Mediating good life
What is a good life? How does this take shape? And what do theological visions and practices contribute to the discussion about this within church and society? These questions are central to our Mediating Good Life⊕ research programme. Participants from different theological disciplines study the question of the 'good life' from a variety of social and cultural contexts.
What is good life?
'Good life' has a wide variety of meanings, both popularly and in philosophical and theological language. Visions of the good life are everywhere. You see them in a rack of magazines in the supermarket about business, health, travel, sports or luxury hobbies. Or, more explicitly, in magazines such as Happinez, Psychology and Flow. Research with children shows that they define a good life by 'enjoying life' and 'being satisfied'. A good life can also mean a morally good life. In short: it often stands for those characteristics that make life worth living and that contribute to development.
Good life in theological perspective
From the theological perspective, the "good life" is always associated with a transcendent and ultimate reality. (Christian) theologians look at divine presence and intervention, at God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Theologians' view of the good life is characterized by such topics as being created in the image of God, salvation, reconciliation, and grace. But also through love, service, compassion, and community. Finally, a theological perspective explicitly takes into account the reality of evil: alienation, vulnerability, oppression, suffering and death. These realities are therefore also important in our programme.
Why ‘mediating’ good life?
Mediating refers to our assumption that a good life is given and received in Christ. The good life is only accessible through sacred texts, beliefs, ethical behavior and beliefs, past and present. 'Mediating' also implies that we must constantly rediscover, interpret and imagine what has been transferred to us in our own context. Contemporary experiences, imaginations, and articulations of the good life can question, sharpen, and enrich Christian views. And vice versa.