Reutlingen School of Theology
This article attempts to shed light on the colonial legacy in German society today and to highlight instances of the arrival of postcolonial theory and theology in German academia. The invisibility of the colonial past in Germany is slowly coming to an end at the beginning of the twenty-first century, as demonstrated in the first part of the article. The new awareness is reflected in a growing number of activities highlighting Germany’s participation in the establishment of a colonial world order in the nineteenth century and the remaining effects of this participation. Critical cultural analysis from the Anglophone world is reflected in German academia and literature, which is explored with the help of two examples. In the second part of the article the focus is on the arrival of cultural studies in general and postcolonial theory in particular in German religious studies and theology as well. A recurring issue in this reception is complexity and hybridity of cultural boundary dynamics and their significance for religious and theological discourse. Especially in the emerging and contested field of intercultural theology in Germany the hybrid character of all (religious) culture is reflected upon in new ways.
Michael Nausner, a native of Austria, studied theology in Germany, Sweden, and the USA. He earned his M.Div. at Uppsala University in Sweden and his PhD at Drew University in Madison, NJ. Since 2005 he has been professor of systematic theology at Reutlingen School of Theology, Germany. He is teaching theology with a special interest in (inter)cultural issues in general and postcolonial theory in particular. In 2004, he edited together with Catherine Keller and Mayra Rivera Postcolonial Theologies: Divinity and Empire.