Ernst Troeltsch: Political Ethics and Comparative Religions

  • Paul S. Chung


This chapter is a study of public theory of religion and ethics in Troeltsch’s historicism and comparative study of world religions. Unlike Weber, Troeltsch did not find an interest in critical theory and political theology. I re-examine Troeltsch’s social ethical theology and historical, critical method for the correlation model for political theology and comparative study of religions. Troeltsch in the European modernist framework can be a potential pioneer for breaking through a path of multiple modernities, which can be found in his comparative study of religions. His Christian sociology can be compared to Weber’s sociology, and his evaluation of Calvinist ethics and social humanism is differentiated from Weber. However, his limitation does not go unnoticed. For the correlation between critical theory and political theology, Troeltsch’s historical, critical method can be critically renewed with attention to hermeneutical theory (Gadamer) and the sociology of lifeworld (Habermas) for critical social ethics, religious humanism, and alternative modernities.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul S. Chung
    • 1
  1. 1.Lutheran School of Theology at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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