Revista Studii Teologice


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Teologia socială ortodoxă în contextul european actual. Contribuţia răsăriteană la o cultură a valorilor" // "Orthodox Social Theology in the Current European Context. The Eastern Contribution to a Culture of Values

Autor(i): Radu Preda
In our country, the formula of Orthodox Social Theology started to compel recognition only with the structural homogenizing of public academic education system, to which belong the Faculties of Orthodox Theology, by enacting the Bologna Declaration of 19th June, 1999. This structural reform has entailed the obligation for the Romanian academic theology, to specify its proper instruments in the case of double specialization. Arguing in favour of the abolition of double specializations, as they existed until recently, the Bologna system makes it impossible for the Theology- Social Assistance to retain this title, that is to be a mere juxtaposition of two core disciplines belonging to two different faculties. This led to the formula of a section and, at the same time, a new discipline: Social Theology.
Thus Social Theology acquires a new horizon to provide its own theological discourse. On the other hand, this presupposes taking Social Theology out of the exclusive sphere of philantropy as assistance to the needy, and restoring it to the relationship with other disciplines belonging to the public realm. The subject-matter of Social Theology has been supplanted by Moral Theology, diverted, however, from its spiritual role by the intrusion of the social element, which was though not seconded by its peculiar criteria of interpretation; therefore it degenerates into moralism, an epitome of the Christian’s inadaptation to the world and an essential reason for discouraging any missionary zeal.
In the Moral Theology textbook for theological seminaries, the chapter on Special Ethics comprises a section broaching “Social Ethics”, which concludes by considering the conception on labour and material goods, as well as Christians’ commitment to nature. On the one hand, the very placing of these preoccupations next to those pertaining to the General Ethics chapter (the Christian family, a Christian’s duties to his homeland, to state and authorities, patriotism, community goods, a Christian’s moral obligations to the Church and spiritual progress in Christian sense) is questionable. On the other hand, this implies an almost perfect synonymy between a Christian’s moral obligations to the State and to the Church, thus failing to consider the possibility that due to the faith it professes, the Church might have a different stance, it might oppose the erroneous historical course of events and try to correct it with its peculiar means.
Starting from the concerns of modern society, a first issue to be raised by Social Theology should broach the effects of the globalization of labour force and capital markets. Whereas Western Europe exports technology and fast-moving consumer goods, Eastern Europe exports human material. The exchange is in no way advantageous for all parties involved. The labour force migration from East and South to West and North, a phenomenon that affects us directly (see the so-called “strawberry pickers”), generates not only a transfer of welfare, which is an instrumental determinant of the economic growth in the emergent countries, but also entails and encourages severe mutations at personal level: broken families, children and elderly persons abandoned at home, exposure to the risk of being exploited or underpaid, of working in extreme conditions, without any health insurance or political and civic rights.
For countries like Romania, the ascending trendline of economic emigration is a clear indicator of the delay in operating reforms in our country after the demise of communism, which resulted in a large discrepancy between us and the other states which acceeded to the EU only shortly before Romania. A second matter of concern is ecology. On 2 February, 2007, the UNO report on global warming was released in Paris. A nation’s degree of civilization begins to be assessed depending on its ecologic awareness. Confronted with such a major preoccupation, traditional Churches and denominations emphasize that a central place in the Christian worldview is held by the creature-Creator relationship.
Bioethics is a third modern concern. The anthropological revolution we witness, gradually identifies not only man’s genetic map, but also defines man by merely equating him with alterable biologic matter, perfectible and liable to be transmitted even from one regnum to another. Man loses his unique character as early as the inception of life, the decision whether or not the embryo is a person, with all due rights, being made according to the criteria of an autonomous rationality.

Pagini: 95-111