to the website of the Institute for Systematic Theology!
In Acts 8, Philip asks an Ethiopian Eunuch the central question for all Systematic Theologians: “Do you understand what you are reading?” His question is the central question of all Systematic Theologians. It is not enough to understand the individual words of the biblical text or Christian teachings. There is more to understanding: it takes understanding the whole train of thought, its history and its logic. Understanding is a part of the meaning for us today, whether we are believers or not. Not least, this includes comprehending the appropriate consequences for our own behavior. At the Institute for Systematic Theology, four subject areas bear this out:
- Dogmatics considiers the internal logic of Christian belief. It does this through a historical perspective, examining the development of Christian dogma, and in an actualizing perspective, giving a fresh interpretation to central concepts and teachings for today.
- Ethics looks for principles for a good life, correct behavior and just social and political structures on the basis of a Christian view of the individual and society. It works from general premises on the one hand and on their application in specific cases, for example, in Economics or Medicine, on the other.
- Philosophy concerns the foundations of thought: what are Knowledge or Perception really? What is Faith? Nature? Culture? On what basis should we answer these and similar questions?
- The Study of Christian Social Services concerns the philoanthropic actions of the Church: which social groups are in danger and why? Using what methods, on what grounds, and with what goal should the Church support them?