With his idea of redemption, he moves clearly closer to our (the generally modern) rejection of the Augustinian-Christian Original sin paradigm (but we'll give it one other reason), but at the same time, in my opinion, he constructs something that is too one-sided individualistic People image, and one individualistic focused transformation perspective. More careful and in-depth anthropological, sociological and theological work would have to be done here in order to achieve this inevitable social condition of human beings to be given clear weight.

His concept of sin as duality comes as a key term directly from the integral scene. He tries (in my opinion) to justify it somehow associatively with biblical texts, but this doesn't really do the texts justice. He himself admits that he is very satisfied with Jesus' statements (in his otherwise very positively assessed Sermon on the Mount) above Judgment, hell and the Jewish one Doing-doing connection does not conform. His somewhat helpless historical speculation reveals his reading: 

  • either Jesus himself has one spiritual development experienced and later the pure Love preached
  • or just has didactically methodical linked to the ideas of his contemporaries
  • or (according to Bultmann's literary criticism) the apocalyptic statements are literary to him through the Community theology been placed in the mouth.

Overall, his argument clearly follows the classic liberal interpretation of the apocalyptic-critical perspectives since the 19th century in the New Testament. Here, the current exegetical discussion following the apocalyptic line of Albert Schweitzer and Andrew Perriman as a critical counterposition would provide much more appropriate (because corresponding to Judaism of the 1st century) better reasons that historically Findings in the NT as presented here can be interpreted more appropriately, without the detour, having to introduce literary-critical (unprovable) hypotheses.

It is honest that he explicitly mentions this inconsistency of his, but he cannot solve it in an intellectually and technically satisfactory way. He concludes: “The New Testament does not develop a detailed doctrine of life after death. This is where it differs from other religions, such as Tibetan Buddhism… it will be good, like a happy festival, not much more is said.”

In doing so, he suppresses all apocalyptic texts in Paul and in Revelation, which testify to the important first resurrection of the martyrs and hope for their very concrete political "co-rule" from heaven, which is an earthly-political interpretation of the Jewish resurrection hope for martyrs and theirs perspective that justifies martyrdom.

Conclusion: Stimulating reinterpretation of the 19th century...

The book is indeed stimulating for our transformation concern to develop a new contemporary theology, but definitely very exciting for blue, orange, green spaces of consciousness. He works well on many topics in contrast to the blue paradigm, but also orange and green perspectives (!). He offers us good starting points for a dialogue with ourselves and our basic axioms, with the hope that our observations will lead to biblical interpretations continuing and deepening could sharpen or correct his concept. Maybe this exchange will happen at some point. Would be nice.

Hermeneutics: Within his own hermeneutic assumptions, there remains a fundamental deep contradiction to his integral claim, as he unfortunately consistently excludes ORANGE (scientifically-historically focused) hermeneutics. Haberer's exegetical answers therefore remain consistent with his justification logic Decision on the myth instead of to historical-narrative hermeneutics for me (and certainly other science friends who are looking) intellectually unsatisfactory.

He unnecessarily distances himself from scientific questions, because in my opinion there is something else that has a better chance of plausibility for rationalists :-). The dispute here is similar to the old philosophical dispute between empiricists (1st/3rd quadrant) and rationalists (2nd/4th quadrant). Only with the additional hurdle for today's rationalists that the reasonable justifications themselves are contextually conditioned, which results in the loss of certainties (cf. Nietzsche's "God is dead"). On the sea of uncertainty including the loss of the great narratives that have been given so far (cf. Lyotard) remains the only modern one that is recognized by the majority Evolution narrative (since 1850, Darwin).

Consequences of his mystically individual justification of his theology instead of the rational plausibility of our society

One political Theology or one Group perspective in an elaborated sense (Ecclesiology) he can hardly develop, since in his logic it does not appear mandatory, but only as an additive to the general individual YELLOW practice.

For him, compensatory justice only exists outside the world (in his newly determined collective “beyond”). That's his approach not protected from the escapist temptation, the earth but with a quasi-dualistic understanding ("evil" matter in favor of redeemed "spirit world") to leave, to escape into the paradox of supra-temporal/supra-spatial “Nirvana”? This solution actually seems to be very close to the classic Christian idea of salvation of a “heaven”.

The reviewer Löhr comments: Because “it takes the look of love and the trust that this is not everything we see with our physical eyes.” In order not to understand this directly as a call to escapism, Haberer emphasizes the responsibility that our freedom brings with it . Freedom and responsibility are still often misunderstood in capitalist, consumer-oriented postmodernism because they are viewed exclusively from a neoliberal perspective. For Haberer, responsibility means “paying attention to your own actions and ensuring that my actions do not harm anyone.”

If we were to take this sentence seriously, we would have to immediately begin fundamentally restructuring our society. Because our way of doing business and living not only harms this planet, but also other people, now and increasingly in the future. Haberer thus advocates "a Christianity and a Christian-influenced way of thinking that no longer just lags behind the spiritual reality of the present (or fearfully isolates itself from it), but begins a conversation with this reality and, what's more, thinks further and forward."

Yes, perhaps he claims that to be his concern, but his theological construction does not provide the necessary, compelling arguments (which would be good). rationalistic), but leaves it to the conscience of the individual (individualistic-empiricistic).

His Doctrine of Sin developed by Haberer (in line with our experiment, by the way!) Goodness of the world/people starting - implicitly a criticism and the abandonment of the Augustinian “Fall of Man” dogma. Haberer is also aware of the “heretical nature” of this thesis. At the same time, he seems certain (with all liberal orange/green interpretations since Kant!) that the topic has actually been enlightened in a modern way (and no longer upsets anyone). But then it surprises me why he does that He revitalized the hereditary sin paradigm by reinterpreting it in a mythical, timeless way. Here he is not consistent with his concerns. I advocate recognizing this hereditary sin dogma as a BLUE pre-modern PARADIGM, but giving it up or dissolving it integrally in order to develop better concepts that are constructed in accordance with the modern socio-political and social-psychological paradigms with a good empirical basis (cf. the revolutionary anthropological approach of the Dutchman and best-selling author Rutger Bregman, 2019: Basically good).

The weaknesses of his argumentative approach are certainly due to the fact that he carefully tries to dock with traditional (blue?) Christianity in order to create plausibility for strongly lingering residual BLUE parts. Here we work more radically because our need for connections between BLUE and GREEN no longer exists, but rather our target group is people with YELLOW space of consciousness.

Open research topics for our own approach:

After reading Haberer, open questions about our own reading become clear. I'll list a few:

  • Incarnation concept - how far is this figure necessary? Because it makes the Christian central motif of CHRISTOLOGY the measure of all theology. This becomes particularly visible when the formula of the “cosmic Christ” is used again and again. What changes if we replace it consistently with one social-evolutionary concept of God? Thesis: God is always a construct of a political community and can only be made plausible and helpful together as such.
  • anthropology of the “divine soul core”: depending on CHRISTOLOGY/doctrine of salvation, a theological anthropology is designed accordingly… Is it possible, for example, with “Spiritual intelligence", the German religious psychology approach Psychology professor Julius Kuhl not more scientifically consistent?
  • Panpsychism: what function does this concept have as a justification for anthropology's ideas about the world/God?
  • which mysticism can, do we have to include? It will not be possible to have a COSMIC CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM. But rather, for example, rather and much more consistently local nature mysticism.
  • if the Messiah Christ with the political change in 313 AD. has reached its goal... the open question is how we can interact with Christ (in what capacity now?) after the "1000-year" phase of Christianity has abdicated. post-imperial keep going? Maybe YHWH is enough for us and he will send either a new, contemporary Messiah or (in Jewish terms) a new messianic process? Then we stand together with Judaism and Messianic Islam, hoping and wondering. It would now be conceivable.

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