Original Research: Scholarly Voices

Theological proposals to the welfare state theory: The contribution of the Evangelical Church in Germany

Piotr Kopiec
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 4 | a7692 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i4.7692 | © 2022 Piotr Kopiec | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 May 2022 | Published: 21 December 2022

About the author(s)

Piotr Kopiec, Department of Ecumenical, Faculty of Theology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland; and, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Establishing the aims and objectives of a welfare state is an integral part of the political, economic and cultural debate, in particular, the repercussions of a welfare state on economic systems and social institutions; the sociopsychological consequences of a welfare state; and the scope, conditions and definitions of welfare. Some discussions address a theological and religious approach to the issue, specifically the Churches’ teaching on welfare and the Churches’ influence on the birth and development of the welfare state. The Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland [EKD]) has also joined the global discussion. The EKD advocates the welfare institutions; moreover, it stresses the contribution of the Protestant theology and culture to the emergence of the social state in Germany. This article aims to outline the Protestant approach to welfare axiology. Following a brief sketch of the welfare theory, it examines the previous and current Protestant influences on the welfare state and system. It also presents significant attempts to distinguish crucial values and the most serious challenges of the welfare state. The primary sources of the reflection are the recently published documents of the EKD (Denkschrifts), and the source literature.

Contribution: The theological proposals of the Evangelical Church in Germany contribute to the axiological and ethical debate on welfare and the social state. The research addresses the focus and scope of the journal of the promotion of multidisciplinary aspects of studies in the general theological area.


Evangelical Church in Germany; welfare state; social state; justice; subsidiarity; self-determination


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