The monthly magazine “Stimmen der Zeit”, published by the German Jesuit Province, is not only one of the most important but also one of the oldest theological journals in Germany. Its origins date back to 1865. Today they see themselves as a cultural journal which – in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council – offers a forum for dialogue and encounter between the Church and the modern world. Therefore reading the journal is also worthwhile for readers interested in social ethics and social science.
Thus “Stimmen der Zeit” is the very right place to discuss the question whether the formerly quite central concept of culture – in the context of a highly pluralistic and also multicultural society – still has its place in the Christian-social-ethical discourse. The Bishop of Essen, Dr. Franz Josef Overbeck, says: “Yes, culture can and should continue to be a guiding notion of Christian social ethics. However, an open concept of culture must be used that is not integrative and exclusionary, but recognizes the real and legitimate social plurality in the unfolding in Modern Age.
We thank the editor-in-chief of “Stimmen der Zeit”, Fr. Dr. Kiechle SJ, for allowing us to publish this article by Bishop Overbeck on the website of Ordo Socialis.