Globalization and Christian Humanism

Globalization and Christian Humanism

To Inaugurate a New Season of Dialogue 


The press Agency SIR interviewed Provost Piero Coda at the conclusion of the XI Forum of the Cultural Project, held in Rome from November 30 to last December 1st.  We bring you a few excerpts of the interview taken from the Agency’s site, edited by M. Michela Nicolais.


‘To Qualify the Contribution of the Catholic World in the Processes of Globalization Taking Place’ –is the title of the Forum – the Provost of the IUS reminded us first of all of the necessity of going to the roots of the Christian identity, in itself ‘relational and welcoming, an identity that gives witness of itself in the welcome given to the other and in growing together with it.’   Again, an identity which is expressed by welcoming ‘the responsibility of the truth’ – and therefore, the daily choice of walking together, drawing from those existential values which reveal man to himself – and the ‘responsibility of justice’ – that is, the commitment to build a way of living together that gives space to the ‘identity of each one, respectful of differences and in the positive dynamic of their reciprocal communication.’



Within this framework, the topic of freedom of religion, decisively current, is particularly emphasized.  Identity and dialogue represent an indivisible binomial – continues Coda – and ‘it is also underlined by Benedict XVI in the preface to the volume which gathers his writings on the Council.  Dignitates Humanae and Nostra Aetate are, in fact, two documents among the most incisively original of the Council, because they keep together this polarity.  Today, it is necessary to form Christian conscience to keep more decisively in mind these great orientations by the Council: the respect of freedom of religion founded on human dignity open to the recognition of truth and, from this, a sincere dialogue in the light of the search for the common good.  At the same time, - as John Paul II and Benedict XVI exhort us to do -, we must put the leaven of these orientations in the fabric of relationships between cultures and civilizations, so that they begin to inform the process of political encounter and economic planning.


In the search dimension for the truth which nourishes human experience, ‘there is a mortal disease traversing society: having lost the integral sense and convergence of knowledge.  This tension needs to be reborn, as John Paul II recommended in Fides et Ratio, it is our cultural and inescapable task.  And in Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI invites us to a ‘new leap of thought.’  For this reason, it is urgent that we reintegrate the theological and philosophical perspective of Christian inspiration within the context of the sciences of mankind and of nature, in favor, for example, of a conception of technology in which this last be put to the service of the person and not cede to the temptation of reducing man to a prosthesis of technical invention.  Rather, we must give new wings to humanistic culture’ and ‘inaugurate a season of a new great humanism which draws its vital sap at the Christian roots without excluding any constructive input.’


An ulterior element underlined by Coda in his reflection is the interaction between global and local, so as to make sure that ‘the local does not turn back upon itself becoming impoverished and finally, at the end, drying up, and that the universal tension does not become abstract or worse, ideological.’  The choice of ‘experimenting ways of local incarnation, of creative undertaking of one’s own spiritual and cultural roots and likewise of welcoming openness towards the other’ can produce important experiences, such as the formative program that has opened at Sophia: “The importance of a school of culture and life that educates to keep this polarity together, to provide incentives for programs of humanization inspired towards the centrality of the person in communion”.


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