Journal index

Kustár Zoltán477 -- 505

Der Aufsatz behandelt die theologischen, hermeneutischen und wissenschaftsgeschicht­lichen Grundfragen der Bibelexegese. Warum bedarf die Bibel einer Interpretation, und warum soll sie wissenschaftlich sein? Nach diesen Fragen wird die historisch-kritische Exegese defi­niert, sie als die weithin geeignetste Methode für die Auslegung von biblischen Texten aufge­zeigt und die Rolle der strukturalistischen, leser-zentrierten und adjektivischen Methoden auf das Feld der Homiletik zugewiesen. Nach der Klärung der Unterschiede zwischen Exegese und Predigt(schreiben) stellt der Aufsatz die theologischen Grundlagen einer positiven Beziehung zwischen historisch-kritischer Exegese und christlichem Glauben vor. Schlüsselwörter: Heilige Schrift, biblische Hermeneutik, Bibelexegese, Exegese des Alten Tes­taments, Exegetische Methodenlehre, Inspiration, Fehlbarkeit/Unfehlbarkeit der Schrift.

Református Szemle 109 / 5 (2016)Research articleOld Testament
Kulcsár Árpád506 -- 522

Before the Barthian theology questioning the significance of rhetorics for homiletics has come to influence Hungarian Reformed theological thinking, László Ravasz (1882—1975) had emphasised the importance of aesthetical experience in preaching. Decades long the influence of Karl Barth remained one of the most determining factors in the Hungarian Reformed preaching tradition. Nowadays when the theory of Gerhard Schulze about social experience is increasingly gaining acceptance in several domains of social sciences, the Hungarian reformed theological thinking is again interested in using rhetorics as a helpful tool for homiletics. In this study I search for the significance o f rhetorics for homiletics.

Református Szemle 109 / 5 (2016)Research articlePractical theology
Papp György523 -- 541

The closing part of this study presents the most important dichotomic and trichotomic anthropological models from the era of Reformation (Erasmus, Calvin, Bullinger, the Confessio Helvetica Posterior, the Heidelberg Catechism, István Szegedi Kis) and provides a synthesis of the anthropological view of 20th century theology (Karl Barth, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Oscar Cullmann, Jenő Sebestyén, István Török, Botond Gaál, and others). The conclusion to the historical presentation is followed by an inquiry into the possibilities to apply the results of the anthropological investigations to other fields of theology.
Keywords: theological anthropology, dichotomy, trichotomy, body, soul, spirit, Erasmus, Cal­ vin, Bullinger, Heidelberg Catechism, Barth, Pannenberg.

Református Szemle 109 / 5 (2016)Research articleSystematic theology
Gaal György542 -- 580

Antonina de Gerando descends on her father’s side from a French noble family, on her mother’s side from the famous Count Teleki family. In this second respect, she was the third educator following her grandmother’s sister (Teréz Brunswick) and her mother’s sister (Blanka Teleki). She studied in France and there she obtained her teacher’s degree. In 1873 she moved to Budapest, where she started to teach in private girls’ schools. In 1880 she was invited to head the newly opened Higher School for Girls from Cluj/Kolozsvár. She directed this school for 32 years. Originally the school was under the jurisdiction of the town council, being overtaken by the state in 1892. In 1900 it moved into the modern school building near the Central Park. All the daughters of the cultured Cluj/Kolozsvár families studied in this school. The beloved headmistress shared some particular ideas, like educating by love and not by using punishments. She got retired in 1912 and died in 1914.
This study presents de Gerando’s activity as a teacher, as the head of her school, her pedagogical ideas, as well the schoolbooks written by her (Mathematics, French, Latin, Music, Pedagogics, Housekeeping).
She also published many translations.

Református Szemle 109 / 5 (2016)Research articleChurch history
Fodor Ferenc613 -- 645

Am Beginn des Aufsatzes (1) wird der Begriff „Toleranz“ im kurzen geschichtlichen Kontext vorgelegt und Unterschied gemacht zwischen inhaltlicher und formaler Toleranz. Nachher wird die Toleranz in den Religionen des Alten Orients —im religionsgeschichtlichen Kontext —geschildert (2—3). Im folgenden Abschnitt (4) wird die heute als Toleranz verstandene zwischen­ menschliche Verhaltensweise vorgestellt. Im 5. Kapitel wird der Begriffunter dem Titel „Der Fremde in Israel,“ nachher (6) „Israel in der Fremde“ dargestellt. Im letzten Abschnitt (7) wird das Thema kurz zusammengefasst.

Református Szemle 109 / 6 (2016)Research articleOld Testament
Kulcsár Árpád646 -- 662

At the dawn of the 20th century, the young László Ravasz began to rethink the main principles of Hungarian Reformed homiletics. His program was basically stimulated by the so- called “value-theology”, inspired by the Neo-Kantian philosophy. In this paper I examine his homilethical method by analysing his Christmas sermons. I scrutinize the rhetorical situation, the chosen biblical texts, the structure, the content, and the illustrations of the sermons. I conclude that half century later, we can still learn from Ravasz’ views.

Református Szemle 109 / 6 (2016)Research articlePractical theology
Kozák Péter663 -- 690

Paul Tillich reinterpreted Christology along the lines of the method of correlation. We need to ask whether this gigantic enterprise has indeed succeeded in preserving Christianity in its original form. I attempt to prove that a significant discrepancy exists between orthodox and Tillichian theology, especially with respect to dealing with the issue of the historical Jesus, the use of ontological concepts and “incarnation”. I therefore set forth the following observations: 1. Tillich mistakenly sets the reality of faith against fides historica and restricts the latter to just one dimensionless point. 2. The ontological concepts employed by Tillich contain contradictions and are unable to adequately express the infinite, qualitative differences between Christ and other human beings. 3. Tillichian Christology misinterprets the dogma of Chalcedon and is a modern, ontological version of Nestorianism.

Református Szemle 109 / 6 (2016)Research articleSystematic theology
Dávid Gyula691 -- 705

After the death of Stalin the church policy of the communist states formerly belonging to the Soviet bloc began to change gradually. In 1955 Áron Márton, a Roman Catholic bishop sentenced to death, was released from prison, and many other priests, monks and ministers were freed. Hungarian Protestant churches in Romania were allowed to contact sister churches in Hungary and the world. Following a simplified administrative procedure for obtaining passports, people were allowed to travel abroad and build relationships. Romanian citizens became aware of the unease and dissatisfaction towards the political system in Hungary. The events of the 1956 Revolution were followed mostly through the radio, and Hungarians in Romania have openly expressed their sympathy, especially university students and students of theology. They openly opposed the official propaganda labelling the Hungarian uprising as counter-revolution. After the revolution in Hungary was suppressed, the Romanian state power also retaliated. In the first period the Hungarian clergy were mingled especially in other kind of political issues. Then, after 1958, several explicitly church oriented suits followed. Four lawsuits against 26 Protestant theological students, ministers and theology professors. In three so-called Bethanist-cases 21 ministers and church members were found guilty. 15 further church members were convicted in show trials, in many cases based on their attitude towards the 1956 Revolution. These trials were part of an anti-religious propaganda started in 1957, but in a larger context they were intended to intimidate the Hungarian ethnic people. They intended to create a context of fear, in which the communist power could take the initiative to liquidate the autonomous Hungarian university and undergraduate school system, and in which, by means of his own delegated church representatives, could intervene and control the church from within.

Református Szemle 109 / 6 (2016)Research articleChurch history
Geréb Zsolt710 -- 711Református Szemle 109 / 6 (2016)ReviewOld Testament, New Testament
Geréb Zsolt592 -- 598

In diesem Vortrag wollte ich das geistliche Profil der Reformierten Gemeinde Mócs (Mociu) zeichnen. Die Geschichte der Gemeinde zeigt, dass die Mitglieder der Kirchengemeinde An- fang des 20. Jahrhunderts ins Dorf Mociu eingezogen sind. Sie haben ihre religiöse Frömmigkeit und kulturelle Tradition von ihrer ersten Gemeinde mitgebracht. In ihrer neuen Gemeinschaft haben sie den reformierten Glauben und die ungarische Sprache vorgefunden. Diese zwei sind jetzt die Grundsteine ihrer Identität.

Református Szemle 112 / 5 (2019)Research articleOther, Spirituality
Máthé-Farkas Zoltán5 -- 54

This essay applies the method of semantic analysis for biblical metaphors. First it highlights the settled meanings of the lexemes of the metaphors under scrutiny. After establishing the sememes, the analysis focuses on the plain or hidden nominal predicative statement of the metaphor, namely only on the context of the tenor and vehicle, seeking for that conjunctive semes which can help us to understand the chosen metaphor. We can realise that the metaphor’s meaning is not definable, being imagined as a fuzzy set, where some semantic marks (or semes) are highlighted and others remain hidden. The larger context introduces other disjunctive semes too, not alluded to previously, thus enabling different connotations for metaphors.

Református Szemle 108 / 1 (2015)Research articleOld Testament, Practical theology
Busch Eberhard55 -- 63

Es gibt ein verbreitetes Bild von Calvin, wonach er ein harter, schroffer Typ gewesen ist. Es ist namentlich in Deutschland verbreitet. Aber stimmt dieses Bild? Jedenfalls kennen wir ihn noch nicht recht, wenn wir nicht seine Liebe des Gesangs kennen. Bei ihm war die Beziehung zur Musik höchst lebendig. Er kannte und schätzte die Musik seiner Zeit, die der Renaissance, und er schätzte sie so, dass ihm unter dem Hören die Tränen kamen.
Ihm war es ein erbaulicher Gedanke, dass nicht zuerst der Mensch, sondern dass vor ihm die ihn umgebende Kreatur singt und musiziert. Ob wir es wohl hören? Denn das zeigt uns: „Es will unser Herr in allen Sinnen uns erfreuen und erquicken.“ Und besonders durch das Ohr! Die Kreatur lässt sich hören, selbst wenn der Mensch stumm ist. Ja, sie ist für den Genfer Lehrer ein Vorbild, um mit einzustimmen.

Református Szemle 108 / 1 (2015)Research articleHymnology, Practical theology
Papp György64 -- 75

In this short paper we propose to present the teaching of the Bible concerning the love of our neighbours. Starting with Romans 13:10, where apostle Paul asserts that love is the fulfilling of the law, we analyse those biblical passages in which the traces of this topic can be found. We aim to show that both the Old and the New Testament highlights the importance of the love towards God and our neighbours. At the end of our survey we discuss this topic in the light of the threefold use of God’s Law.

Református Szemle 108 / 1 (2015)Research articleSystematic theology
Hermán M. János76 -- 85

The writings of Kálmán Sass (1904–1958) have never been systematically collected or studied. The Securitate (Romanian Secret Police) confiscated all of the writings of Kálmán Sass. For 30 years it was not even allowed to quote him, because the Romanian State censurate connected his works to the 1956 anti.Communist Revolution in Hungary. After his execution all properties of Sass were confiscated by the Romanian State. His family was deported and confined to house arrest (“domiciliu obligatoriu”) in Olaru. They were banished from the Romanian Partium far away to the Bărăgan. Kálmán Sass completed his theological studies at the universities of Kolozsvár (Cluj,Romania) and Basel (Switzerland). He left behind important writings on church history, Old Testament, pedagogy and cathechetics, confessions, as well as studies on political theology.The fate of Kálmán Sass and his writings illustrates well the typical history of (reverend)martyrs in Romania during the atheistic regime until 1989.

Református Szemle 108 / 1 (2015)Research articleChurch history
Simon János86 -- 96

Living in an era where major corporations are being found guilty of illegal accounting practices, churches have to pay more attention to tax-related issues. Paying taxes is not an option but a responsibility. Nonetheless due to the many interpretations of the Tax Code, there are cases when officials intentionally or unintentionally abuse it. The constructive role of the churches in Romanian society is recognised by the lawgiver by offering tax relief or recognising tax-free activities. In this article we aim to clarify tax regulations for the churches and to present possible cases for tax relief and tax-free activities in the Romanian context, discussing all tax types relevant for the church, like Real Estate Taxes, Value Added Taxes, sponsoring-related profit tax deductions, etc.

Református Szemle 108 / 1 (2015)Research articleOther
Koppándi Botond117 -- 136

This article aims to explore some interesting developments in the quest for the Historical Jesus during the late 20th century. After presenting the different theological viewpoints about who Jesus was, this study summarises the results and challenges of the liberal theological scholarship about Jesus’ personality. It draws attention to some significant portrayals of Jesus according to Marcus J. Borg, Dominic Crossan and Géza Vermes, and invites to accept the differences.

Református Szemle 108 / 2 (2015)Research articleNew Testament
Papp György137 -- 158

This article intends to present and evaluate the homiletical heritage of the great Hungarian representative of Puritanism, Pál Medgyesi. He wrote the first Hungarian manual on homiletics, entitled: Doce nos orare quin et praedicare. It is argued here that his method of writing a sermon presented in this manual provides a considerable support to improve the preaching of the Hungarian Reformed Church in the 21th century. This improvement is not to be achieved merely copying of his methodology but by the reflectively rethinking his theological-homiletical approach.

Református Szemle 108 / 2 (2015)Research articleChurch history, Practical theology
Székely József159 -- 179

Die Siebenbürgische Reformierte Kirche ist, trotz der Tatsache, dass sie sich zu synodalpresbyterialen Prinzipien bekennt, eine klerikale, pfarrerzentrierte Kirche. Deshalb ist es nicht eimal an nährend wahr, dass der Dienst des Pfarrers, des Presbyters und des Diakons gleich- rangig wäre, wie es in den Siebenbürgerischen Statuten festgestellt ist. Der Pfarrer, als repräsentative Leitungsperson, verfügt über Macht und Einfluss, auch wenn diese beiden nicht näher bestimmt werden können, obwohl in der Kirche die Quelle jeder Macht und Autorität allein Gott selbst ist. Man soll in der Kirche anstatt von „Macht“ und „Bevollmächtigung“ lieber über „Gottes Allmacht“ reden. In der Kirche ist Christus die gesetzgebende und regierende Macht. Die Kirche hat eine Pflicht: Christi Macht durch sich selber strahlen zu lassen. In die- sem Sinne ist sie keine regierende, sondern eine dienende Kirche. Der Pfarrer, der sich der Nachfolge Jesu verpflichtet hat, kann nur dann glaubwürdig seine Beauftragung vor Gott erfüllen, wenn er auf alle Machtansprüche verzichtet und mit opferbereiter Liebe dient.

Református Szemle 108 / 2 (2015)Research articlePractical theology
Magyar Balázs Dávid180 -- 215

Contemporaries of Calvin were less preoccupied with the Servetus-affair than modern researchers. Calvin is known to have taken care of the formal complaint and legal proceeding against Servetus. The evaluation of his person and role in Servetus’ death caused long-standing debates among the prominent representatives of the Hungarian Calvin researchers. For instance, Imre Révész, Sr., in his famous Calvin biography (Life of Calvin, 1864) and his follower, Ferenc Balogh (1864) believed the reformer was „quite innocent” in the death penalty of Servetus, but their literary opponents, namely Ferenc Szilágyi (1864), Károly Szász (1878), Lajos Warga (1887), Ferenc Kanyaró (1891), and Jenő Zoványi (1908) depicted Calvin as a bloodthirsty tyrant, dictator of Geneva who persecuted intellectual freedom.

Református Szemle 108 / 2 (2015)Research articleChurch history
Papp György237 -- 255

In this paper we provide a short semantic analysis of the most important anthropological terms of the Bible. By this analysis we would like to point out that in the biblical anthropological view humans cannot be divided into either two or three parts, but they are unitary beings. What we call flesh (body), soul and spirit (or mind) are not independent substances but rather different aspects of manifestation of the same being. On the one side, we see that terms denoting the soul, body or spirit can also refer the whole man as well. On the other side, the Bible does not provide pure anthropology, because anthropology always appears in the context of other important topics of theology (hamartology, soteriology, etc.).

Református Szemle 108 / 3 (2015)Research articleOld Testament, New Testament
Simon János256 -- 276

There are several types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. While each anxiety disorder has a different set of symptoms describing the disorder, each one involves a certain level of recurring, irrational and excessive fear. Anxiety disorders may cause distress that interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. In this article we will focus on panic disorder and the possibilities of pastoral care. First we will look at panic disorder and some related phobias, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia. We continue with the therapeutic ways of psychiatry and psychotherapy, and will end up, with the special aspects of pastoral care.

Református Szemle 108 / 3 (2015)Research articlePractical theology
Visky Sándor Béla277 -- 295

Es ist eine Zumutung sondergleichen, die man an jeden, der sich mit Problemen christlicher Ethik beschäftigen will, stellen möchte, folgende zwei Fragen, die ihn überhaupt zur Erörterung ethischer Probleme führten, beantworten zu können. Wie werde ich gut? und Wie kann ich etwas Gutes tun? Auf diese Art formulierte Fragen muß man aber von vornherein als der Sache unangemessen verzichten, und die zwei sehr verschiedenen Fragen sollten in das Licht Gottes Willens gestellt werden um sie beantworten zu können.

Református Szemle 108 / 3 (2015)Research articleSystematic theology
Geréb Miklós296 -- 314

Proclaiming equality before the law for denominations by the Statute nr. XX. in 1848, challenged both the churches and the civil rights. In many cases religious freedom goes hand in hand with national identity. This essay aims to review the attitude of the First Hungarian Government (lead by count Lajos Batthyány from March to September 1848) towards the churches of the Hungarian Kingdom at that time. We will follow the historical events, the debates of the Parliament, the interpellations of emblematic characters of the Revolution and Freedom Fighting in 1848–49, using mainly the reports of the newspaper Pesti Hírlap, which became the Official Gazette of the Batthyány-Government in 1848 and the primary source to study and understand the political thinking and liberal attitude concerning equality and freedom of religious faith. Beside the Reformed Church’s perspective, this analysis reviews the implications of these debates for the Roman and Greek Catholic Churches, Greek Orthodox (Eastern) Church and Israelites.

Református Szemle 108 / 3 (2015)Research articleChurch history
Gaal György315 -- 343

The father, Farkas Bolyai (1775–1856) descends from a very old but impoverished noble family. He studied at the Calvinist colleges of Nagyenyed/Aiud and Kolozsvár. Afterwards, as the mentor of Simon Kemény, he continued his studies at the Göttingen University. There he became a friend of C. F. Gauss. In 1804 F. Bolyai was invited to become a professor of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry at the Calvinist College of Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureş, where he taught until his retirement in 1851. He was a famous mathematician who wrote some textbooks, but he was also interested in philology, agriculture, viticulture, medicine, literature, and music. He was a stove builder and a play writer, too. That is the reason he was considered a polymath. His most important mathematical work entitled Tentamen was written in Latin.
From Farkas Bolyai’s first marriage with Zsuzsanna Benkő his first son János Bolyai was born at Kolozsvár (1802–1860). János studied under the direction of his father at the Marosvásárhely Calvinist College, then he was sent to the Military Engineering Academy in Vienna, where he spent five years. After graduating in 1823 he was promoted second- lieutenant and sent to Temesvár/Timişoara. During the next few years he served at Arad, Lemberg/Lviv, Olmütz/Olomouc up to 1833, when he got retired as a captain because of illness. He lived at Domáld/Viişoara and Marosvásárhely until his death. His father introduced János Bolyai into the problem of parallels, the questions connected with Euclid’s XIth Axiom. János contemplated on this problem while he was in Vienna. His letter written on the 3rd of November, 1823 to his father declares that he was able to solve the problem, and that by this he created “a new world”. His study on the parallels was published as an Appendix to his father’s Tentamen (1832). A copy of it was sent to the greatest mathematician of those times, Gauss. He recognized the geniality of the work but only in some private letters. Only towards the end of the century was János Bolyai recognised as the father of the Non-Euclidean Geometry. He is considered the greatest Hungarian mathematician. His cult in Kolozsvár started in 1902 at the centenary of his birth. The birth-house was identified and a memorial plaque was unveiled there. The first Hungarian Bolyai-researchers were professors of the Kolozsvár University.

Református Szemle 108 / 3 (2015)Research articleChurch history
Adorjáni Zoltán359 -- 370

Diese Studie will die Beziehung zwischen den Begriffen a IKETES und THERAPEUTES und Therapeutés, die im griechischen Titel obengenannten Werkes von Philon von Alexandrien zu finden sind, erörtern. Der Autor prüft Eizelheiten jener Werke von Philon, wo diese zwei Begriffe als Wortpaare Vorkommen und gelangt zur Schlußfolgerung, daß sie mit dem Einhalten Gottes Gesetzes, mit wahrer Gottesfurcht und mit dem Dienste Gottes in Zusammenhang sind.Ein Leben mit solchem Verhalten kann sich am besten in der priesterlichen Lebensweise entfalten, und das bindet sich ans Suchen göttlichen Schutzes und an seinen Dienst. In dem Werk: De vita contemplativi beschriebene Lebesweise der in Ägypten lebenden (essener) Therapeuten ist ein eliter, priestlicher Dienst: Wer Gott wirklich ehren will, sei derjenige ein Levit, bzw. „Proselit“, der muß sich von seiner früheren Lebensweise und den irdischen Sachen trennen. Die in dem obengenannten Titel als Ergänzung figurierende Bezeichnung: Iketwv steht im Einklang mit dem Namen und der Lebensweise der Therapeuten. Diese priesterliche,elite Lebensweise ist die eigenartige Form einer Flucht zu Gott.

Református Szemle 108 / 4 (2015)Research articleJudaica
Simon János371 -- 386

For many people the church is a place of refuge and solace, a place where they may feel comfortable and closer to God. But for some the church represents a mirror of their personal failures, and a reminder of the fact that they are „not good enaught.” While for many, belief in God is a way of overcoming anxiety and turning to God is a valuable tool for gaining strength against anxiety disorders, for some people church could be a place that creates fear or gives way to thoughts that end up in anxiety or panic attack. While panic attacks may occur during church service or other church activities, this article offers a presentation of crisis intervention with a special focus to panic attacks. After that we continue with discussions on the issue of panic at pastoral visitations.

Református Szemle 108 / 4 (2015)Research articlePractical theology
Kovács Ábrahám387 -- 403

In this study I intend to describe and introduce critically three basis approaches of Christianity, exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism to other world religions and at the same time throw light on issues of interreligious dialogue and the problem of comparative theology. Having completed this task the paper deals with the novelty and fresh approach introduced by George Lindbeck a post liberal theologian and his approach will also be critically evaluated. It will be argued although Lindbeck’s cultural-linguistic model is useful for interreligious dialogue but it is a kind of repetition of the old liberal argument which also maintained the uniqueness of Christianity albeit in different mode than orthodox or traditional theology.

Református Szemle 108 / 4 (2015)Research articleSystematic theology
Geréb Miklós404 -- 424

Interethnic conflicts are never the consequence of religious differences, they are always generated by the politics. However, diversity in Christian traditions makes the impression that these problems are real and rational, and the only solution for them, the radical one could be: nationalism and homogenization of citizens. Below we will follow how revolutionary events in 1848 influenced the “private life” of churches in the Hungarian Kingdom of that time.

Református Szemle 108 / 4 (2015)Research articleChurch history
Gy. Dávid Gyula425 -- 432

Count Miklós Bánffy (1873—1950) writer, politician, actor, the organizer of cultural life in Transylvania between the two World Wars, was the principle overseer of the Transylvania Reformed Church District between 1928—1948. After the Second World War, in 1949, he obtained the permission to travel to his wife in Hungary. He died on July 6, 1950 in Budapest. The funeral speech was held by bishop László Ravasz. His remains were transported from the cemetery of Budapest, Farkasrét, to the family crypt at the Házsongárd cemetery of Kolozsvár (Cluj) in 1976. His place of burial received a first memorial plaque in 2000. Another plaque was placed inside the crypt in front of his urn in 2014.

Református Szemle 108 / 4 (2015)Source editionChurch history