Abstract and keywords

Ritið 2/12 - 2012

Sigurjón Árni Eyjólfsson: The Icelandic national Church and crisis

This article discusses the importance of the „crisis“ concept (Icel. krísa) for Evangelical-Lutheran churches and theology. It argues that protestant denominations, of which Evangelical-Lutheran churches are a part, are shaped by the concept of crisis, its analysis and the quest for a resolution thereof. It proceeds to discuss the ideas of two theologians about the Icelandic national church: Hjalti Hugason on the one hand and Gunnar Kristjánsson on the other. Hjalti Hugason holds that the church must have a clear future vision, grounded upon the humanistic values underlying Western culture as well as pay heed to society’s democratic principles such as freedom of religion and equality. As expected, given their indebtedness to the same tradition, Kristjánsson’s contentions are similar. What separates, however, is the emphasis Kristjánsson places on the positive relationship between church and nation engendered by the culture influencing both. Hugason’s and Kristjánsson’s understanding of church is shaped by the ideological foundation laid by the reformers, the shape it took in Schleiermacher’s theology and later in the writings of the liberal theologians. A noteworthy common aspect of the two theologians church conception is the minor role of scripture.

Keywords: religion, Icelandic National Church, crisis, values, future visions

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