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The actuality of Rosminian thought

A Rosminian Interpretation of the Socio-ethical Plan of Pope Francis and its impact on the Relationship between Faith and Reason (A video course by Prof. Markus Krienke)

Within few months of Pope Francis’ Pontificate, we can pin-point already some specific signs and direction of his thoughts and plan. Nevertheless, it seems a bit difficult to spontaneously realize de facto specific theoretical and practical implications of his assertions. The lectures try to point out their profound significance in a Rosminian light – as well as they bring some of the central thoughts and reflections of Rosmini to a new actuality by reflecting them in the Pope’s pronouncements.

In the light of Rosminian thought, the few significant and systematic assertions of Pope Francis in the few months of his pontificate can be brought to their deeper meaning. The other way round, they indicate the actual relevance of the reflections of the Roveretan thinker. This process of reciprocal interpretation can be shown from a socio-ethical perspective as well as from the dogmatic question on the relationship between faith and reason.
In the first manner, the central issue of poverty should not be seen in a charitable dimension only, but as a universal opportunity of the spirit to reform the Church and society. As we can learn from Rosmini, with his many statements on poverty, Pope Francis follows therefore a vision for the future of society and state. In the same dimension, he also affirms the necessity of a new collegiality in the Church’s structures and a consequent reaffirmation of the “principle of person” as the core discovery of the Second Vatican Council.
The analysis of “faith and reason” concentrates on the encyclical of Francis, Lumen fidei. Identifying himself with the encyclical, written by Benedict XVI, the new Pope stresses the importance of a personal comprehension of faith, which is not the “possession” of a theoretical truth. Because of that difference, for Rosmini the “supernatural light” does not overcome or terminate the “natural light” of reason, but stands in a positive relationship to it. This is also the main theme of the “letter to a non-believer” of Francis to Scalfari, where he did not affirm “relativism” but the real difference of the meaning of truth in a religious or in a scientific sense.

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