Greed is reprehensible again

For months, the global financial crisis has kept people on edge. The call for a new order of systems is becoming louder. Suddenly morality is called for, greed is reprehensible again. It fits with this that even the Ten Commandments are finding new interest.

Two new books have been published this fall that are dedicated to the Ten Commandments and are thought-provoking not only on the occasion of the Day of Prayer and Repentance. The Benedictine Abbot Notker Wolf and the journalist Matthias Drobinski have published their interpretation of the Ten Commandments ("Rules for Life") in the Herder-Verlag. Another book is by the Protestant theologian Roland Rosenstock ("Die zehn Gebote", Rowohlt-TB). In both cases, the authors try to interpret the strict precepts of the Old Testament God as a guide to life today.The Decalogue is regarded as the basis of Christian-Jewish ethics and has been artistically processed countless times, for example in the well-known monumental film "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston from 1956. Moses is said to have received the law of the Israelites, engraved on two clay tablets, from God himself after he led his people out of Egyptian captivity. As reported by the Bible. Researchers ame that the commandments were created in a centuries-long process that was not completed until 100 AD.Not least because of their pronounced rigidity, however, they seem to many people today to be unusable and all too unwieldy: "You shall…", they begin chillingly, respectively "Thou shalt not…". "Thou shalt not kill", "thou shalt not commit adultery", "thou shalt not bear false witness (lie)", and "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house" and – as Martin Luther translated – "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, servant, maid, cattle, nor anything that is his". "Thou shalt," on the other hand, "hallow the feast day" and "honor father and mother".

New Fascinati In recent times, however, the ancient set of rules, the "basic law" of the people of Israel, has exerted a new fascination. The authors of the two books show the explosive nature of it, landing right in the middle of the life of the 21st century. Century. The commandment to "honor" parents, for example, seems outdated and repressive today: Wolf/Drobinski point to its immense abuse by a black pedagogy that demanded only blind obedience from children until the 1960s. But they also point to the disregard for age in a society dominated by youth mania.What does "honor" mean when the father lives in a nursing home, or for care at home when the confused mother no longer knows her children? The top Benedictine monk and church expert show the "Suddeutsche Zeitung" that the commandment does not impose certain solutions, but opens up paths that serve the lives of all – including the weak and helpless.Actually, the sixth commandment seems even more provocative: the seemingly fun-killing demand for fidelity in marriage. This is where the "word of ten" seems most old-fashioned, and – in times of ubiquitous media sex consumption and a majority libertarian basic attitude – also most naive. In the "Rules for Living" it is rediscovered as "romantic": "It knows that relationships can fail, how quickly fidelity is broken. But it dreams undaunted of the infinite love between two people."

"It's about the good life, not a constricting catalog" The authors of both books try to show that what sounds to modern Western individualists like a deprivation of freedom actually makes inner freedom possible. Wolf and Drobinski address spiritual and ethical seekers in a way that is as profound as it is true to life. Rosenstock, more Protestant-sober, perhaps more accommodates the rational reader, with many examples and assistance."It's about the good life, not a constricting catalog," emphasizes Notker Wolf. The commandments become a guide for successful and peaceful coexistence, which makes free – also "from having to have" and the "economization of life".Even entrepreneurs have rediscovered the commandments. The League of Catholic Entrepreneurs rewrote it for managers: "Curb your covetousness. Keep your egoism in check."As early as 2007, Ludwig Georg Braun, President of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, urged in "Manager Magazin" that the Ten Commandments be observed: do not lie, be correct and honest, and act fairly. "Above all," Braun makes the same rule as the Benedictine: "Thou shalt deal with others as you wish to be dealt with." This contribution was already published on 17. November sent.

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Christina Cherry
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