Truth and tolerance: what are the borders of the acceptable plurality in Christian faith?

Juha Pihkala Doctor in theology, docent of dogmatics, University of Helsinki (Universitetsgatan, 4, Helsingfors, Finland, 00100),

Pihkala J. Truth and tolerance: what are the borders of the acceptable plurality in Christian faith?, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2017, vol. 6, pp. 44–67.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2017-00003

Language: English

This article, based on the lecture read in St. Petersburg (24.10.2017), at first discusses the Christian concept of truth. It differs from the philosophical concept of truth, which relies on the commonly accepted knowledge-based arguments. The Christian concept of truth relies on events experienced in history whose existential meaning, it’s most important identity, is recorded in the rule of the faith – regula fidei. Within the core domains of the rule of faith, the Christian concept of truth does not know the tolerance liked by modern thinking. It is, however, also necessary for the Church mission to interpret the rule of the faith in different cultures in their own language and to apply practices that differ from the original. This means: tolerance also is needed. Religious freedom is necessary concerning the assumption of the faith. In the history, however, this freedom has been damaged, causing great harm. When Constantine used the Christian faith as an ideological creator of the unity of the state, he still did not change the old Roman law of religion: the religion of the ruler was also during the Christian era necessarily the religion of the empire. This principle has been followed until the new era (cuius regio, eius religio).
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Key words: Confessio Augustana, Luther, Church, creed, confession, Reformation, ecumenism


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