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In late modernity theology has to perform an aesthetic turn, if it wants to break out of its current isolation. Theologians cannot limit themselves to biblical texts and Christian tradition as a frame of reference but also have to search for traces of God’s presence in cultures and religions. God/Terror addresses the quest for God in the context of oppression, violence and terror from an aesthetic perspective. It looks at how artists and writers approach the relationship between God and Terror. Statements such as that from composer Karl Heinz Stockhausen: "9/11 was the greatest work of art ever" or from South African writer Adam Small: "Only literature can perform the miracle of reconciliation" – are occasions to reflect again about the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, theology and the arts. As in a medieval diptych, the theme is mirroring god talk in memory of 9/11 and in the context of political conflicts in Germany, South Korea and South Africa.

Published: Aug 12, 2021

Section Chapter Authors
List of Illustrations Volker Küster
Prologue Volker Küster
I. Terror, War and Violence: God Talk in Memory of September 11, 2001
1. The Power of Images Volker Küster
2. Apocalypse Now - Does 9/11 Mark an Epochal Boundary? Volker Küster
3. Conflicting Images of God Volker Küster
II. Guilt, Reconciliation and Grace: God Talk in the Context of Political Conflicts in Germany, S Korea & S Africa
4. The Powerlessness of Images Volker Küster
5. Beyond Apocalypse - Dealing with Guilt in Societal Transformation Processes Volker Küster
6. In Conflict with God Volker Küster
Epilogue Volker Küster
End Matter
Bibliography Volker Küster
Index Volker Küster


The book not only disturbs our understanding of aesthetics but also raises the question of how we can bring art in dialogue with theology. Küster challenges the boundary between the secular and the sacred and invites us to discern God’s presence in arts and culture. This is because the generative themes of human life, such as birth, violence, hatred, terror as well as love, joy, and friendship, he says, are dealt with by artists and theologians alike.
International Journal of Asian Christianity

This important new book is a creative effort by Volker Küster to reconfigure and transform theology using ethics and aesthetics. The author, Professor of Religion and Intercultural Theology at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, is a well-known contextual theologian. His work on Minjung theology in Korea and in engaging other contextual theologies in intercultural dialogue has been outstanding.
This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in transforming and reformulating theology for the 21st century. It will be useful both in the classroom and in research on evolving contextual theologies.
Mission Studies

A valuable depiction of the importance of art for responding to suffering.
Reading Religion