Charity in Dialogue: A Reflection on Hermeneutics, Religion, and Human Dignity
Larsen, Edward Charles Martin
Ambrosio, Francis J.
The central argument in this thesis is that religion, and in particular the Christian religion, has an essential cultural function to play in the first half of the twenty-first century as a cultural educator par excellence that offers proposals for the rediscovery and renewal of human dignity as an absolute value. Constructive dialogue, which is critical for mediating conflicting truth claims and value convictions, has largely broken down in contemporary society, and I contend that mainstream religious communities have something vital to contribute to repair this impasse; namely, to impart or re-inculcate a sense of transcendence within the public square. I use the word transcendence here to refer to the absolute mystery of God, who exceeds our human language and concepts, and thus one central task of this thesis is to reflect anew upon the questions posed to humanity over the centuries in light of this mystery as we contemplate it as Christians in the emerging horizon of the current century. To briefly prefigure the argument here, it is that a Trinitarian anthropology witnessed most clearly in the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which as the Vatican II Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World argues, is the source of authentic human dignity. In one of the most quoted passages of the constitution, the Council fathers declare the “truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light…. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.” In addressing this topic, I rely heavily upon the writings of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whose analysis of the complex problems confronting the contemporary world are both perspicacious and accurate, so much so that I consider him to be a public intellectual par excellence. The methodological framework that will be used throughout the thesis is based on Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics that he advanced in his renowned work Truth and Method.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.