Posted by: Billy Marsh | October 16, 2008

Moltmann On Political Correctness

Jürgen Moltmann is another one of the mid-20th century “modern” theologians that we are reading for our Systematic Theology Ph. D. seminar here at SWBTS. I just ran across this quote, and thought that with the current political climate, I’d share it. I’m not directing it at any candidate or party. It’s just a statement about how language can be manipulated in order to give the people an allusion illusion of what really lies behind those who decide what is “politically correct”. Moltmann is a former German P.O.W in WWII. He was captured by British forces, and it was through this time of isolation and suffering that he became a Christian. Though his theology is “out-there” in many places, I loved this quote.

Political correctness was invented long ago in dictatorships of this kind [Hitler and Stalin], as a way of controlling the language of the people, and with their language their souls (174, emphasis mine; Experiences in Theology).


  1. Interesting. Never occurred to me that Moltmann was in WWII. I got to see him deliver a lecture a few years back. Neither there or any of things I’ve read by him did I come across his war-time experiences. Thanks. I’m putting this on my reading list.

  2. I got to see him deliver a lecture a few years back.


    You’re punking us all when you say things like that. :)


    This is a good and apt find.

    in order to give the people an allusion of what really lies behind

    Now, are you alluding to an illusion, or eluding an allusion? Or, are you using language to equivocate as you expound on what it means to manipulate?


  3. Definitely the former, though the latter was not necessarily out of mind, however, the power of suggestion knows no bounds and must not be mistaken as self-evident and may be accomplished even when the actual illocution appears to be “politically correct,” yet achieves the intended perlocutionary goal.

    *Take note of the strikethrough in post.

  4. Billy,
    I just discovered your site. This is not spam, but I will put in a plug for my Theological German blog. I posted the RadioVatican interviews of Moltmann on his 80th birthday at

  5. Mark,

    Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that you keep coming back to “Joy in the Journey.” What is ironic about visiting my blog is that, currently, I’m taking a theological German language course right now, and we’re using your blog for translation exercises. Pretty neat, eh! Hope to talk with you some more.

    In Christ,

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