Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One final post for the day!  Angelo Scola went right to one of the central themes and missions of this blog in a recent essay in defense of Christians speaking out and applying their principles in the public square.  I've made green one line that especially highlights one of my priorities in the caption below: 

It seems to me that people often lose sight of the heart of the matter: every faith must always be subjected to a public cultural interpretation. It is an inevitable fact. On the one hand, this is because, as John Paul II wrote, "a faith that did not become cultural would not be fully welcomed, not entirely thought out, not faithfully lived." On the other, since the faith – Jewish and Christian – is the result of God's compromise with history, it inevitably has to do with the concreteness of life and death, of love and pain, of work and rest, and of civic action. For this reason, it is inevitably the object of different cultural interpretations, which can be in conflict with each other. 

In this phase of "post-secularism," there are two cultural interpretations of Christianity in particular that are at odds with each other. Both seem reductive to me. 

The first is the one that treats Christianity as a civil religion, as mere ethical cement, capable of acting as a social adhesive for our democracy and for the European democracies in grave distress. If such a position is plausible in those who do not believe, its structural insufficiency should be evident to those who do believe. 

The other, more subtle interpretation is the one that tends to reduce Christianity to the proclamation of the pure, unadorned Cross, for the salvation of "everyone else.

1 comment:

  1. I'd just like to comment on your reading list. Thumbs up on: Ideas Have Consequences, The Giver, Horatio Hornblower and The Scarlet Pimpernell. I have, but have not gotten around to reading, Render Under Caesar and Witness to Hope. Your blog looks awesome!

    Have a blessed Lent!