Thomas Schirrmacher and Pope Francis on his 82th birthday (2017-12-17)
|Born||June 25th, 1960|
|Residence||Bonn in Germany|
|Other names||Širmacher, Tomas (lit); Širmacheris, Tomas (lit); Širrmahers, Tomass (lit)|
|Employer||Martin Bucer European Theological Seminary and Research Institutes|
|Known for||Christian moral philosophy, human rights, religious freedom|
Thomas Schirrmacher is a Christian moral philosopher and a specialist in the Sociology of Religion and Religious freedom. He is known as a global human rights activist and holds a chair in Theology (Ethics, Missiology, World Religions).
Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected as natural and legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being" and which are "inherent in all human beings", regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin, or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others, and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances; for example, human rights may include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution.
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value, and thus comprises the branch of philosophy called axiology.
Missiology is the area of practical theology that investigates the mandate, message, and mission of the Christian church, especially the nature of missionary work. Missiology is a multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural field of study incorporating theology, anthropology, history, geography, theories and methods of communication, comparative religion, Christian apologetics, education methodology, and interdenominational relations. In European academia missiology recently has been renamed >intercultural theology<.
Schirrmacher serves the World Evangelical Alliance as Associate Secretary General for Theological Concerns (responsible for Theology, Intrafaith Relations, Inter-faith Religious Freedom) and as Chair of the Theological Commission. Since 2014 he is president of the International Society for Human Rights.
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is a global organization of evangelical Christian churches, serving more than 600 million evangelicals, founded in 1846 in London, England, United Kingdom to unite evangelicals worldwide. WEA is the largest international organization of evangelical churches, and is now headquartered in Chicago, Manila, and Bonn. It brings together 7 regional and 129 evangelical alliances of churches, and over 150 member organizations. Some of the national alliances include Protestant churches which are not traditional Evangelical churches in the strict sense. Moreover, the WEA includes a certain percentage of individual evangelical Christian churches. It is open for membership of individual evangelical Christians. The Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom, its founding member, is part of WEA.
The Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) was established in 1974 with Bruce Nicholls as director and John Langlois as administrator. It was built upon the Theological Assistance Program (TAP) which had been created following a decision of WEF in May 1968 to support and strengthen theological education in the Third World.
The International Society for Human Rights is an international non-governmental, non-profit human rights organization with Participative Status with the Council of Europe and is a member of the Liaison Committee of the Non-Governmental Organisations at the Council of Europe. The ISHR has observer status with the African Commission of Human and Peoples' Rights. It has associate status with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations and Roster Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Thomas Schirrmacher was born on June 25, 1960to the german professor of Telecommunications engineering Bernd Schirrmacher and his wife Ingeborg. His great-grandfather was the historian Friedrich Wilhelm Schirrmacher. Thomas Schirrmacher is married to Christine Schirrmacher who is professor of Islamic Studies in Bonn, Germany.
Telecommunications Engineering is an engineering discipline centered on electrical and computer engineering which seeks to support and enhance telecommunication systems. The work ranges from basic circuit design to strategic mass developments. A telecommunication engineer is responsible for designing and overseeing the installation of telecommunications equipment and facilities, such as complex electronic switching systems, and other plain old telephone service facilities, optical fiber cabling, IP networks, and microwave transmission systems. Telecommunication engineering also overlaps with broadcast engineering.
Friedrich Wilhelm Schirrmacher was a German historian.
Christine Schirrmacher is a German academic who specialises in Islamic Studies. She is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn and at the Evangelical Theological Faculty (ETF), Leuven.
Thomas Schirrmacher studied theology from 1978 to 1982 at STH Basel (Switzerland) and since 1983 Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Religion at University of Bonn. He earned a Drs. theol. in Missiology and Ecumenism at Theological University (Kampen/Netherlands) in 1984, and a Dr. theol. in Missiology and Ecumenics at Theological University of the Reformed Churches (Kampen/Netherlands) in 1985, a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Pacific Western University(today: California Miramar University) in Los Angeles (CA) in 1989, a Th.D. in Ethics at Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland (FL) in 1996, and a Dr. phil. in Comparative Religion and Sociology of Religion at University of Bonn in 2007. In 1997 he got honorary doctorates (D.D.) from Cranmer Theological House and in 2006 from Acts University in Bangalore.
Basel or Basle is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi), and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.
The University of Bonn is a public research university located in Bonn, Germany. It was founded in its present form as the Rhein-Universität on 18 October 1818 by Frederick William III, as the linear successor of the Kurkölnische Akademie Bonn which was founded in 1777. The University of Bonn offers many undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of subjects and has 544 professors and 32,500 students. Its library holds more than five million volumes.
Between 1982 and 1986 Schirrmacher was pastor of several church communities in Bonn. Since 1996 he is the president of the Martin Bucer European Theological Seminary and Research Institutes, a theological seminary seated in Bonn, Germany with campuses in several countries.From 1994 to 1998 Schirrmacher was professor of missions at the Philadelphia Theological Seminary and since 1995 he is professor for systematic theology at the Whitefield Theological Seminary. He is professor of the sociology of religion at the West University of Timişoara.
The Federal City of Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About 24 km (15 mi) south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million inhabitants. It is famously known as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1770. Beethoven spent his childhood and teenage years in Bonn.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Whitefield Theological Seminary is a Reformed theological seminary in Lakeland, Florida, United States. A conservative confessional institution, it teaches from the Reformed perspective of Protestant Christianity. The seminary holds to the Westminster Standards which includes the Confession of 1647, Larger and Shorter Catechism. Courses of study are offered on-site at the seminary's Lakeland offices but primarily through distance learning.
Schirrmacher is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gebende Hände gGmbH (German: Giving Hands charitable Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung), an internationally active relief organisation.He is member of the commission for religious freedom of the World Evangelical Alliance and since 2008 president of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (Bonn, Brussels/Geneva, Cape Town, Colombo, Brasília). He also is their speaker for human rights. According to media he is one of the leading experts on the topic of persecution of christians. Several times he was speaking as expert on human rights in the German Parliament. In October 2015 he was the only evangelical member of the catholic synod on family lead by Pope Francis. He is president of the International Society for Human Rights, manager of the Religious Liberty Commission of the German and the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, and director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom with regional offices for most continents: Brasilia (Latin America), Brussels/Bonn (Europe), Cape Town (Africa), Colombo and Dehlki (Asia), which cooperates with the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief .
A Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, meaning "Company with limited liability", is a type of legal entity very common in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. It is an entity broadly equivalent with the private limited company in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries, and the limited liability company (LLC) in the United States. The name of the GmbH form emphasizes the fact that the owners of the entity are not personally liable or credible for the company's debts. GmbHs are considered legal persons under German, Swiss and Austrian law. Other variations include mbH, and gGmbH for non-profit companies.
Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.
Another main focus of the work of Schirrmacher besides religious freedom in the area of human rights is the fight against Human trafficking.
He speaks with church leaders like Pope Benedict XVI,Pope Francis, and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and gives lectures all around the world. He is also consultant of the Faith and Order Commission, the Theological Commission of the World Council of Churches, Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany (ZOCD) , and Member of the International Committee of the Global Christian Forum .
He has authored and edited more than 90 books, which have been translated into 17 languages.
Schirrmacher received the following honours:
Albrecht Ritschl was a German Protestant theologian.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a mainline Protestant Lutheran Church headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA officially came into existence on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three Lutheran church bodies. As of 2018, it has approximately 3.4 million baptized members in 9,091 congregations.
John Warwick Montgomery is a noted lawyer, professor, Lutheran theologian, and prolific author living in France. He was born October 18, 1931, in Warsaw, New York, United States. Since 2014 he has been Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University, Wisconsin, and continues to work as a barrister specializing in religious freedom cases in international Human Rights law.
Religion in Papua New Guinea is predominantly Christian, with traditional animism and ancestor worship often occurring less openly as another layer underneath or more openly side by side Christianity. The courts, government, and general society uphold a constitutional right to freedom of speech, thought, and belief. There is no state religion, although the government openly partners with several Christian groups to provide services, and churches participate in local government bodies.
Christian feminism is a school of Christian theology which seeks to advance and understand the equality of men and women morally, socially, spiritually, and in leadership from a Christian perspective. Christian feminists argue that contributions by women, and an acknowledgment of women's value, are necessary for a complete understanding of Christianity. Christian feminists believe that God does not discriminate on the basis of biologically-determined characteristics such as sex and race, but created all humans to exist in harmony and equality, reguardless of race or gender. Christian feminists generally advocate for anti-essentialism as a part of their belief system, acknowledging that gender identities do not mandate a certain set of personality traits. Their major issues include the ordination of women, biblical equality in marriage, recognition of equal spiritual and moral abilities, reproductive rights, integration of gender neutral pronouns within readings of the Bible, and the search for a feminine or gender-transcendent divine. Christian feminists often draw on the teachings of other religions and ideologies in addition to biblical evidence, and other Christian based texts throughout history that advocate for women's rights.
David Jacobus Bosch was an influential missiologist and theologian best known for his book Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (1991) — a major work on post-colonial Christian mission. He was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NGK). On Freedom Day, 27 April 2013, he posthumously received the Order of the Baobab from the President of South Africa "for his selfless struggle for equality ... and his dedication to community upliftment. By doing so, he lived the values of non-racialism against the mainstream of his own culture."
Paul Francis Knitter was the Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture at Union Theological Seminary, New York City. He continues as the Emeritus Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture. He was formerly Emeritus Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Since publishing his book, No Other Name? (1985), Knitter has been widely known for his religious pluralism. Along with his friend and colleague, the Protestant philosopher of religion John Hick, Knitter came under criticism from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later known as Pope Benedict XVI.
Wolfgang Huber is a prominent German theologian and ethicist. Huber served as bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia until November 2009. Huber succeeded Manfred Kock as Chairperson of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) in November 2003 and was succeeded by Bishop Margot Käßmann, the first woman in that position, in October 2009.
Otto Frederick Nolde (1899–1972) was a human rights pioneer who served as professor of Christian Education and Dean of the Graduate School at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia while emerging as a major player on the world's diplomatic stage during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
Timothy C. Tennent is an American theologian who is the current president of Asbury Theological Seminary.
Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teaching of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. The reaction of the government and church authorities to the international spread of his writings, beginning with the 95 Theses, divided Western Christianity.
Johann Flierl was a pioneer Lutheran missionary in New Guinea. He established mission schools and organised the construction of roads and communication between otherwise remote interior locations. Under his leadership, Lutheran evangelicalism flourished in New Guinea. He founded the Evangelical Lutheran Mission in the Sattelberg, and a string of filial stations on the northeastern coast of New Guinea including the Malahang Mission Station.
Protestantism is the second-largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than also by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia, also known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and the Other States (ELCROS), is a Lutheran denomination that itself comprises seven regional Lutheran denominations in Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan as well as individual congregations in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Established in its current form in 1999, ELCROS currently has about 24,050 members in more than 400 congregations within its jurisdiction.
Heiner Bielefeldt is a German philosopher, historian and Catholic theologian. He is Professor of Human Rights and Human Rights Policy at the University of Erlangen. In 2010, he was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
The International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS) is an international, inter-confessional and interdisciplinary professional society for the scholarly study of Christian mission and its impact in the world and the related field of intercultural theology. IAMS convenes international and regional conferences, facilitates collaborative study groups researching in mission studies, and publishes the journal Mission Studies.
The Martin Bucer Seminary is a European multinational evangelical theological seminary and research institute in the Protestant reformed tradition. The seminary is named after the reformer Martin Bucer.
Christian Gonçalves Kwami Baëta, was a Ghanaian academic and a Presbyterian minister who served as the Synod Clerk of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of the Gold Coast from 1945 to 1949. He was among a number of prominent individuals, corporate organisations and civil society groups that were instrumental in the establishment of the University of Ghana, Legon in 1948.