Journal index

Makkai Péter263 -- 277

In the current study we present the conclusions of a research conducted in 2012 investigating the attitude of Reformed communities in Sf. Gheorghe towards people with disabilities. It is obvious that Reformed congregations are insufficiently informed about the situation and the possibilities of people living with disabilities. Disabled people are absent from the congregations and their integration into the community is still a problem to be solved. By presenting the current regrettable situation, we would like to sensitise the Reformed congregations and en-courage them to take initiatives for the amelioration of the situation.

Református Szemle 107.3 (2014)Research articlePractical theology
Kolumbán Vilmos József432 -- 444

I am aware that József Benkő’s manifold and diversified work cannot be summarised in a few pages without omissions. I have presented only the events through which this son of Erdővidék, who had never studied at a foreign academy, became internationally famous as a domidoctus. He has proven that, if endowed with the necessary perseverance, respect for work and humility as a scientist, one can become a well-known scholar living even in areas as remote as Erdővidék.

Református Szemle 107.4 (2014)Research articleChurch history
Fazakas Sándor657 -- 677

Nach einem Vierteljahrhundert seit den gesellschaftlich-politischen Umwälzungen Ost- Mittel-Europas im Jahre 1989 sind die ungarischsprachigen reformierten Kirchen der Region immer noch vor die Frage gestellt: Mit welchen weitreichenden Konsequenzen ist zu rechnen, wenn die Verantwortung für die Geschichte und für die moralisch-sittliche Schuld erwähnt wird? Eine Reduktion der Schuldfrage auf die Feststellung, dass Kirchenleitende, Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer bzw. kirchliche Mitarbeiter zu ihren persönlichen Taten (d.h. geheime Zusammenarbeit mit der Staatsmacht) und Versäumnissen stehen sollten, wird an sich der Sache nicht gerecht. Einerseits wird in dieser Studie gezeigt, warum eine solche Zusammenarbeit mit Repressionsorganen eines totalitären Staats als theologisch absurd und damit als Schuld zu betrachten sei. Andererseits wird betont, dass Versagen und Schuld nicht nur dort zu finden sind, wo man aus Furcht und Angst vor repressiven Maßnahmen oder aus erhofftem Eigennutz auf Protest, Fürsprache für Entrechtete, auf Kritik am politischen Regime oder an den eigenen kirchenpolitischen Kompromissen verzichtete, sondern auch dort, wo man die gesellschaftliche Realität verengt wahrnahm und auf eine theologisch-kritische Analyse dieser Wirklichkeit verzichtete. Verantwortlich sind ein Christ und die Kirche nicht nur für ihre Taten, sondern auch für ihre Sicht der Wirklichkeit, ja für ihre Theologie. Als Folge dieser theologischen Orientierungskrise blieb für die Kirche entweder eine unkritische Bejahung bzw. Begeisterung für das politischgesellschaftliche Sein der Wirklichkeit oder eine Reihe von politisch-ethischen und theologischen Zugeständnissen, um eventuell Schlimmerem vorzubeugen. Dieser Zusammenhang von anscheinend harmlosen Zugeständnissen, Kompromissen oder Verzichten auf theologische Deutungen der Wirklichkeit – ganz zu schweigen vom Mangel an gelebter Solidarität – hat zur persönlichen Schuldverstrickung des Einzelnen geführt. Nach der systemtheoretischen bzw. sozial-theologischen Darstellung der Schuld in der Vergangenheit bietet die Studie schließlich einige Kriterien für einen adäquaten Umgang mit der Vergangenheit im kirchlichen und gesellschaftlichen Raum: Die ethische Dimension des Aufarbeitungsprozesses, die Förderung einer Kultur des Mitleidens, die zwangsfreie Ermöglichung der Erinnerung und die Komplementarität der politisch-rechtlichen und religiös-moralischen Dimensionen der Versöhnung sollten dafür sorgen, dass nicht weitere Verletzungen (als „zweite oder dritte Schuld”) das Miteinander der Generationen trüben, sondern dass ein freies, friedliches und der historischen Wahrheit verpflichtetes Zusammenleben ermöglicht wird.

Református Szemle 107.6 (2014)Research articleSystematic theology
Magyar Balázs Dávid49 -- 78

In the early period of the Reformation, this multifaceted radical movement divided the Protestantism into two theological camps. To magisterial reformers (Zwingly, Luther, Calvin), the task of the reformation was not only to remove impurities but to maintain continuity. Anabaptist reformers, on the other hand, saw the task of the reformation as a necessity for a new church modelled not on Catholicism before Boniface (as Luther considered) but on the church before Constantine, or even on the New Testament.

Református Szemle 107.1 (2014)Research articleSystematic theology
Zalatnay István160 -- 168

The first from the altogether three parts essay offers an analysis of the structure and inner logical dynamism of the Heidelberg Catechism, the symbolic document of the Re-formed church. The analysis demonstrates in a series of four concentric circles, how each of these represents a certain historically verifiable perception of the Christian faith.The first and one represents an individualistic approach, understood as the key conceptof the then beginning modernity, based on the soteriological logic of my sin, my salvation and my gratefulness. The second one introduces the essence of the theological “correction” by the Reformation, emphasising grace and faith as the determining factors. The third one is the Apostolic Creed with its clear Trinitarian, ie. theological and ontological structure. The fourth one is a simple presentation of the core of the holy history, the Christ-event. The paper understands the Catechism as a grandiose attempt to lead the individually centred man back to God on a road beginning from the first and outermost circle to the last one, so to say to the feet of Christ.

Református Szemle 107.2 (2014)Research articleChurch history, Hymnology
Makkai Péter481 -- 503

The integration of people with disabilities is one of the often emerging issues on various forums of the modern democratic society. Governments, local authorities, churches and civil society try to do their best in order to integrate people with disabilities within the educational system, cultural and social life, as well as employment. In the public opinion these efforts are linked with the modern concept of democratic values, equal opportunities and human dignity. It is interesting to see how important the role of disability was in the relationship with the Lord in the narratives about the patriarchs and the elected people of Israel. In the present study we follow the trace the stories of the patriarchs and prophets to find out how disability influenced their life and election.

Református Szemle 107.5 (2014)Research articleOld Testament, Spirituality
Somogyi Botond573 -- 576Református Szemle 107.5 (2014)ReviewPractical theology, Spirituality
Jenei Péter247 -- 262

In Israel’s theological understanding the idea that YHWH is a God, who makes promises, is a rather central element. Among the numerous promises of YHWH there is none as influential to Israel’s self-understanding as the promise of the occupation of the land of Canaan. The theme of the Promised Land is prominent from the beginning to the end of the Old Testament theological thought. The development of the theology of the Promised Land in the Old Testament – from promise to inheritance and from losing to regaining it – raises the relevant question: In what sense was the promise of the Land fulfilled in the Old Testament? Or to put it another way: In what sense did the ancient Israelites inherit the Promised Land? The purpose of this paper is to study the topic of the promise of the Land from a historical, source-critical point of view, in order to understand the development and changing theological perspectives in this central theological theme of the Old Testament.

Református Szemle 107.3 (2014)Research articleOld Testament
Simon János414 -- 430

After World War II many questions were raised by the „generation of sons” to their fathers regarding the war. There was an urgent need to cope with the past somehow. In this past elaboration the voice of the victims was worth to listen to and forgiveness of the aggressors became a major question of the society. This article was born from a study of western forgiveness-discussions and presents the Hungarian forgiveness-ethos after the end of the Great War and the big changes of 1989. More precisely it presents some of the reasons why the subject of forgiveness was lacking in Hungarian reformed theology. Shortly after the trauma of the Great War pax sovietica arrived. There was no time to distance oneself enough from the harms of the previous period and to raise and develop a public discussion on subjects like forgiveness and reconciliation because new traumas had to be faced.There was no time to cope with the past of the war, and there was no possibility (because it was not allowed) to speak out those harms until the end of the communist regime.Due to the special geopolitical situation of Eastern Europe, the isolation from western theology and with country-borders divided, Hungarian reformed theology has developed into two different directions. In Hungary the “theology of the serving church” became the unison voice of the church, while in Transylvania, building on the foundation of “new reformation theology”, a special Word-theology was born and developed into a pan-homiletic direction. Homiletics became the crown of theological studies, and every study of theology (historical, biblical, systematic and practical) had to offer some results for preaching.

Református Szemle 107.4 (2014)Research articleSystematic theology
Tunyogi Lehel643 -- 656

This article presents the Hungarian translation of one of Walter Brueggemann’s sermons with a short analysis. The effectiveness of Brueggemann’s preaching is strongly related with the role that he assigns to preaching: he does not merely explain the word and apply its message to the contemporary world by means of metaphors, but Brueggemann also uses a problematizing type of exposition.

Református Szemle 107.6 (2014)Research articlePractical theology
Adorjáni Zoltán109 -- 116

25. Szegedi Nemzetközi Biblikus Konferencia, Coetus Theologorum, A Kolozsvári Protestáns Teológia konferenciája a Heidelbergi Káté 450 éves jubileuma alkalmából Díszdoktorkat avattak a Debreceni Református Hittudományi Egyetemen, A Kolozsvári Protestáns Teológia és a Gyulafehérvári Római Katolikus Kar és Papnevelő Intézet tanárainak szimpóziuma

Református Szemle 107.1 (2014)ReportVarious
Graaf G. Henk van de334 -- 344

In the year 1859 the French Alphonse Esquiros made this remark in his itinerary: “Holland is one of the most religious countries of the earth; the Bible is really popular there.” In my lecture I outline the history of the personal and family reading of the Bible in the Netherlands during the last 5 centuries, including the current situation.Notable new research showed that in the Late Middle Ages in urban regions, in Holland as well, the Bible was spread in the national languages in wide circles of the society and was read among literate laymen. The Reformation built on this broadly recognisable interest or even hunger for the knowledge of the Bible. With the help of the newly discovered technique of printing and school teaching, and due to the fundamental reorientation of religious life through the Reformation – the Christian faith having only one source: the Bible – an intensive personal and family reading of the Bible began.

Református Szemle 107.3 (2014)Research articleChurch history
Adorjáni Zoltán36 -- 48

Amióta bekövetkezett az 1989-es fordulat és ezzel kétségtelenül elkezdődött erdélyi és királyhágómelléki egyházkerületünk történelmének újabb szakasza, azóta egyre többet beszélünk egyházi jövőképünk szükségességéről a jócskán megváltozott és gyors ütemben folyton változó politikai, gazdasági és szociológiai viszonyok láttán. De vajon mi ösztönöz egyházi jövőképünk megrajzolására? Ezt a kérdést azért kell feltennünk, mert egyházi jövőképünk aszerint rajzolódik meg, hogy mi az ösztönzés forrása.

Református Szemle 107.1 (2014)Research articlePractical theology
Lévai Attila149 -- 159

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the use of catechisms in the history of the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia. On the occasion of the 450th jubilee of the Heidelberg Catechism, this paper describes – without aiming to completeness – how these writings have been used in teaching from 1920 to the present day.

Református Szemle 107.2 (2014)Research articleChurch history
Papp Zsolt403 -- 413

Reinhold Niebuhr’s view about the ethics of Jesus is a classic presentation of the tension between the love ethic and the hard requirements of relative justice in the power conflicts of a sinful world. His theory could be a guide for Christians in our society today, tomorrow and for many years to come.

Református Szemle 107.4 (2014)Research articleSystematic theology
Kató Szabolcs Ferencz605 -- 642

In der Psalmenforschung stößt man auf die Bezeichnung der Rachepsalmen. Jedoch muss klargestellt werden, dass diese Bezeichnung keine gattungskritische Einordnung darstellt. Sie steht für eine thematische Gruppierung derjenigen Psalmen, in denen das Thema der Rache und Vergeltung vorkommt und die die Vorstellung mit gewaltigen Bildern assoziieren. Auf die-se Weise werden auch solche Stücke des Psalters als Rachepsalmen eingeordnet, die die Wurzel נקם gar nicht verwenden. In der vorliegenden Studie werde ich nach einer kurzen Skizzierung der Semantik der atl. Rache überprüfen, inwiefern die Rache als theologischer Hintergrund der sog. Rachepsalmen zu verstehen ist, insbesondere bei Psalmen, bei denen die Wurzel נקם nicht auftaucht. Unter den Belegen von נקם findet man solche Passagen, die eine gesteigerte emotionale Ladung der Rache nahelegen und zeigen, dass in dem Vorgang der Rache solche Gefühle wie Eifer, Zorn, Grimm mit hineinspielen. Dieser emotionale Überschuss des Verbes kann zusammen mit dem mythischen, altorientalischen Bild des Feindes der Schlüssel zum Verstehen dieser Psalmen sein, in dem die Rachepsalmen einen sicheren Ort für das Ausleben der Gefühle und den Ruf nach Gerechtigkeit darstellen: das Gespräch mit Gott. Die Einzelexegese der Rachepsalmen soll aufzeigen, dass diese bitteren Gebete für Gerechtigkeit in einem engen Zusammenhang mit dem Talio-Prinzip stehen und die gewaltigen Bilder dessen Durchsetzung darstellen, wobei die Bilder selbst als Elemente der Dichtung und der mythischen Rede über den Feind aufzufassen sind.

Református Szemle 107.6 (2014)Research articleOld Testament
Hermán M. János303 -- 333

This sermon of the famous professor, based on the text of John 14:1, is hardly familiar for readers of Hungarian theological literature. However, it is known that a Hungarian summary was made at the time the sermon was held, and once published, an exact translation of the German text was made. Our aim is to review Barth’s visit to Oradea (Nagyvárad) on 7–8 October 1936, to revisit the above mentioned sermon, as well as the short interview with Barth that was published in one of the local newspapers at that time. This interview reflects Barth’s prophetic vision: Bolshevism and fascism must retreat at the sight of Christian faith. There is no trace of this conversation in the Barth-bibliographies, although this interview is still crucial,even after 78 years.

Református Szemle 107.3 (2014)Research articleSystematic theology, Church history
Balogh Béla453 -- 455Református Szemle 107.4 (2014)ReviewOld Testament, New Testament
Adorjáni Zoltán705 -- 714Református Szemle 107.6 (2014)Research articleChurch history, Practical theology
Bardócz-Tódor András29 -- 35

The astronomical part of the Ethiopian Book of Enoch refers to an interesting phenomenon, namely the length of the longest day of the year. This data is particularly significant in localising this astronomical observation on the world map. Since the length of the year’s longest day depends on geographical latitude, this data could hint at the latitude of the place, i.e. the approximate geographical location where the Book of Enoch may have been composed. A closer analysis of this reference surprisingly reveals that this place should be looked for somewhere near to latitude 50○, that is far to the north from Palestine.

Református Szemle 107.1 (2014)Research articleOld Testament, Judaica
Pálfi József133 -- 148

Our chronological study reflects on how the Reformed typography of Nagyvárad, being affiliated with the Reformed Church, enriched our catechism bibliography. In this respect, there were four remarkable periods in the printing history of Nagyvárad city. This paper deals with (1) the Hoffhalter era in the mid-16th century, (2) the period of Ábrahám Szenczi Kertész, between 1640 and 1660, (3) the first half of the 20th century, the Károly Béres era, and (4) the period since 1990.

Református Szemle 107.2 (2014)Research articleChurch history
Buzogány Dezső79 -- 83

The Communist Party has always been antagonistic to the Churches, having different ideology. The main purpose of the Communist regime after the Second World War was the complete annihilation of all kinds of Churches. This plan was to be carried out by the Secret Police, called the Securitate. In 1960, the two bishops of the two Hungarian Reformed Church Districts in Romania passed away. This was a major opportunity for the Securitate to unify the two Church Districts as a first step, and to waste away the Church, as the second step. They intended to carry out this plan by in-stalling their loyal informers in the highest church position of the unified church. The plan was abandoned after two new bishops were elected. In the Transylvanian Reformed Church District, Nagy Gyula became the bishop. He had had no contact at all with the Securitate before his nominalization; he considered himself a second rank person and not good enough in fulfilling the highest position.

Református Szemle 107.1 (2014)Research articleChurch history
Buzogány Dezső389 -- 402

In our Church ecclesiastical elections are organised once every six year. At the level of church district the bishop, at the level of the dioceses the person and functionality of the dean are crucial. Therefore, not only the pastors and deacons should be given special training but also the ecclesiastical superiors. The leaders are often unsuitable for the position, which can have very damaging consequences. The temptation of power and money can be dangerous. We must seek to ensure that the Spirit of God guides the church elections.

Református Szemle 107.4 (2014)Research articlePractical theology
Hermán M. János532 -- 569

This study discusses the connections between Kálmán Sass (1904–1958) and the Welti family during the communism in Romania. Kálmán Sass served as a Reformed pastor in Mezőtelegd (1933–1936) and Érmihályfalva (1936–1957). The recently discovered autobiography of Sass reveals the new circumstances from 1942 onwards, and helps to rethink misinterpreted turns in the life and oeuvre of the martyr pastor. During the communist dictatorship in Romania his books and essays were withdrawn from libraries, his name was not even allowed to be mentioned. The bibliography in this study includes various articles of Sass, which disclose his theological and political thinking as a representative of a generation that had had the opportunity to study in Basel, Strasburg and Zürich. The show trial of Kálmán Sass and other anti-communists throughout Partium, following the 1956 Revolution of Hungary is elaborated upon. Sass was executed at Szamosújvár (Gherla, Romania) on December 2, 1958. He has never been rehabilitated. Historian Zoltán Tófalvi concludes: “Of the assassinations, atrocities and wholesale reprisals – ordered by the communist party after the Second World War – we have only piecemeal knowledge in which there are large gaps even now. Many do not even believe that the dictatorship’s executioners carried all this out with such brutality and sadistic pleasure”. The Welti family in Basel and the theological relations in Switzerland between the two world wars were of great importance. In the famous book of Vilmos Balaskó, Life under the ground, we find some information about the Welti family. The discovery of the notebook of Bertha Welti provides us with new and valuable information regarding the church’s history in Eastern Europe.

Református Szemle 107.5 (2014)Research articleChurch history
Magyar Balázs Dávid278 -- 302

This paper focuses on the early period of the reformer’s ministration, who was a very learned teacher, pastor and theologian at Geneva and Strasbourg. In these places he implemented his theological and ethical convictions against the destructive works of the Anabaptist radicals. Due to the persistently growing popularity of their heretical ideas concerning Christian baptism, church discipline, the Lord’s Supper, separation from the world, civil authority, and oaths, after the publication of his so called Psychopannychia (1534) and the Institutes (1536), Calvin had to continue his polemic fight against the left wing of the reformation. It is by no means surprising that Calvin’s works of 1537–1544 – for instance The Genevan Confession and Catechism,The Articles and the Brief Instruction for Arming all the Good Faithful against the Errors of the Common Sect of the Anabaptists – are full of religious and moral refutations opposing those whose beliefs were based on the “hated” articles of Confessio Schlattensis.

Református Szemle 107.3 (2014)Research articleSystematic theology
Adorjáni Zoltán3 -- 10

Die erste Nummer der Reformierten Rundschau, die als offizielles Blatt von dem Siebenbürgischen Reformierten Kirchenbezirk herausgegeben wurde, war am 10. Januar 1908 erschienen. Die seit 100 Jahren fortlaufend erscheinenede Zeitschrift wollte von Anfang an die Aufgaben einer kirchlichen Presse erfüllen. Sie beschäftigte sich ausführlich mit der Vergangenheit des Kirchenbezirks,mit aktuellen Fragen und formte die kirchliche öffentliche Meinung.Sie diente als Mittel für die Sicherung der intellektuellen Verbindung zwischen jenen,die mit Wort und Schrift im Dienst der Kirche standen und hielt die Fackeln des Glaubens und Wissens aufrecht. Ab 1960 veröffentlichte die Reformierte Rundschau immer mehrere Studien. Heute ist sie schon das Forum der theologischen Tätigkeit und Forschung geworden.Zugleich widerspiegelt sie die wissenschaftliche Arbeit der mit der Kirche verbundenen reformierten Intelligenz Ihre Arbeit steht im Einklang mit den Zielsetzungen der ehemaligen Reformierten Rundschau.

Református Szemle 100.1 (2007)Research articleChurch history