Original Research - Special Collection: Christina Landman Festschrift

‘Gott mit uns’: Reflections on some partisan theologies

Jacobus M. Vorster
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5188 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5188 | © 2019 J.M. Vorster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 July 2018 | Published: 28 February 2019

About the author(s)

Jacobus M. Vorster, Unit for Reformed Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, South Africa


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Abstract

The idea that God sides with particular groups as they try to achieve their political goals by way of violence has emerged and re-emerged throughout the history of the Christian Church. This article examines some of these occasions where partisan theologies led to inhuman actions justified by a self-identified divine cause. The purpose is to explain how the motto, ‘God with us’ (Gott mit uns), was used to justify inhuman actions and selfish goals and that Christians should be hesitant to design a theology on the foundation of this idea and to further a certain political cause with a divine purpose. The central theoretical argument of this investigation is that the dictate Gott mit uns leads to partisan theologies that can be misused to justify inhuman policies and practices. Four theologies are selected as examples: the Puritan theology in the colonial America of the 17th century, Reformed theology in the Dutch colonisation of the South Africa and the formation of apartheid, the theology in the Reichskirche in Germany in the 20th century and liberation theology in the developing world in the 20th century.

Keywords

Partisan theologies; “Gott mit uns”

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