2. Apocalypse Now - Does 9/11 Mark an Epochal Boundary?
Volker Küster [+]
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Prof. Küster explores the interconfessional, intercultural and interreligious dimensions of Christian faith by employing methods such as hermeneutics, aesthetics, communication theory, postcolonial critic and globalization theory. Perspectives of culture, religion, race, class, gender and inclusion intersect in this multi-axial approach. His research in contextual and intercultural theology evolves along two lines: dialog, conflict and reconciliation and visual art and religion.
He is the author of: Theologie im Kontext. Zugleich ein Versuch über die Minjung-Theologie, 1995; Jesus und das Volk im Markusevangelium. Ein Beitrag zum interkulturellen Gespräch in der Exegese, 1996 (Korean 2006); The Many Faces of Jesus Christ, 2001 (German 1999; Dutch 2012; Indonesian 2014); God/Terreur. Een Tweeluik, 2008 (German 2009); A Protestant Theology of Passion. Korean Minjung Theology revisited, 2010; Einleitung in die Interkulturelle Theologie, 2011;Zwischen Pancasila und Fundamentalismus. Christliche Kunst in Indonesien, 2016. Series Editor: contact/zone. Explorations in Intercultural Theology (EVA Leipzig); Theologische Interventionen (Kohlhammer Stuttgart).
The first section contrasts works of art that address violence and terror of 9/11 or in the Muslim world with the images of 9/11 itself. Next to the Chilean born Alfredo Jaar and the German of Jewish decent Rebekka Horn with Walid Raad and Shirin Neshat also two artists with Arab Muslim migratory background are introduced. Literary Susan Sontag, Toni Morrison and Arundhati Roy have their say. From this comparative approach three ethical criteria emerge: vision, distance and unscathedness. 9/11 does not mark the beginning of a new era, but has become the symbol of the repercussions of globalization, that has been triggered by the collapse of the bipolar world order, the extension of neo-liberal consumer capitalism and the compression of the world through the new communication technologies. The three criteria also apply to the conflicting images of God. The author points to the justice and compassion of God, in which the victims may feel safe and secure against all ambiguity of human images of God.