Pope Benedict's Speech  

Posted by Unknown

Here's a link to the speech that Pope Benedict made which has apparently upset a number of Muslims. I've just read it, and I'm disappointed - though in no way surprised - that the media has not been reporting its content very honestly.

It's actually a critique of post-modern thought, both within the Church and in Western society, and how it has affected the West's ability to engage in meaningful dialogue with the rest of the world. It's a fairly dense read, but if I understand him correctly, he argues that one of the main problems we in the West have in regards to communications is that our society has decided that only that which is scientifically-provable exists, and thus we regard religion as unreal, personal, and private opinion. Theology, on the other hand, is the scholarly inquiry into the rationality of religion; in the "science-only" mindset (which, oddly enough, seems to have become a postmodern 'given', despite its tendency toward relativism), theology and other studies are disregarded.

In short, science is only one aspect of rationalism, and by heeding only science and claiming that only that which is scientifically/empirically provable is real, humans attempt to see the world as being far smaller than it actually is. The question of modernism is not "Is it scientific," but "Is it reasonable?" The Pope argues that these are, indeed, two very different things; the question of science is only a sub-set of rational inquiry into the Universe.

By all means, please give it a read. He has a lot of interesting arguments to make, dealing not only with historical perceptions of Islam and whether Islam is/can be a rational faith, but also pointing out fallacy in the call of the postmodern/Emergent church movement. I don't know if I agree with his statements on Protestantism, but I need to mull over his arguments on that topic for a while.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at Tuesday, September 19, 2006 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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