Raymund Schwager

Raymund Schwager ( born November 11, 1935 in Balterswil, Switzerland, † 27 February 2004 in Innsbruck) was a Catholic theologian and Jesuit.


Raymund Schwager was born the second of seven children in a Swiss peasant family. After high school, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1955. He studied philosophy (1957-1960 in Pullach near Munich), then theology (1963-1967 in Lyon - Fourvière, France). In between, he worked as an educator in the Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria. On 31 July 1966 he was ordained a priest and then completed his training with the theological doctorate at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland ( 1967-1969 ). During these years he also spent some time in Spain in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who was the subject of his doctoral thesis. In this Schwager understood the church image of the Founder, already as "dramatic ". From 1970 to 1977 Schwager was a member of the editorial board of ' orientation ' in Zurich and unfolded lively lectures. In 1977 he became professor of Dogmatic and Ecumenical Theology at the Theological Faculty of the University of Innsbruck. Two times (1985-1987, 1999-2003), he led them as dean. Raymund Schwager was a founding member of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion ( 1991), the first president (1991-1995) and honorary member of the Advisory Board for life. He died unexpectedly on February 27, 2004.


Raymund Schwager thinking was influenced primarily by three sources: 1) his Christian faith in the tradition and spirituality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola; 2) a reasoning that he "dramatically " called - a term which he took over from Hans Urs von Balthasar, to whom he gave new meaning to but in his " dramatic theology "; 3) the mimetic theory of René Girard and the friendship he maintained with their author. In his theology brother attacked on contentious issues such as possession of the victim or the delegate and especially after the issue of violence in the biblical scriptures and religions in general, and was working on it, like the Christian image of God was to design. His " Dramatic Theology " was mainly from the fact that the history of divine revelation, as recorded in the biblical writings, does not proceed linearly. Revelation is therefore not as a theoretical treatise, but it consists of a network of various independent acts - initiatives and responses - from various stakeholders - the divine and human. Therefore, the Bible is to be read as a drama that reflects this dramatic interaction. Every act in this drama of salvation are doing every single action, and thus the entire drama, new meaning. Only in retrospect from the end, it is possible to develop the overall sense of drama and his file and it create a theoretical theological design. Such a design is always based on the totality of the drama and its acts; separated from him, he petrified and will lose its validity. In R. Schwager list of major events such inter-religious dialogue and him supporting symbolic actions ranked near the top. He especially appreciated the prayer meeting with other religious leaders, the Pope John Paul II convoked in Assisi, the trips of this pope and his voice for the church forgiveness Ask the First Sunday of Lent in 2000. The acknowledgment of own debt and the Community guilt, you impute to without making others or the past scapegoats, brother- conviction According was a prerequisite for a genuine and lasting peace.


  • Original sin and salvation drama. In the context of evolution, genetic engineering and apocalyptic ( = contributions to the mimetic theory, Volume 4 ). Second, revised edition, Lit, Münster 2004 ( first edition 1997), ISBN 3-8258-3115-9
  • With Józef Neviadomski (ed.): Religion generates violence - Objection! Innsbruck Research project, Religion - Violence - Communication - World Order '(= contributions to the mimetic theory, volume 15 ). Lit, Münster / Hamburg / London 2003, ISBN 3-8258-6764-1; Thaur, Vienna / Munich ISBN 3-85400-127-4.
  • Jesus in the drama of salvation. Draft biblical doctrine of salvation (ITS 29). 2nd edition, Tyrolia, Innsbruck 1996 ( first edition 1990), ISBN 3-7022-1746-0 (online).
  • Do we need a scapegoat? Violence and redemption in the biblical writings. Thaur, Vienna / Munich 1994 ( First published by Kösel, Munich 1978, ISBN 3-466-20179-9 ), ISBN 3-85395-191-0 (online).
  • The power of the hunter escaped. As Jesus understood his life. Herder ( Herder = Library, Volume 8812 ), Freiburg im Breisgau 1994, ISBN 3-451-08812-6.
  • The wonderful exchange. On the history and interpretation of the doctrine of redemption. Kösel, Munich, 1986, ISBN 3-466-20279-5.
  • The dramatic understanding of the Church in Ignatius of Loyola. Historical- pastoral theological study on the position of the Church in the Spiritual Exercises and in the life of Ignatius. Benziger, Zurich / Einsiedeln / Köln 1970, ISBN 3-545-22060-5 ( same time dissertation at the University of Fribourg).