By Thomas R. Rourke
Overlaying the complete trajectory of his spiritual existence, this ebook identifies and analyzes the principles of political and social order within the philosophy of Pope Benedict XVI. Thomas R. Rourke explains Benedict's trust within the worth of the Christian tradition's contribution to a latest politics of cause.
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Extra info for The Social and Political Thought of Benedict XVI
Benedict writes: Human life stands under God’s special protection, because. . each one bears God’s breath in himself or herself, each one is God’s image. This is the deepest reason for the inviolability of human dignity, and upon it is founded ultimately every civilization. When the human person is no longer seen as standing under God’s protection and bearing God’s breath, then the human being begins to be viewed in utilitarian fashion. 34 Associated with this descent into barbarity is the ancillary notion that man is a mere accident, a byproduct of the evolutionary process.
When it substitutes for morality, we cross the line into mythology. So, we often hear the claim that we have to permit all kinds of developments in the name of progress, even if these mean experimenting on human beings with the intention of destroying them, as in the case of embryonic stem cell research, or even killing them outright, as in the case of abortion. Science is subject to the same trends. 31 In the third myth, liberation, we see the re-emergence of the Gnostic myth of establishing the kingdom of God or its equivalent within history.
D. ANTHROPOLOGY AND POLITICAL THINKING This overview of Benedict’s theological anthropology may seem distant from the discourse of political philosophy, but in truth it is a necessary foundation for it. Political philosophy can only be about the shared life of people, and hence rests on an understanding of what a person is and what a community is. Hence, politics is grounded in anthropology, and will only yield good fruit if the underlying understanding of the person is sound. Seen in this light, we can begin to appreciate how much Benedict has to offer to the foundations of politics based solely on his anthropology.
The Social and Political Thought of Benedict XVI by Thomas R. Rourke