What inspired Mitch Alboms with Morrie on Tuesdays

1. "Books the world doesn't need." Why doesn't that apply to your book?

Because the world doesn't know about my book yet. ☺

2. What new perspectives does your book open up?

It opens up the rather seldom opportunity that someone who has lived for years in concrete pastoral care, especially with young people, asks in a theologically sound and philosophically secured way how salvation can be understood today without experiencing it as a dangerous category to become that scares people for their freedom. Faith is not perceived in society as a reflected phenomenon, but as an emotional experience. Emotionally, many entrances are often blocked before thinking about believing in God can even begin. This book takes this phenomenology seriously and tries and seeks an answer anyway.

3. What significance does the topic have in current theological and church debates?

While theology is rediscovering the theme of salvation more and more as a central concern, church debates unfortunately mostly revolve around navel gazing around one's own irrelevance in today's world. Fortunately, theology is not impressed by this and begins to care less about the ecclesiastical affiliation of people than about the possibility of an encounter with God. The latter precedes the former. Therefore, in my opinion, today's soteriology is correct. Kasper and Tillich also offer a way to bring Christ into play that is appropriate for today's world: not Hegelian-deductive or positivistic, but peculiarly indirect as an inviting motif, as a figure of encounter and dialogue on the common ground of historical existence, as an integrating figure of human ambivalence.

4. Who would you most like to discuss your book with?

With the elderly lady who shops in the same corner shop as I do and whom I see now and then in one of the pews in the back. I am still impressed by the testimony of my professor at the Gregorian in Rome, who demonstrated to us by means of a reflection on the Trinity that it would be unbearable arrogance if we theology students were even remotely of the opinion that our faith was better, stronger or more certain than that of a grandma who says the rosary every day in church.

5. Your book in one sentence:

In terms of spiritual history, we are under the never-ending influence of the anthropological turnaround, which evidently deprives God of the last remnant of legitimacy; two German theologians of modern times, the Lutheran Paul Tillich and the Catholic Walter Kasper, have created the dramatic category of salvation for the with an artful recourse to the ingenious "positive philosophy" of Schelling and by incorporating the broad spectrum of theological and philosophical tradition to make plausible to modern people.

6. You are allowed to take five books with you to the proverbial desert island. Which books do you choose?

1) A cookbook for extreme situations
2) Hans Conrad Zander: When religion wasn't boring
3) Gottfried Bachl: The difficult Jesus
4) Mitch Albom: Tuesdays at Morrie's
5) Definitely the Bible!

7. What are your favorite quotes from Paul Tillich and Walter Kasper?

Paul Tillich: "Pictures, poems and music can become objects of theology, not from the point of view of their aesthetic form, but with regard to their ability to express certain aspects of what concerns us through their aesthetic form." (Systematic Theology I, p. 21)
Walter Kasper: "The greater the unity with God, the greater the individuality of man." (Jesus the Christ, p. 295)