Journal Church & Theology

Church & Theology is an Estonian semi-scholarly journal for theology and culture. The journal offers an opportunity to take part in theological dialogue – to be active in the society as a theologian and, most importantly, to give voice to a theological perspective. The writings of different genres that the journal includes help to reflect what is the world like and how it should be from the perspective that is grounded in the euangelion, the Gospel.

The perspective of Church & Theology towards different Christian confessions and more broadly towards non-Christian religions is ecumenical. The co-authors of the journal come from various backgrounds and the stories of the journal cover different religions (of non-Christian religions mainly Judaism and Islam) and religion(s) in different contexts (e.g., sociology, psychology, etc.). It is always a possibility, and sometimes an obligation, of a Christian or any other writer or reader to relate to the topic and step into dialogue with it.

Church & Theology is published on weekly basis including four categories: articles, opinions, sermons and news. The continuous publication is provided by thirteen members of the editorial board (see below).

 

Our aims

Three intertwined goals with respect to the society, the authors and the readers can be named.

Firstly, we aim to support and stimulate theological dialogue within the society. Church & Theology wants to foster a church which is more theological and therefore, is a more genuine and true church. Through our work we hope to strengthen the ability to think and participate in the society via theological perspective.

Secondly, we wish to offer an opportunity for Estonian theologians, intellectuals and artists to express their ideas and to publish articles related to religion, belief and culture. The co-authors, who come from diverse backgrounds and are occupied in different fields, are the key to have a potential influence on the theological thinking of the Christians and more widely in the society.

Thirdly, as has become apparent from the above mentioned goals, we intend to communicate the journal to an audience as broad as possible. Our reader is anyone who is interested in culture and religion. By targeting different types of readers we hope to encourage more wide and public thinking and writing about matters which are related to believing (or non-believing, as it is related to the former).

 

The perspective of Church & Theology on church and theology

The viewpoint and the conviction of Church & Theology can be summarized in ideas expressed by two great 20th century Estonian theologians. Elmar Salumaa has written: ‘There can be no church without theology nor theology without church!’ The angle which our journal represents is originally formulated by Uku Masing: ‘Observations of the world from the viewpoint of a theologian.’

Church & Theology tries to renew and rethink the relation between church and theology (that is fostered at universities) in contemporary Estonian society. Theology has three main tasks: 1) to reflect and criticize the practice of church; 2) to help the church to communicate itself to the world; 3) and to help the church to communicate with the world. All the tasks require profound knowledge, thinking and reflection which can be provided by theology that is developed at universities with respect to other disciplines. Theology itself, however, becomes a mere theory if it has no connection to belief that is carried and expressed by people who belong to various communities. Church & Theology attempts to build this bridge between church and theology which, perhaps, is not as strong in Estonian society as it should be. Furthermore, our task is to make this connection visible, to strengthen and develop it.

The viewpoint of a theologian – to speak as a theologian – is the starting point for this connection. Theological standpoint is not the one that includes, therefore discusses, only some or one certain part of the world (that is related to religion) but it is the one which discusses everything or anything through theological perspective. Church & Theology involves a large variety of topics because theology or a theologian must relate to any aspect of life. We provide the platform where to speak out loud and to relate to the world as a theologian. It is relevant to do it publicly for it, hopefully, encourages the readers themselves to do it as well, it gives an additional place for the church to communicate itself and to make itself to be heard and it provides in the society a meeting point for theologians and the ones who do not defines themselves as such in order to find the common part, common interest and common way for communication.

 

Editorial board

Church & Theology is managed by 14 people.

Katri Aaslav-Tepandi (1965)

Kreet Aun (1969) Master of Arts from Tartu University faculty of philosophy, Master’s student of Christian Cultural History at Theological Institute of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, licensed supervisor, trainer and bibliodrama leader, member of Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Anne Burghardt (1975)

Karin Kallas (1992) Master’s student of theology in Tallinn. Has studied theology in University of Tartu, Jewish theology in Paideia (Stockholm) and Christian theology in Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet (Oslo).

Kerstin Kask (1973)

Annika Laats (1970)

Jaan Lahe (1971) doctor theologiae, Associate Professor in Cultural and Religious Studies at the University of Tallinn, assistant pastor at the Maarja Maglaleena congregation in Mustamäe of Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Kadri Lääs (1975) BA in Theology (MA qualification), member of Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Orenti Kampus (1973)

Ergo Naab (1971)

Urmas Nõmmik (1975) doctor theologiae, Associate Professor in Old Testament and Semitic Studies at the University of Tartu, member of Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Johann-Christian Põder (1977)

Thomas-Andreas Põder (1976) doctor theologiae, ordained as a priest of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Professor of Systematic Theology at the Institute of Theology of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (Tallinn), Lecturer of Philosophy of Religion at the University of Tartu, member of the Council of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe.

Kristiina Vaiksalu (1986) Master of Arts in Theology, member of Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

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