Mission Statement of the Department of Dogmatics

Dogmatic theology

opens up the dynamics of meaning of divine revelation in the Christian faith on the basis of the Holy Scripture and ecclesiastical tradition. It uses rational discourse and its own pluralistic methodology. Dogmatic theology leads to independent theological thought and research, which deals with questions of personal hope, as well as the hope of society and the world, in a time-, culture- and society-sensitive way.


In addition to teaching, the scientific practice of Dogmatic Theology includes the theological disscussion and reflection of its contents in the form of fundamental dogmatics, the history of dogmatics and the classical dogmatic treatises.


Further, according to the First Vatican Council (DH 3016), dogmatic theology has to consider the following elements:


In order to open up the Christian divine revelation, a connection between reason and faith (ratio fidei illustrata) that facilitates the insight into the mystery of God (intelligentia mysteriorum) needs to be sought. "Understanding of faith" (intellectus fidei) must be determined from three sources:


  • Correspondence to world knowledge, to philosophy and the sciences, to the laws of rational reasoning according to the related criteria of truth;
  • Coherence of all theological statements (nexus mysteriorum inter se), their positional and normative systematics;
  • Purpose of the faith lies in the ultimate goal of man (finis hominis ultimum).


The logical scientific context of dogmatic methodology is characterised according to the Second Vatican Council (Optatam Totius 16) by interdisciplinary dynamics:


  • Bible Studies: the biblical development of the origin and transmission of Christian revelation;
  • Patristic theology: the development of the patristic texts of Western and Eastern tradition and their contribution to the systematic development of the individual religious truths;
  • History of theology and dogmatic history;
  • Systematic, hermeneutical and speculative analysis of the tradition of faith as a unity with internal connections;
  • Relation to structures and developments of the life of the church;
  • Analysis of time and culture in its social, intercultural and interreligious dimensions;
  • contextualisation;
  • Contemporary orientation.


Dogmatic theology uses the following methodologies: 

  • Synthetic normative methodology: This includes all methods by which dogmatic theology promotes a constructive systematisation of faith regarding the question of truth. Here, dogmatic theology is systematic, positional, philosophical and normative theology.
  • Analytical critical methodology: This includes all methods by which dogmatic theology questions its material critically in terms of philosophical reflection, examines it and adapts it with regard to social and cultural relevance. Here, dogmatic theology is historical, critical and hermeneutical theology.
  • Dialogical comparative methodology: In dealing with the reality of the world in which the Christian faith wants to be conveyed with a universal claim to truth, dogmatic theology needs to gain knowledge about religious traditions and engage in a dialogue. Here, dogmatic theology is comparative, interreligious and intercultural.