Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Religion

Before Philosophy--and After?

Pope Benedict XVI's Easter homilies are intellectually powerful statements of the Christian creed but also important for all interested in restoring reason to commanding place in public discourse.  In other words, he (like his predecessor) should be thought of as public intellectuals, not simply religious leaders. 

His Easter Vigil homily is one example: "We celebrate this day as the origin and the goal of our existence. We celebrate it because now, thanks to the risen Lord, it is definitively established that reason is stronger than unreason, truth stronger than lies, love stronger than death."

Likewise, his Good Friday homily these remarks (coincident with Earth Day--see Wheat&Weeds for comments) reflect on the relationship between the created and the rational order. 

Reason and revelation, philosophy and faith, freedom and duty--these are the themes of western civilization and the themes of the Catholic Church.  Little wonder that the Church is the principal institutional defender of reason in public discourse today--meaning as well the freedom to dissent in the public square from the Church's teachings.  Little wonder, too, that this defender of intellectual freedom should be derided as the source of bigotry and superstition.

Categories > Religion

Discussions - 4 Comments

Yes - I am awesome.

Methinks your screen name should be Risen Jesus. :)

Sure. Just as likely.

Try Socratic Jesus--read Pope Bendict XVI's Regensburg Lecture: No to Socrates, no to Christ. He defends "Hellenism" or Greek philosophy as a necessary prelude to Christianity. Of course it doesn't necessarily follow that all followers of Socrates must be Christians, a more difficult endeavor. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html

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