In the current debates about the relationship of state and religion,
the symbol of the cross has not been able to keep out of the headlines.
On a political, legal as well as cultural level there continue to
be disputes that cannot be resolved by merely referring to the
Christian tradition. On the contrary: the controversial discussions
challenge not only the Christian Churches, but also academic theology
with its various disciplines. From the perspective of OT scholarship,
and based on Isa 53,3 an aspect is to be identified which has
hitherto not been taken sufficiently into account when clarifying the
values surrounding the cross.
Prior to this, several examples taken from the social debate
will serve to illustrate to what an extent the Christian theology is
challenged by it. The function of theological scholarship is, after all,
not only or primarily to provide ecclesiastical self-reassurance, but
also to inject the values of its own religious tradition into the free
social discourse, and thus, in the sense of Habermas, to discursively
fluidise them – not to dilute them!