Loading
Benedict XVI: Philosophy needs to help guide modern society

.- Saturday at the Vatican, the Holy Father received college educators participating in the sixth European Symposium of University Professors.  In his address, the Pontiff emphasized the vital role of philosophy in understanding modernity.

The symposium, which was held in Rome on June 4 – 7, focused on the theme: "Broadening the Horizons of Reason. Prospects for Philosophy." 

Benedict XVI began his address by noting that 2008 marks the tenth anniversary of John Paul II's Encyclical "Fides et ratio."  He recalled that when it was published, fifty philosophy professors in Rome “expressed their gratitude to the Pope with a declaration underlining the importance of re-launching the study of philosophy in universities and schools."

Reflecting on the years since the encyclical, the Pope mentioned that events which have occurred in the past ten years have “delineated more clearly the historical and cultural stage onto which philosophical research is called to enter. Indeed, the crisis of modernity is not a symptom of the decline of philosophy; on the contrary, philosophy must embark upon new lines of research in order to understand the true nature of that crisis."

"Modernity is not simply a historically-datable cultural phenomenon; in reality it requires a new focus, a more exact understanding of the nature of man."

Benedict XVI indicated that since the beginning of his pontificate he had received various suggestions "from men and women of our time," and that "in the light of these I have decided to offer a research proposal which I feel may arouse interest in a re-launch of philosophy and of its unique role within the modern academic and cultural world."

Quoting his own book, "Introduction to Christianity," he said: "The Christian faith has made a clear choice: against the gods of religion for the God of the philosophers, in other words against the myth of custom and for the truth of being.  This affirmation,” he continued, “is still fully relevant in the historical-cultural context in which we now live. Indeed, only on the basis of this premise - which is historical and theological at one and the same time - is it possible to respond to the new expectations of philosophy. The risk that religion, even the Christian religion, be surreptitiously manipulated, is very real even today."

"The proposal to 'Broaden the Horizons of Reason' should be understood as a request for a new openness towards the reality to which human beings in their uni-totality are called, overcoming old prejudices and reductive viewpoints in order to open the way to a new understanding of modernity."

Today, dialogue in between faith and reason cannot occur as in past times, explained the Pope.  "If it does not want to see itself reduced to the status of a sterile intellectual exercise, it must start from the current real situation of mankind, and upon that build a reflection that embraces man's ontological and metaphysical truth."

In his closing remarks, Benedict XVI referred to the need to "promote high-profile academic centers in which philosophy can enter into dialogue with other disciplines, in particular with theology, to favor new cultural syntheses capable of guiding society." He expressed the hope that "Catholic academic institutions may be ready to create true cultural laboratories" and he invited the professors to encourage young people "to commit themselves to philosophical studies by facilitating appropriate initiatives" to guide them in that direction."


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: