The fifth cycle nos. The sixth cycle nos. Saint Augustine represents the first attempt in the West to develop a unified presentation of the faith through the use of a particular philosophical system.
By the thirteenth century, modes of thought and the culture had changed. Arabic translations of works of Aristotle, unknown to medieval Europe, translated into Latin in Spain, became available to scholars in Europe. Later, direct translations from the Greek to Latin were available through the crusading states established in the Holy Land. Not only did these new translations provide more accurate texts of works already known, previously unknown works, at least to medieval Europeans, became available.
No longer did the Augustinian system convey the faith in terms easily understood. It was necessary to develop a new synthesis, a new way of conveying the faith. Thomas did what Saint Augustine did, except that instead of Platonic philosophy, St. Thomas used Aristotle.
The resulting theological synthesis was the second mode of conveying the faith in the West. This new approach is necessary because most people in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries do not think and act in the categories of either Saint Thomas or Saint Augustine. Both Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas lived and taught in a culture which might be described as objective, deductive, and principled. The modern world is primarily subjective, inductive, and experiential.
Objective means that something is real, i. For example, if a blind man is outside, but cannot see the trees, the trees are still there. Even though he does not perceive them, the trees are truly there. The existence of the trees does not depend on whether the blind man perceives them or not. The subjective view of reality claims that only that which I perceive to be real is actually real. Generally, the subjective view of reality is not applied to trees and physical objects. However, it is applied to non-physical realities, e. In the medieval world, such a claim would be utter nonsense.
In fact, to most medieval academics, the truths of the faith, both dogmatic and moral truths, were more real than physical objects. The medieval world was objective. We are subjective. The medieval world was also deductive which is corollary of its objective view of the world. Knowledge was derived from principles by the process of deduction, often illustrated in syllogisms. We determine what is true by experiments, by our own experience and by counting heads—whatever the majority believes.
An Introduction and Commentary
This method of reaching truth or knowledge is the inductive method and it is a different process than the deductive method. The third difference, i. The medieval world was based on widely accepted truths from which conclusions were drawn, i. The modern world derives knowledge from personal experiences. Since most in our era think subjectively, inductively, and experientially, they are ill prepared to hear, or even less, understand the truths and practices of the faith taught in a structure and outline which is objective, deductive, and principled.
Even the vocabulary and language used in either the Thomistic or Augustinian synthesis is foreign to the modern ear. If the Revelation of Christ is to be grasped and understood today, it needs to be presented to people in their own language and in their own modes of thought.
In a word, it needs to have a subjective, inductive, and experiential garb and it needs to use words which are part of the common coinage of modern culture. That is what St. Thomas did for the thirteenth century—and make no mistake, there were those who insisted on continuing to use the traditional explanations, i. Augustine—and what John Paul II is doing for our generation. If one understands the Thomistic or Augustinian synthesis, is there any harm in using them?
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Of course not, and they need to be taught to every generation of theologians. However, as a way of conveying the faith to the people of the twenty-first century, it seems that the new John Paul II synthesis is more effective. Of course, he is! Thomas was an Augustinian. Each new synthesis builds on the previous ones. But there is also no question that he is building a new theological synthesis which will be one of the building blocks of the Church in the twenty-first century and beyond.
The Augustinian synthesis was the way the Church thought about Revelation for about eight hundred years! For some, such a claim may be startling. It is not often that one hears a contemporary living person compared favorably with one of the icons of western culture. No one of these coincidences or events would make the case, but all of them, put together, cannot be mere happenstance. All together, through these facts it seems that the Holy Spirit is telling all of us that we should pay attention to this Pope.
Further, the reason why we should pay attention is precisely the new synthesis of the faith he is offering to the Church and the world. First of all, although only in his early forties, the then Bishop Wojtyla spoke at the Second Vatican Council.
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The original draft was edited, but as it stands today, it is predominantly what was drafted in Poland.. Since the Second Vatican Council was primarily about the Church the word Church is the most used substantive word in the conciliar documents , John Paul II had a significant influence on its work. Third, neither he nor John Paul I were expected to be chosen as Pope in In the papal elections of the twentieth century, the two or three candidates for each election were fairly well-known. Almost always, the new Pope was one of the two or three mentioned in the media as possibilities. The Pope at the time of his election has since the tenth century taken a new name, but only one.
Mary: God's Yes to Man
To some, this may seem rather insignificant, but if one realizes the force of custom at the Vatican, the double name becomes incredibly important. Only with great difficulty and much thought are customs changed. For example, when John Paul I died, they still made sure the Pope was actually dead by hitting him three times on the forehead with a hammer and calling out his baptismal name. This method was used in past centuries to make sure the Pope had died. Even though the physicians have assured everyone that the Pope has died, they still use the hammer because that was the way it was done centuries ago!
There has not been three Popes in a single year since There has not been a non-Italian Pope since Eighth, despite challenges to all of us to live up to the moral teachings of Christ regarding drugs and sexual practices, John Paul II is immensely popular and many cannot understand how he can issue such challenges and still be so welcomed by so many people, especially the young.
Of course, his popularity is based on the appeal of the truth of the Gospel which people recognize when he preaches because it is taught in a language and a method they can understand. Ninth, he has traveled more than any Pope in history—a very significant fact when one remembers that for almost a century, the Pope never left Rome and its surroundings. Tenth, the assassination attempt on his life in May, was clearly sponsored by the Bulgarian government.
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The reoccurring themes of social and economic justice mentioned in Centesimus annus articulate foundational beliefs in the social teaching of the Catholic Church. Throughout the encyclical the Pope calls on the State to be the agent of justice for the poor and to protect human rights of all its citizens, repeating a theme from Pope Leo XIII's Rerum novarum. When there is question of defending the rights of individuals, the defenceless and the poor have a claim to special consideration. The richer class has many ways of shielding itself, and stands less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back on, and must chiefly depend on the assistance of the State.
It is for this reason that wage-earners, since they mostly belong to the latter class, should be specially cared for and protected by the Government .
The Encyclicals of John Paul II: An Introduction and Commentary
But Pope John Paul II also defends private property, markets, and honorable business as necessary elements of a system of political economy that respects the dignity of the individual and allows the individual to express his full humanity. He formulates an Adam Smithian "invisible hand" argument:.
Man fulfills himself by using his intelligence and freedom. In so doing he utilizes the things of this world as objects and instruments and makes them his own. The foundation of the right to private initiative and ownership is to be found in this activity. By means of his work man commits himself, not only for his own sake but also for others and with others. Each person collaborates in the work of others and for their good. Man works in order to provide for the needs of his family, his community, his nation, and ultimately all humanity. The Document begins by pointing out various events that happened in the year of but more importantly how it embraced a longer period of the s with dictatorial and oppressive regimes.
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This chapter expresses the importance of using moral, peaceful and visibility of the truth to diminish dictatorship or whatever they may have had which was negative to society as a whole. This approach was opposite of what the Marxists thought ought to be followed. Marxist believed that only by social conflict would such matters be able to be resolved. The inefficiency of the economic system in different dimensions was greatly looked down upon as well. It was made clear that "no political society should ever be confused with the kingdom of God" because many firms because of the industrial developments had a sense of possibly obtaining a "kingdom" due to the wealth and the financial level that they were placed made them feel at a certain stage of perfection.
Overall this chapter is an overview of how the events of had a worldwide importance because of the negative and positive outcomes that it brought upon the whole human society. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Emblem of the Holy See. The development of traditional Marian dogma in the light of the present day bears the Pope's unmistakable personal stamp.
There is a particular emphasis on ecumenism. What binds all Christians to Mary becomes ever clearer: she is the model of their faith. In the liturgy, Advent is a Marian time: the time when Mary made room in her womb for the Savior of the world and bore within her humanity's hope and expectation. Celebrating Advent means becoming Marian, imitating Mary's unconditional Yes which is ever anew the place of God's birth, the 'fullness of time'"? Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.
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