Die Freude als Identität des Christen

Translated title of the contribution: Joy as Identity of Christians

Publications: Contribution to bookChapter


The text argues that Evangelii Gaudium, the apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis, reflects upon the church from the perspective of its biblical origins. In the light of contemporary challenges such as urbanisation, loss of tradition, incorporeality and invulnerability in the virtual world and the subsequent search for identity, Evangelii Gaudium tries to search for a „catholic“ identity. However, this identity does not persist in a delimiting self-assurance. By focusing on the festive joy as constitutitve for the „identity“ of Christians, it undermines the typical search for an invariant identity. The „identity“ of the Christians as festive joy brings together three important categories that play a central role in the Bible. The first category is mercy which refers back to the gesture of God’s invitation to a universal festivity. The festivity figures the second category. The third category that the text introduces refers to the impoverished as they are the first ones that are invited to the festivity. This aspect relates to the Pope’s call to Christians to take up their way to the peripheries, to those who fall out of the centre of society and thereby undermine self-contained constructs of identity. The text shows that in the beginning of Christianity, leaving behind secure concepts of identity lead Christians to a fragility and a form of compassion that reached the inner core of their body, as though they received a second skin representing the open body of Christ in order to enter a landscape of compassion. As Evangelii Gaudium takes up this biblical thought, it can be seen a theological program in the name of the embodiment of Christ in our global society.
Translated title of the contributionJoy as Identity of Christians
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationBarmherzigkeit und zärtliche Liebe
Subtitle of host publicationDas theologische Programm von Papst Franziskus
EditorsKurt Appel, Jakob Deibl
Place of PublicationFreiburg i.Br.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)3451349655, 978-3451349652
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2016

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 603206 Fundamental theology


  • Evangelii Gaudium
  • Christianity
  • Pope Francis
  • People of God
  • Body of Christ
  • Compassion
  • Resurrection
  • Holy Spirit

Cite this