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Dialogues between Faith and ReasonThe Death and Return of God in Modern German Thought$
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John H. Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449277

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449277.001.0001

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Fides et Ratio

Fides et Ratio

“Right Reason” and Europe in Contemporary Catholic Thought (Benedict XVI)

(p.258) Chapter 10 Fides et Ratio
Dialogues between Faith and Reason

John H. Smith

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's position regarding the relationship between faith and reason. In particular, it considers how Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) thinks of the contemporary situation, including the political identity of the West, in oppositional terms. It also discusses Pope Benedict XVI's claim that the Western tradition is imbued with rationality and threatened by “outside” forces, along with his thesis on the importance of the “Hellenization” of Judaism as the founding condition, or “event,” of Christianity; how this “event” brings with it a version of the history of Christianity and Europe as a history of logos; and the political conclusions that the pope has drawn for contemporary Europe. Finally, the chapter explores Benedict XVI's argument that the present “crisis” of European culture—the consequence of the loss of logocentric identity—can be solved by returning to a broader, unified concept of logos.

Keywords:   logos, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, faith, reason, Pope Benedict XVI, Western tradition, Hellenization, Judaism, Christianity, Europe

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