Trust as a Prerequisite for Orientation in the World and an Initial Stage of Faith
The expert in ancient Greek philosophy deals in his essay with the fundamental questions covering human dimension of trust and mistrust, trust as a context of human belief, everyday trust, trust towards the world and nature, and paradoxes of hope. He elaborates his claims using metaphors of sleep, awakening and river, commenting on them with the help of various ancient authors.
On Trust within Human History
The author examines trust as a term and its meaning in context of sociology, psychology, and mainly philosophy and theology. The text is written from the perspective of Christian philosophical and theological anthropology, or rather philosophy and theology of religion. Trust is thematized in the three typifying contexts (society, life of an individual, and question about God) and an important idea of certain work or thinker within each of them is analysed. Trust is understood as something indigenous and irreducible, an irreplaceable, indispensable, and uniting element of society (Luhmann); personally formative (Erikson); inward and fundamentally corresponding with the empirical structure of human person (Landsberg); deep, borderline, transcending (Schillebeeckx); opening access to reality, lifegiving, and referring to God (Küng). The author systematically reflects the term and its anthropological and theological relevance with respect to historical variability of life and thinking.
Trust and Faith in the Light of Some Biblical Themes and Images
An excursus on biblical images of trust begins with genesis of mistrust in the story of the temptation and fall of the first man and woman (Gn 3), continues with danger of uniformity being an expression and accelerator of mistrust within images of the Tower of Babel and the body of Christ (Gn 11; 1Cor 12), and is heading toward the themes of trust in God and trust in the world and man as they are found in psalms and in the character of Naaman. It is observed that trust is closely connected with a testimony culminating in the testimony of the resurrection. However, testimony is also dependent on its acceptance (Marian dimension). The complete expression of trust in God is represented by theology of Sabbath and its Christian revision.
Trust in Theology or Theology of Trust
Trust is understood as a practical attitude; that is inwardly accepted opinion expressed through an action and approached preferably as relational phenomenon. One of the possible ways to explore trust is exploring relationships where trust is manifested or which due to its violation face a crisis. The study shortly examines the theme of trust in Scripture, then explain the dispute about relation between trust and faith during the Reformation era, continues with the question about relation between an act of faith and a content of faith covered by the fundamental theology, and concludes presenting the theology of trust as it has been developing in the latest decades.
Trust as a Term and Phenomenon of the Church History
Unlike sociologists and psychologists, historians do not ordinary include trust as a category within their work. The study proposes why trust does not occur as a topic within church inward discourse and therefore not as a theme in the history of Christianity. Author explains that it has been rather replaced by institutional mistrust and the fact has become long-lasting and crucial problem of the ecclesial community. In his opinion, overcoming of this institutional culture of mistrust within the church which has been developing for centuries is more important than all organizational, disciplinary, and structural reforms, even though it cannot be achieved completely without them.
The Lost of Trust as Mene Tekel for the Church
The text is based on Austrian study of values which describes decline of credibility of traditional Christian churches beginning in 1990. The author adopts biblical image of “mene tekel” (Dan 5:26) as an inspiring interpretational key to this warning which she understands as God’s instrument to improve actual situation of Christianity. The loss of social legitimacy of the church is approached as a crisis and therefore way to its restoration is searched through confrontation with contemporary social norms and values. The author notices erosion of the social capital of the church; a fact that ethnical, cultural and religious heterogeneity is considered to be a risk factor; she deals with a phenomenon of post-facticity; and consequences of the catastrophes in the 20th century. She presents ambivalent character of trust, points out that it does not exist without thinking and encourages churches to stand a side of people.
A Creative Dimension of Trust within Life of a Parish
If the church is to be plausible to the society around, it must itself be a community where trust is honestly present – among its individual members, leaders and laymen, toward its surroundings, future, and God himself. This statement is illustrated by a description of trust in life of a parish which reflects its trust in God. The author uses updated biblical story about experience of Moses and the chosen nation being visited by Jitro, Moses´s father-in-law (Ex 18:13–23). He analyses trust included in the constitution of the Eucharist; following Bonaventura Bouše he is thinking about the sacrament of penance being practiced in the atmosphere of deeper trust; and focuses on trust in the teaching of pope Francis, e.g., exhortation Evangelii gaudium 88.
A Degradation of Social Trust and a Crisis of Traditional Politics
Where to Aim for Hope?
The text examines trust within current Western society as a whole in relation to development of political hope. It proposes that recent turn towards populism (Donald Trump, Brexit etc.) is caused by a decline of trust in politics and has something to do with a crisis of political hopes of traditional type contained in political ideologies as liberalism, socialism, and conservativism. These ideologies are analysed as degraded version of homo deus, the great modern ideal. It is concluded that the current crisis cannot be solved by return to politics of traditional type. However, the Latourian turn towards the Earth and respect for the non-human world is the key which can be supported by Christianity, if only it develops towards direction presented by pope Francis.
Trust in Text and its Meaning
Umberto Eco and George Steiner as Two Answers to Hermeneutics of Suspicion
The study asks about possibilities of trust in text and its meaning. First, so called hermeneutics of suspicion and ideas of elusive character of meaning of text or even impossibility to grasp it is presented. Then, two reactions to these ideas are described. Texts written by Umberto Eco in the nineties and published in collection “Interpretation and Overinterpretation” focus on arguments coming from the field of hermeneutics. The book by Geroge Steiner called “Real Presences” analyses the philosophical prerequisites of the question. This article tries not only to summarise the arguments of the two mentioned authors but also to propose an original theological approach to possibilities of uncovering the meaning of texts.
A Christmas Story about Coffee and Trust
An essay analyses a novella written by German writer Adalbert Stifter in 1845 called “Rock crystal”. Its emphasis on trust is present not only in the main characters and their relationship personifying the Biedermeier ideal of childhood as a period of trust but also in their existential experience of being lost during a Christmas night.
“I‘m on my way out. I‘m standing in the doorway. But going where?”
An interview with a painter Věra Nováková about the Ropewalker, trust and searching for balance
An interview with an eminent Czech painter Věra Nováková (* 1928) refers to trust as a theme, as well as life balance and hope, present in the motive of ropewalker she has been returning to in her work. The painter recalls her journey towards Christianity and her life-long polemics about it with her husband Pavel Brázda, artistic environment as well as circumstances of apartment seminars being organised during communism. The interview was prepared by Petr Beneš.
This short text depicts a visit to the studio of the artist Věra Nováková, who turned 95 this year. But she does not dwell on her work, circling around herself and her memories, as happens to many others her age. Although she has been through a lot – for example, she was not allowed to exhibit in a gallery for the first time until 1989!– she is full of curiosity, facing outwards and forwards, towards the future. The reproductions of Vera Nováková’s drawings and photographs in this Salve have been prepared by Petr Neubert.