Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach


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1. What are science and religion, and how do they interrelate?

It presents the fertile, groundbreaking, and unique aspects of phenomenological theorizing against the background of contemporary debate about social ontology and collective intentionality. Readers will also learn about other sources that, although almost wholly neglected by historians of philosophy, testify to the vitality of the phenomenological tradition.

In addition, the contributions highlight the systematic relevance of phenomenological research by pinpointing its position on social ontology and collective intentionality within the history of philosophy. By presenting phenomenological contributions in a scholarly yet accessible way, this volume introduces an interesting and important perspective into contemporary debate insofar as it bridges the gap between the analytical and the continental traditions in social philosophy.

The volume provides readers with a deep understanding into such questions as: What does it mean to share experiences with others? What does it mean to share emotions with friends or to share intentions with partners in a joint endeavor? What are groups? What are institutional facts like money, universities, and cocktail parties?

Donald Eugene Miller

What are values and what role do values play in social reality? Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide. Front Matter Pages i-vi. Social Reality — The Phenomenological Approach. Interreligious encounters, study, and living has lifted dialogue as the superior manner to relate to each other.

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A sort of Copernican turn took place in the traditional understanding of how to deal with the truth claims of other religions. When other religions are taken seriously, appreciatively, and are allowed to impress upon us the significance of their experiences, aims, and truth claims, such new insights affect nearly all our previous perceptions not only of the other religions but also of our own. Naturally this new unitive approach threatens to break the former unitive perception of truth apart.

In this struggle to interpret and reinterpret the fundamental truth claim and message of the Christian religion great cleavages in understanding occur as to how to communicate our mission to those who do not already share it. Jozef Cardinal Tomko and the fifteen respondents in this volume have gone a long way in reflecting on these fundamental issues, shedding useful insights on the relationship of Christian mission and interreligious dialogue. It is our hope that these insights will contribute to the larger sphere of the mind, heart and life of the Church as it relates to other religions-where the tension between mission and dialogue is being played out-with the hope that they will help make that tension creative rather than disruptive.

Cardinal Jozef Tomko. Introduction: Importance of the Theme. Salvation, redemption, liberation A problem often submerged by the course of life, but one which emerges with pressing urgency at crucial moments. So it is a complex reality that immediately presents two fundamental aspects: one negative, which answers the question: salvation or liberation from whom or from what?

The other aspect concerns the positive contents: salvation or liberation for what or in view of what?

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Salvation is a vital question for humanity and can bring doubt if not crisis to the woman or man who aspires to clarity, to certainty, indeed to security both on the level of physical existence, and on the spiritual and religious levels. Salvation involves the fundamental vision of humanity: who are humans? And the answers vary: There are those who speak of a purely human salvation: humanity finds self-sufficiency and self-redemption in itself; the aspiration to salvation, so deeply rooted in the human heart, can have a satisfactory psychological and sociological explanation; and there are no lack of ideologies or systems that promise this secularized salvation.

Other replies are religious in nature: In one form or another salvation is considered a central theme in all the great religions of the world. To bring and mediate salvation is also the mission of the Church and so her reason for existence. So we are at the heart of Christian missiology and of the very missionary activity of the Church. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Urban University wanted this Congress on the theme of salvation, because today there are precise reasons for urgency:.

In the past missionaries felt the pressing need to bring salvation to non-Christians with an almost dramatic anxiety. If their reading of the sacred texts was perhaps too fundamentalist, it is still vitally important to establish what is still valid in this motive.

Perhaps also for this reason in the last two decades it has become an ambiguous concept that needs to be explained in the light of the faith. In view of the dialogue with these religions, Christians must have a clear awareness of their own identity and of the role of the Christian faith in the divine plan of salvation. There are many new ideas in this field, but they need a close examination and a serious critical maturation.


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In opening this Congress, I do not intend to rob experts and scholars of theological and humanistic subjects involved in the problems of salvation of their job. Instead I want to present some questions and some challenges that missionary life itself poses to them, in expectation of a reply. They come from direct experience, gathered in various mission lands, behind which are ideas that circulate in the various books and articles on the subject. These experiences above all invite theologians to have the greatest precision in formulating their own theses; a precision that is measured in the light of faith, but also in the light of the practical disruptive consequences that these theses produce in the field of the missions.

Salvation and Non-Christian Religions.

The first concrete experience comes from the Far East, where the great majority profess one of the ancient classical religions, rich in culture and wisdom. In a meeting of pastoral operators one orator speaks of the respect the Second Vatican Council invites us to have for these religions; he presents them as a great human effort in the search for the Absolute.

However there is an objection from one group of missionaries that this presentation is not acceptable, because it degrades non-Christian religions to an effort from below and exalts Christianity as the religion coming from above, whereas in truth all religions are equally inspired by God and constitute ways of salvation. This practical attitude is, however, based on ideas. And the ideas revolve around some central points such as:. However it may be, many questions remain open as to how God realized and realizes this universal plan in history: with what means, through which people and instruments.

And here attention immediately moves to the other three points of interest: Jesus Christ, the Church, non-Christian religions. This affirmation gives theologians the difficult task of explaining whether and how people were saved before Christ and how, even after Christ, those who do not know or do not accept Jesus Christ are saved. The question of the necessity of the Church for salvation comes as a consequence and in connection with the person and the work of Christ.

And so the focal center of the problem is reduced to two poles: Christ and non-Christian religions. Paul Knitter had the merit of reducing all theological reflection on religions to four schemes or patterns of the Christ-non-Christian religions relationship. It has been noted that this schematization is not sufficiently objective. However in the Church there is also positive appreciation of the valid aspects of religions: St.

Feeney, dated 8 August To preserve the fact of faith in the uniqueness, finality and so on of the normativity of Christ, they give various explanations. This, at least, is what the theologians think who propose a model that sees Christ together with other religions and with other religious figures. Raimundo Pannikar reaches the same conclusion from the distinction between the Christ-Logos and the historical Jesus. There is more in the Christ-Logos than there is in the historical Jesus, so that the Logos can appear in different, but real ways in other religions and historical figures, outside of Jesus of Nazareth.

This well-being in which the Kingdom, the Reign of God, consists is the Reign of justice and of love to be reached in collaboration or dialogue with all. I do not know how far the missionaries I mentioned at the beginning acted on the basis of the opinions explained here.

What is certain is that they concentrated on social action, trying to achieve this in dialogue with non-Christians and abandoning the direct announcing of Jesus Christ more and more. This reduction of evangelization occurred also in other countries and in other continents. It is justified in various ways, but it always starts from at least two presuppositions: first, every religion is a way of salvation; second, it is necessary to seek dialogue with other religions, which must be re-evaluated.

It also presents a common tendency to eclipse or reduce the role of Christ, of the Church and of announcing and to concentrate all the activity and finality of evangelization on the building up of the Reign of God, sometimes undefined and at other times identified with social well-being, justice, peace and love. So also the Church, like Christ, must practice kenosis , self-emptying, in this service. With this service to the world people are coagulated and so the Church happens as an event and not as a structure.

Also the Catholic L. The centrality of the Reign of God appears more and more frequently in these theories.

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And the Reign of God, in the full ambiguity of interpretation, is also the cornerstone of the more recent reflections of some Asian theologians, who were influenced by their experiences of direct contact with the great ancient religions and cultures. After Vatican II, the relationship between the Church and religions could not be presented in terms of the presence-absence of salvation, nor of light-darkness, and not even with the divine-human or supernatural-natural dichotomy; today the binomial explicit-implicit, or full-partial, is more common.

The Church is called not only to witness, to proclaim, but also to collaborate in humility and respect for the divine mystery that operates in the world. But here too, with Pannikar, he distinguishes between the cosmic Christ and the historical Christ. But in the end, how is the divine universal plan of salvation accomplished? Through evangelization that knows three patterns: the first ecclesiocentric, the second centered on the world and the third on the Reign of God. This is the mission in which the Church must collaborate-with dialogue, with inculturation and with liberation: strangely, but significantly, proclamation, i.

This includes the effort to help followers of other religions to follow those religions in a better manner.

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These theories are now widespread and beginning to bear fruit in the practical field. Some missionaries who work among the Indios in Latin America pose the same problem for themselves from a different angle. They were faced with the difficulty of changing the customs with which the Indios live happily and with an easy conscience; so why should they disturb their good faith with the severe demands of the Christian morality which is too hard for them and leads them to continuous spiritual distress?

On the other hand following their conscience, the Indios are saved just the same. Some of these missionaries then asked themselves whether it was not perhaps better to try to raise the level of social life and concern themselves more with the physical health of the Indios than with their salvation. So the need for a clear answer to the problem is felt in many continents. It is even vaster with regard to the relationship between salvation and human promotion in any form economic, social, political, development, liberation, justice and peace.

Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach
Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach
Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach
Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach
Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach
Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach
Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach
Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach
Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach Rescuing the Other in Liberal and Conservative Christian Dialogue: A Phenomenological Approach

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