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  • Rainer Florie: P. Laymann SJ (1574-1635) as Moral Theologist Rainer Florie ()
    In the year 1625 the Jesuit priest Paul Laymann, mainly known for his canonistic assessments on the confessional disputes of his time and his opinion on witchcraft, wrote a “Theologia moralis” comprising five volumes. He edited it twice during his lifetime. It was finally published in 1729 and considered a standard work which in 1867 was praised by Matthias J. Scheeben for its “classical calmness and wisdom as well as erudition”. This oeuvre, representing a discipline on its own, marks the beginning of moral theology. Its main distinguishing features are conscience and the scheme of virtues of the Saint Thomas of Aquin. This research project aims to examine the originality of Laymann’s approach within the scholastic casuistics of early modern times and to possibly attribute to him a major influence on the development of moral theology in the times to come.

  • Dr. phil. Rupert Scheule: Making good choices. Rational choice theory and theological ethic ()
    The rational choice theory, besides the system theory, is currently considered to constitute the most important sociological paradigm. Unlike the system theory, however, the rational choice theory (RCT) has hardly received any attention yet within theology. The habilitation “Making good choices” represents a first extensive reception effort of the RCT. An important characteristic of the RCT is its methodological individualism, ie the basic principle that any sociological explanation should relate to the situation of individuals who are involved in choice-making processes. This circumstance is of particular importance for Christian ethic since the demand for human beings to be the carriers and the objective of all social institutions is realised methodologically. Above all, the focus of the RCT on choice situations of the individual allows the formulation of an ethical-theological choice teaching. The main focus of the habilitation, among others, is on: Choices involving several goals Multi-part choices Choices under the conditions of strategic emnity Group choices Choices reached by organisations In the final chapter the practical results of the considerations reached up to now are discussed in the project MEFES (a method developed by the author for ethical case discussion in hospitals). For further information please go to the websites of the relevant DFG projects and the project MEFES.

  • The religious conscience of the inhabitants of Nördlingen in the Late Middle Ages and in the Early Modern Time. Studies on the history of mentality of an imperial city (Reichsstadt). Prof. Dr. Gregor Wurst (Kirchengeschichte)
    At the “Reichstag” of Speyer in 1529 the city of Nördlingen, also known for its historical centre, represented the protestants, so designated for the first time. The city had adopted the new confession shortly before. This dissertation aims to add the aspect of the history of mentality to the already existing research on the historic developments before and after the Reformation. In this context, thought structures of the people of Nördlingen of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Time will be shown and their thoughts, emotions and opinions explained. The effects on the development of the city will be demonstrated by the manner in which its inhabitants deal with phenomena of nature, fear, joy, sexuality, love and religion. A further emphasis will be placed on the attitude of broad classes of population towards historic events.

  • The origin of the conflict between state claims and divine claims according to Dan 6. (Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft)
    The history of the texts contained in the Book of Daniel remains obscure. Not only the multilingualism to be observed but also the comparison with the text of the Septuaginta raises a great number of questions. The chapters Dan 4-6 in particular differ from each other to an extent which is hardly expliquable. In the past, comparative studies were mainly carried out with respect to text critique, literature critique or philology. The present project tries to utilise these results and – in view of a newly awakened interest in the Septuaginta – to compare content and theological questions. The question dealing with the relationship between State and divine claims, which is a characteristic of the Book of Daniel, represents the focal point of the study. The study initially examines the texts of Dan 3 and Dan 6.

  • The enemies of the those who pray and their speeches in the psalms Carolin Neuber (Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft)
    The dissertation project examines the motif of the propagandistic speeches held by the enemies of those praying in the psalms. The statements of the enemies and those of the person praying are not a private controversy but represent a fundamental theological discourse on the public denial of God as a realistic historic figure. We will analyse the so-called citations and examine their diachronic development with respect to a possible apocalyptisation. The subject centres around the psalms 9-10 (theology of the poor) and 73 (crisis of wisdom). By breaking down the motifs, the dissertation wants to make a contribution towards a better understanding of the statements made by the enemies in the psalms, which are often rejected as being “non-Christian”. The study further gives an insight into the social-historic and religious-historic background of Israel during the post-exile period.