Pluriel

University platform for research on Islam

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English

2018

Religious affiliation, belonging and apostasy : a case study of Christian and Moslem conceptions

Lecture of Dirk ANSORGE, at the PLURIEL second international Congress in Rome

Abstract

It is well known that in Christianity – particularly in the European mainline churches – religious affiliation primarily is not founded in belief, but in baptism. According to traditional Christian faith, baptism creates what theology calls a “character indelebilis”. This means that even in case of apostasy or faithlessness the unbeliever doesn’t cease being Christian. However, at least for Catholics the Second Vatican Council shed new light on the legitimacy of religious conversion by emphasizing the pivotal role of human conscience. The decision of a learned human conscience has to be respected even if it suggests leaving the church or if it leads to atheism. Therefore the paper will discuss the theological and juridical impact of renunciation from Christianity in order to compare it with Muslim conceptions of religious affiliation, renunciation, and apostasy. How can one conceive the relationship between juridical affiliation and the practice of belief, behaviour, and belonging?

Conférence de Dirk ANSORGE, au deuxième congrès international de PLURIEL à Rome

Résumé

Il est bien connu que dans le christianisme – en particulier dans les grandes églises européennes – l’appartenance religieuse n’est pas principalement fondée sur la croyance, mais sur le baptême. Selon la foi chrétienne traditionnelle, le baptême crée ce que la théologie appelle un character indelebilis. Cela signifie que même en cas d’apostasie ou d’infidélité, le non-croyant ne cesse pas d’être chrétien. Cependant, au moins pour les catholiques, le Concile Vatican II a apporté un éclairage nouveau sur la légitimité de la conversion religieuse en soulignant le rôle central de la conscience humaine. La décision d’une conscience humaine savante doit être respectée même si elle suggère de quitter l’église ou si elle conduit à l’athéisme.

Par conséquent, l’article traitera de l’impact théologique et juridique du renoncement au christianisme afin de le comparer aux conceptions musulmanes de l’appartenance religieuse, du renoncement et de l’apostasie. Comment concevoir le rapport entre l’affiliation juridique et la pratique de la croyance, du comportement et de l’appartenance ?

Titre original : “Religious affiliation, belonging and apostasy : a case study of Christian and Moslem conceptions”

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