Synthesis

FAITH Magazine September-October 2010

For a Catholic it is hardly earth-shattering to be reminded that the future of civilisation depends upon its understanding of Jesus Christ. It is a perennial point for a faith that believes Christ is God and that faith and reason are in harmony. Yet, in the opinion of this magazine, this truism is particularly vital today, for at least two reasons.

First, western culture is frenetically engaging in an agnostic and hedonistic realignment. This is now tending to become a global revolution, and there is little effective opposition: see William Oddie's latest instalment on ecclesial "opposition". Second, the most prominent Christian understandings of Jesus Christ should be developed if they are to become sufficiently convincing to aid the renewal of our culture.

In the words of Cardinal Pell in this issue, in the context of "the grave errors of this time", we need to ponder more deeply the fact that Christ is "the centre and fulfilment of what it means to be human". Hence the Christological focus of this issue, which we present on the 40th anniversary of the publication of Edward Holloway's Catholicism: A New Synthesis. Holloway's seminal and speculative tome was, and the material in this magazine is, openly submitted to the judgment of reason and, more importantly, of the Church's magisterium.

Over the last 40 years Faith movement has been gradually developing a school of thinkers who share this diagnosis of, and prescription for, the sickness in our culture, and who are also firmly rooted in the busy, concrete realities of pastoral and familial work. But we have had little serious discussion with prominent and influential thinkers inside or outside the Church. We are thus especially grateful to those, writing in this and forthcoming issues, who have responded to our request to discuss the identity of God made Man - and more specifically our belief, described in our editorial article, that the key to re-evangelisation is to work through the understanding of Jesus' humanity, and thus his personality, as the fulfilment of creation.

We are pleased to be presenting in this issue what we think is a consensus on some of the key points we emphasise, as well as some important warnings from our contributors. As ever, in our Cutting Edge column (which takes on a new look in this issue), our correspondence discussions and our editorial, we highlight some of the danger signs of a false philosophy of creation inside and outside the Church.

In our Road to Regensburg column, we continue to follow Pope Benedict as he responds to John Paul II's "urgent" appeal for an orthodox development in philosophy and theology; we also note the work of the Cardinal Van Thuan Institute in exposing the ignorance surrounding the Pope's important anthropological developments, which were central to his encyclical Caritas in Veritate. Benedict has recently spawned two initiatives which aim to open a discussion with interested agnostics and atheists in the West. We ignore such initiatives at our peril.

Our next issue will focus on Catholic approaches to the impact of modern science upon our understanding of physical being. Again we will propose that the flesh of Christ is central.

Faith Magazine

September - October 2010