FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANT PEACE ETHICS IN THE GERMAN
CONTEXT S. 6
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND ON WAR AND PEACE S. 19
ON THE PATH OF PEACE
AN INSIGHT INTO THE EKD PEACE ETHICS WORKSHOP S. 32
EBERHARD MARTIN PAUSCH
DEVELOPING POLICIES AT TIMES OF WAR:
A CHURCH OF ENGLAND PERSPECTIVE S. 39
PEACEMAKING ACTIVITIES IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND S. 44
THE FIRST ALEXANDRIA DECLARATION OF THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS
OF THE HOLY LAND S. 49 A NEW YEAR DECLARATION OF FAITH LEADERS IN COVENTRY S. 50 AN EXCERPT FROM:
EVALUATING THE THREAT OF MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAQ
A SUBMISSION BY THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
FOREIGN AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE'S ONGOING INQUIRY INTO THE
WAR OF TERRORISM S. 51 PEACE ETHICS ON PROBATION
INTERIM RESULTS (2001)
BY THE COUNCIL OF THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH
IN GERMANY (EKD) S. 59
ECUMENICAL SERVICE IN THE CONCILIAR PROCESS
SLIDE PRESENTATION ANTHEA BETHGE S. 76
A Summary of the Conference
"How the Churches In Germany and England Contribute To Ethical Decision-Making"
organized by the EKD, Church of England and Evangelische Sozialakademie Friedewald
28. - 31. August 2003 in Schloss Friedewald
German Co-Secretary of the Meissen Commissio
With the Meissen Declaration of 1991 the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and the Church of England (CofE) have committed themselves "to share a common life and mission" and "to take all possible steps to closer fellowship in as many areas of Christian life and witness as possible".
After the four theological conferences in Berlin (1995), West Wickham (1998), Springe (1999) and Cheltenham (2001) which focussed mainly on ecclesiological issues an Anglo-German conference on peace ethics took place at the request of the Meissen Commission (Joint sponsoring body of EKD and CofE) in the Evangelische Sozialakademie Schloss Friedewald on 28 - 31 August 2003. Approximatively 30 participants from Germany and England responded to the EKD's invitation to a study on the churches' contribution to ethical decision-making as illustrated by the most recent statements of the EKD and the CofE on military intervention and peace-keeping.
A presentation of the current principles and guide-lines for Germany's foreign policy set the frame of reference for a discussion of the churches' statements on war and peace. The German diplomat Martin Eberts, theologian and historian by training, and a member of the Central Planning Group of the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin presented policies of crisis prevention, conflict solution and peace consolidation as the principal elements of German foreign policy. He described the international framework (NATO, UNO, EU) in which these policies are implemented. Peace-keeping which includes an active concern for the respect of human rights was described as the leading principle of German foreign policy. This has led to the creation of a special working group for the dialogue with the Islamic world in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001.
The ethical contributions of the churches were studied under three aspects:
1. The fundamental ethical statements on the issue of war and peace from the perspectives of Protestant and Anglican theology with reference to their respective national context
Papers were presented by Professor Nigel Biggar, Leeds University and Dr. Michael Haspel, Marburg University.
2. The EKD's and the Church of England's method for developing policies and issuing official statements on Public Affairs Issues
Papers were presented by OKR Dr. Eberhard Pausch, Secretary of the EKD Commission for Public Responsibility and by Dr. Charles Reed, Public Affairs Unit of the Church of England.
Papers were presented by the Bishop of Coventry, The Rt. Revd. Colin Bennetts on the Ministry of Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral and by Dr. Anthea Bethge on the Ecumenical Peace Service-Shalom-diaconate).
The Revd. Frank Dieter Fischbach, the Rt. Revd. Colin Bennetts, OKR Paul Oppenheim and Dr. Anthea Bethge (from left to right)
Results and Conclusions
The conference made evident that very little is known in our churches of the other church's ethical tradition and that there is only a very superficial knowledge concerning each others views on peace ethics in particular. Theological conversations between the EKD and the Church of England on the subject of their different traditions and methods in the field of ethics are therefore just as necessary as the ongoing discussion on ecclesiological themes.
It became clear that with regard to a concrete political situation the Church of England reached nearly the same conclusions on the basis of the traditional Just War criteria as the EKD did with the newer concept of Just Peace.
It also became clear that the criterion of ultima ratio which leaves a certain scope for the possibility of military intervention within the EKD's concept of peace ethics could be further developed and specified with the help of similar considerations in the Anglican tradition.
It was noted that much greater significance was attached to the concept of national sovereignty in the Church of England's ethical thinking than it would ever be in any statement by the German churches. The significance of international commitments and the trans-national frame of reference for any action in the field of peace and security needs further common reflection.
The discussion on the different ethical approaches made apparent a difference in the theological appraisal of guilt. While the Anglican Anglo-Saxon tradition admits the possibility of an ethically responsible action without guilt as in the case of a Just War, the Lutheran approach seems to exclude the possibility of acting without guilt in warfare.
The participants recommended that both churches should engage in further studies towards a doctrine of Just Peace which should take into consideration the recent Anglo-Saxon research on Just War criteria. A common ethical statement on the issue of war and peace could be a valuable contribution towards a common position of the European churches on peace ethics in the context of the Conference of European Churches (CEC).