Original Research - Special Collection: Structural subjects - Church History and Systematic Theology

Freed by trust, to believe together: Pursuing global ecumenism with Küng and Tracy

Jakub Urbaniak
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2047 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2047 | © 2014 Jakub Urbaniak | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 August 2013 | Published: 11 April 2014

About the author(s)

Jakub Urbaniak, Department of Church History and Church Polity, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In the past decades it has emerged more clearly than before that Christian religion, which has so often contributed to human oppression, has rich theological resources that can be used to restore and perfect human freedom. These resources have been reflected upon not only by liberation theologians, but also within the ecumenically oriented theology of religions which targets what Hans Küng calls global responsibility based on global ethics. World religions have an essential role to play in rendering that global humanity more humane and free. The only way to accomplish this task leads through ongoing dialogue, directed both ad intra and ad extra, in the pursuit of a ‘global ecumenism’ which the present suggests and the future demands. For those liberating and unitive resources inherent in religious theory and praxis to be activated, fundamental trust in the reality of the world and of one’s own self appears indispensable. By deepening the theological insights of Hans Küng and David Tracy, the article seeks to explore the mutual correlation between such fundamental trust in reality and religious faith in God, interpreted from a Christian perspective. Firstly, I probe the notion of fundamental trust from the existentialist and specifically Christian (theological) standpoints. Secondly, I examine both the positive and the negative consequences that fundamental (mis)trust may have for religiosity. Finally, the Christian interpretation of fundamental trust as correlated to faith in God is reflected upon in terms of global ecumenism and its response to the needs of our radically pluralistic moment.


Fundamental Trust; Global Ecumenism; Hans Küng, David Tracy; Interfaith; Interreligiou; Dialogue; Pluralism


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