Thursday, 16 July 2015

Jesus, humanity, the cultures and the religions

Given our faith that Christ is not only the historical Jesus, but also at the same time the Lord who will come again, the process of the Christian Fact is not finished with the original event, even if it received from this event its definitive and permanent norms. If we were to move closer to the conceptions developed by the Greek Fathers, in their attempt to reach a global understanding of the Christian Fact, we could say that the process of the Incarnation, of the assimilation of the human on the part of the divine manifested in Christ, began in him, but did not end with him. Yet again, in other words, borrowing modern categories, we could express the same thing by saying that the encounter of humanity, starting with Jesus of Nazareth, continues as long as there are human beings; it is only in the course of this encounter that it can develop itself in all its possibilities. (J. Ratzinger, Il problema della storia dei dogmi nella teologia cattolica, Natura e compito della teologia: Il teologo nella disputa contemporanea Storia e dogma [Milano: Jaca Book, 1993] 118-119)

Earlier versions:
Das Problem des Dogmengeschichte in der Sicht der katholischen Theologie (Koln-Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1966).
"Il problema della storia dei dogma nella teologia cattolica," Storia e Dogma (Milano: Jaca Book, 1971) 11-34.

The highlighted text is extremely interesting for its world-ecumenical implications. If the assertion is true, then the encounter of humanity with Jesus continues in every religion, in every age, in every culture. And only in the course of this encounter can it develop and unfold in all its possibilities. 

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