Dr. Gebhard Fürst

Dr. Gebhard Fürst

Bishop of the diocese Rottenburg-Stuttgart



 

As bishop of the diocese Rottenburg-Stuttgart I’m sending you my warm regards for this year‘s congress in Stuttgart!

Following “Justice“ and “Truth“, the topics of the past congresses, this third congress of „Christ und Jurist” is titled “Freedom“. Truth, justice, and freedom – for Anselm of Canterbury, one of the most famous philosophers and theologians of the Early Scholasticism, this trio is a necessary premiss for the knowledge of God. Freedom, justice, and truth are prerequisites for thinking about and imagining God.  Anselm’s considerations show a special connection to the Gospel of John, in which truth and freedom are expressly tied together: „If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.“ (John 8:31f.)

According to the Judeo-Christian worldview, freedom is a special expression of the fact that man was made in the image of God. The Apostle Paul had exactly this God-likeness  in mind when he wrote in the epistle to the Galatians – considered the „Magna Charta“ of Christian freedom among the apostolic letters – „You were called to freedom. The entire law is summed in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself.“ (Galatians 5:13f.). These words strike at the heart of the modern controversy about the term and the exercise of freedom.

Without the awareness of freedom, there is no responsibility, and hence no self-determined action. Freedom is therefore a fundamental value of our society which needs to be protected and preserved. Freedom is a constitutional right. At the beginning of the German Federal Constitution it says: “The freedom of the person is inviolable.” (Grundgesetz Art. 2, Sec. 2). To protect, to preserve, and also to tap the full potential of this inviolable freedom is our special duty as people in a society founded on Christian values, on the underlying Christian view of man – acknowledging man as God’s creation and as made in the image of God.  

I am very glad that the initiative “Christ and Jurist” has chosen the challenging topic of „freedom“ for its third congress. For this event I wish you a good congress, fruitful findings, and God’s blessing for all organizers and participants!