"Reincarnation" Fills a Gap, Theologian Says

For Those Who Have Lost Substance of Faith

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PAMPLONA, Spain, APR. 27, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Belief in reincarnation is incompatible with the Christian faith, a theologian reminded participants at a symposium on «the last things.»

«The person who really believes in eternal life lives differently,» Joachim Gnilka said Thursday at the University of Navarre. The theology professor from Munich University was here to attend the 22nd Theological Symposium, whose theme is «Eschatology and Christian Life.»

«The majority of people long to go beyond the natural limits of this life, they wish to live after death,» Gnilka said. «The individuals who have lost the substance of Christian faith look for other new ways to give meaning to life. Belief in reincarnation is a proof of these profound anxieties that exist in human nature.»

On Wednesday, theologian Jutta Burggraf told the symposium that about one-fourth of Central Europeans believe in reincarnation.

Gnilka said: «This belief in reincarnation is incompatible with faith in Jesus Christ, because there is no salvation in reincarnation: Man returns to his former misery again; there is no redemption.»

He added: «A European, even if he is an atheist, must know Christianity if he wishes to be minimally educated. Only in this way will he know where his roots are. It is a cultural question: The individual who is culturally open accepts religious education, at least as transmitter of history; although for Christians, religion classes must also transmit a living faith in Christ.»

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