Journal index

Pálfi József419 -- 433

The Women’s Alliance of the Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District was established eighty five years ago, on 3 September 1931, 11 years after the formation of this Hungarian church body geographically covering the western part of today’s Romania. Besides providing a historic background with unique details, our study pays a tribute to the devotion and immense work of the Reformed women on behalf of the Church. The Women’s Alliance has played a most important missionary role within the Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District.

Református Szemle 109.4 (2016)Research articleChurch history
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
Visky Péter257 -- 266

Die Wirklichkeit der göttlichen Stimme schafft im Verkünder des Wortes, der dem Wort vollständig ausgehändigt ist, unauflösbare Spannung, die nicht einmal eine sachgemäße Ausle­gung auf der Kanzel auflösen kann. Fünfhundert Jahre nach der Reformation konnten wir Prediger es sogar als Provokation auffassen, die wir das Ereignis von dem Handeln Gottes er­ warten. Das Ziel der Predigt, als Ereignis, ist jedes Mal Gott im Alltag zu erleben. Die Erwar­tung —das Ereignis —die Erfahrung, dieser Dreier drückt gut die Geschichte des Ereignisses der Predigt aus. In diesen drei Schritten wird ausgedrückt was Gott tut, was mit dem Men­schen geschieht, und wie der handelnde Mensch auf Gottes Tun reagiert.

Református Szemle 109.3 (2016)Research articlePractical theology
Kolumbán Vilmos József191 -- 201

The scholarly literature on Protestant education agrees that the delimitation of the main principles of the public educational system of the reformed congregations is strongly related to the name of Philipp Melanchton. The “preceptor of Germany”, as he came to be known, considered that the aim of education is to assume personal responsibility. Defining the purpose of reformed education in Transylvania was postponed to the 17th and 18th centuries, when the public educational system searched for its own rationales. The current study presents a short historical overview of this period.

Református Szemle 109.2 (2016)Research articleChurch history
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
Bognárné Kocsis Judit18 -- 36

We are always seeking for the sense of the life, for ourselves and for the place in our family and community. Religion shows a new way to us, according to Jesus Christ’s principles. The son of God not only created a religion, but gave us an example how to live, and sacrifice himself for us. Sándor Karácsony reckons religion as a spiritual behavior, the base of our social contacts. We have to see into our lives and character according to the message of Jesus Christ. The right and appropriate personality can be evolved by individual training.

Református Szemle 109.1 (2016)Research articlePractical theology
Papp György401 -- 418

This article is concerned with the question of dichotomy and trichotomy of the human person. Following an earlier semantic analysis of biblical terms (published in Református Szemle 105.3 (2015)), the present paper introduces the reader into the significance of theological anthropology for the most important authors of the Early Church.

Református Szemle 109.4 (2016)Research articleSystematic theology
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
Ledán M. István247 -- 256

In his epigrams, Gregory of Nazianzus time and again speaks about the dead ones as sleepers. In this paper we examine the Greco-Roman and biblical background of this well-known ‘sleeping of death’-theme, and we conclude that the sleeping of death in Gregory’s usage is nothing more than an eschatologically neutral literary platitude.

Református Szemle 109.3 (2016)Research articleNew Testament, Antiquity studies
Geréb Zsolt710 -- 711Református Szemle 109.6 (2016)ReviewOld Testament, New Testament
Visky Sándor Béla169 -- 190

This paper concludes that within the moral philosophy of Jankélévitch, the problem of forgiveness is ambiguous; or rather the author has an ambiguous attitude towards forgiveness. His point of view also has shortcomings that are due to the deficiencies of his metaphysics, his anthropology, his image of God and his interpretation of death. The God of Jankélévitch is creative energy, eternal acting goodness and love, but it is not a person and does not personally know its creations. It does not rule, does not enter into a covenant, does not bring redemption at the cost of its own heartbreak, does not judge sins and does not forgive them, does not speak, does not give commandments, does not conquer death, does not resurrect the dead, and does not offer eternal life. So the imperative of forgiveness is not —cannot —be supported by faith.

Református Szemle 109.2 (2016)Research articleSystematic theology
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
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
Csendes László534 -- 561

In 1956 Bishop László Ravasz expressed his views on church policy and the general situation of religious communities in Eastern Europe before the meeting of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches in Galyatető, Hungary. His text was conceived as “advice” addressed to the members of the Bethany Movement. My paper’s main target is to contextualise and publish this interpretation regarding the relationship between Christian Churches and the communist state.
In 1958 a major turning point appeared in the church-state relation on both sides of the “Iron Curtain”. After the Lambeth and Nyborg Conferences, Western openness and diplomatic efforts led to the enlargement of the World Council of Churches (New Delhi 1961), gathering Protestant and Orthodox Churches in the communion of prayer and work. At the same time, Nikita Khrushchev’s totalitarian attempt to annihilate religious structures in the Soviet Union was concealed behind his apparent “disposability for dialogue”. By organising the „Christian” Peace Conference (Prague 1958), the Kremlin continued “destalinisation”, promoting, in fact, Stalin’s policy of apparent peace in the East-West relations, while the political police went on destroying the Church and the aim it was created for. The new abuses were justified by the slogan of “Leninist legality”. Trying to find the Romanian way to build communism, Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej, the old-new party leader and his subdued judicial system brought religious faith in the prisoner’s box. Persecution focused especially on religious minority groups, such as Catholics, Reformed, Unitarians, Lutheran Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Baptist, and others, but, also, attacked the majority Orthodox monastic life. During the show-trials, the fictive scene became a sacrificial place, where those who were searching for the truth of God fell prey to the injustice of the immolators who imposed by force their atheistic “truth”.
The National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS) has been preserving detailed data, descriptions of the facts and nuances concerning thousands of aggressors and victims of (post-) Stalinism. Emblematic was the case of Richard Wurmbrand, who first suffered imprisonment (after a sentence pronounced in a Kangaroo Court), being released afterwards by the authorities in 1964, for an amount of 10 000 USD.

Református Szemle 108.5 (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
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
Kovács Szabolcs699 -- 710Református Szemle 108.6 (2015)ReportPractical theology
Hermán M. János522 -- 533

Calvin wished to change the structure o f his first catechism (1537/1538), which explained the Ten Commandments before the Apostles’ Cred. Having recognised that his first catechism was too difficult for children, Calvin rewrote his text. He arranged the Geneva Catechism (1542) in questions and answers in an effort to simplify doctrinal complexities. His second Catechism displaced all other Reformed catechisms until 1563, the year when the Heidelberg Catechism appeared. In 1563 the bishop o f Debrecen, Péter Méliusz, translated the Confession o f Geneva into Hungarian. The text was also translated into Italian (1551 and 1556), Spanish (1550), English (1556), German, Dutch, Greek and Hebrew. The second Hungarian translation was made by István Zilahi in 1695 and was edited by Miklós Misztótfalusi Kis. Finally, in 1907 Sándor Czeglédy prepared a new translation o f its text. The La maniere d ’interroger les enfants qu’on veut recevoir a la Cene de notre Seigneur Jésus Christ and Das Genfer Konfirmationsformular von 1553 are very important catechetical instruments.

Református Szemle 108.5 (2015)Research articleChurch history, Systematic 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
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
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
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