Return to Book Page. Preview — Un amore by Dino Buzzati. Un amore by Dino Buzzati. Perdendo sicurezza, sonno e vita. Get A Copy. Paperback , Oscar Narrativa , pages. Published January 1st by A. Mondadori first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Un amore , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 22, Ilenia Zodiaco rated it really liked it Shelves: italiana , alieni. Una doverosa risata. View 1 comment. Nov 28, zumurruddu rated it it was amazing Shelves: italiani , nel-cuore. Un uomo, "un borghese nel pieno della vita, intelligente, corrotto, ricco e fortunato", si innamora di una giovanissima ragazza squillo.
Ce li offre in una prosa fluida, libera, li ritrae con dialoghi essenziali e fulminanti. E da vita a un capolavoro. View all 4 comments. L'ossessione della partecipazione "Chi era? Con quali speranze? Che sbagliata infanzia c'era alle sue spalle? Jan 01, Roberto rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , italia , amore-coppia. Lui raffinato intellettuale perdersi dietro a un tipo simile. Non mentiva a se stesso? Tutta la vita era vissuto senza sospettarne la causa. Tante volte era rimasto in ammirazione dinanzi a un paesaggio, a un monumento, a una piazza, a uno scorcio di strada, a un giardino, a un interno di chiesa, a una rupe, a un viottolo, a un deserto.
Solo adesso, finalmente, si rendeva conto del segreto. Quanto era stato stupido a non essersene mai accorto finora. Che interesse avrebbe una scogliera, una foresta, un rudere se non vi fosse implicata una attesa? E attesa di che se non di lei, della creatura che ci potrebbe fare felici? Che senso avrebbe la valle romantica tutta rupi e scorci misteriosi se il pensiero non potesse condurci lei in una passeggiata del tramonto tra flebili richiami di uccelli?
E a che cosa allusione se non a lei, alla creatura che ci potrebbe fare felici? Tu sei una ragazzetta che tira avanti alla meno peggio a colpi di marchette. Le convenienze sociali e balle del genere. Lui ti propone di diventare la sua amante fissa e ti offre uno stipendio. Chiede di comprarti, in poche parole. Tu fai i tuoi calcoli, valuti la convenienza e accetti.
Non sei ammessa in casa sua, non frequenti le case dei suoi amici, lui conduce una vita a parte, nella sua vera vita, quella che conta, tu non ci metti il naso. E adesso mi sai dire come tu, ragazza, gli puoi volere veramente bene. Un bellissimo capolavoro, triste, emozionante, magico. Mar 22, Elisa rated it really liked it Shelves: letteratura-italiana. Prostituta in "Ombre e nebbia" di Woody Allen Se siete spinti verso questo libro dal desiderio incontenibile di tuffarvi in una storia d'amore hollywoodiana, posatelo e girate al largo.
Nonostante i protagonisti siano un borghese in giacca e cravatta e una prostituta, siamo lontani anni luce dalle storie da favola in salsa prettywomanese. Con grande soddisfazione posso dire che Buzzati mi ha fregata.
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E' riuscito a trascinarmi talmente tanto nel tormento dell'architetto Antonio Dorigo da non farmi sospettare minimamente che anche la Laide, la spregiudicata prostituta diciottenne che lo intrappola con le sue infinite bugie, porta sulle spalle un carico di sofferenza non indifferente. Per gran parte dell'intreccio noi siamo Antonio, il suo amore, la sua rabbia, il suo sospetto bruciante.
Buzzati ci lega al povero Dorigo che si cruccia e passa il tempo diviso fra la speranza e la contemplazione delle crepe del soffitto della sua stanza, trasposizione della sua stessa vita che si sgretola pagina dopo pagina. Lo fa stilisticamente attraverso periodi scevri di punteggiatura e frasi che si sospendono improvvisamente in un ma. Eppure, alla fine arriva lo schiaffo. L'odiata Laide lascia improvvisamente il posto a una bambina che ancora aspetta di "aprire il pacco regalo della vita", conosce le bellezze che contiene ma non riesce mai a tagliare i nastri che lo tengono chiuso.
La sua posizione non le fornisce gli strumenti per farlo. Ed eccola, allora, la Laide, la personificazione della Milano degli anni sessanta. Emersa dai labirinti delle classi popolari, ragazzina che si fa donna e tenta di arrampicarsi sulla scala sociale piantando i suoi affilati artiglietti da cucciolo di belva.
E' membro di una categoria a parte, separata dalle "persone", privata del diritto di cittadinanza nel mondo perbene. Come tutte, si trasforma in logoramento. Ma sono davvero gli stessi? La stessa doppiezza si riscontra nei personaggi principali: Dorigo, un maturo architetto all'apparenza irreprensibile che, per timidezza e senso di inadeguatezza con le donne, soddisfa i propri appetiti sessuali con le prostitute; e Laide, giovanissima squillo, con le sue menzogne, i suoi capricci e i meschini sotterfugi.
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View 2 comments. Jan 30, Noce rated it really liked it. E tu, sei mai stato facocero o portapacchi? Fatta questa debita premessa, possiamo accomodarci e partecipare al giochino che Buzzati ha ideato per noi. E via che si ricomincia daccapo. Io sono riuscita ad arrivare al termine del libro. Ma una volta chiuso il libro, ci ho ripensato. Per metterci alla prova e vedere se riusciamo a sostenerne il peso. View all 7 comments. View all 10 comments. Sep 01, Dolceluna rated it it was amazing Shelves: classici-e-classici-moderni. Jun 28, arcobaleno rated it really liked it Shelves: letteraturaitaliana.
Non c'era che lui. Tutti gli altri dormivano. Tutti gli altri non sapevano. Splendido romanzo, per chi non ha paura. Dec 22, Simona Bartolotta rated it really liked it Shelves: in-italian , E' una cosa perfettamente normale. Ma figuriamoci. Diciamo che Buzzati sa come coinvolgere sentimentalmente. Diciamo che non mi sono piaciuti neppure i personaggi. La storia forse un pochino.
May 26, Rosalba rated it it was amazing. Ci sarebbe molto da dire su questo romanzo, ma credo che la cosa migliore sia leggerlo. Mar 03, Cirano rated it it was amazing. Storia di due solitudini che si incontrano. Ma allora dovrei essere felice. Sono felice? View all 5 comments. Ancora una volta Milano, questa volta quella degli anni del mio amato Scerbanenco, insomma una Milano a me ormai nota e cara, forse ricercata e non solo nei libri. Ma io non ci casco, a me Laide risulta simpatica. Eppure, come in ogni storia di amore che si rispetti, arriva la fine. La fine dei tormenti amorosi, dei sospiri e del sentirsi vivi, anche a 50 anni.
Forse anche Laide, alla fine, riesce ad adeguarsi. Sep 26, Serena.. Un libro 'erotico' e sensuale VERO, altre che quelle porcatelle odierne! While providing these opportunities is vital, it is not enough. The Church is not simply an institution which does things for people. We must seriously challenge individual Christians to put time and effort into opening themselves to the truth of God. Not merely prohibitions.
John Waters referred a generation which sees the Church as a source of prohibitions and condemnations. This is a symptom of the same lack of appreciation of the depth of the mystery. If one does not understand something of the love of God which has given life a new horizon, then moral living will no longer be love freely chosen and freely lived out Cf. St Thomas Aquinas pointed out that "even the letter of the Gospel could kill unless the saving grace of faith is present within" Summa Theologiae , 1-II q, a2c.
The moral crisis of our day has many dimensions — philosophical and cultural. But the essential element is that morality is losing its foundation in an adequate anthropology. When we recognise ourselves in the face of Christ and see our lives in the light of his promise, morality is no longer just a matter of rules.
It is about relationships, choices and attitudes that recognise the dignity and worth of every human being in the light of the love God shows us. Jn In relation to the Church and to moral teaching, the basic need is that identified by St Augustine and referred to in Spe Salvi : our hearts need to be enlarged and cleansed Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi , 33, cf. Augustine , Homily 4 on 1John , par 6. We must learn to be a people with a contemplative outlook.
That is the challenge for every Christian. Francis Cardinal George, O. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you this evening. The topic is of great personal interest and also of great importance for our life together in this democratic republic. I am grateful, as well, for the invitation to address the topic here, in the Library of Congress.
The last time I was invited to speak at an event sponsored by Dr. Billington was shortly before the celebration of the millennium. As you know, the Library of Congress sponsors every hundred years a review of the advance of knowledge in the many fields of human learning; and I was invited to speak to the topic of religion in the world. My presentation was heavily influenced by St. It was perhaps too heavily apologetic in looking at the influence of religion in the development of human affairs throughout the twentieth century.
In looking ahead to the next century, this century, I welcomed the phenomenon of cultural globalization because it would make clear that the great faiths remain the dominant shapers of cultures, as nation states are relativized in a new global order. I said, if I recall, that it is more provincial to be French or Chinese or American than to be Christian or Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist and that personal identity would again become more religious and less nationalistic.
Perhaps the most prescient remark, however, appeared toward the end of my talk when I said that the dialogue between Christianity and Islam will be the most important conversation of the coming century. It had been for a thousand years a relationship that often led to violence.
We had to do better in the twenty first century. Immediately after the attacks on our country in the name of the God of Abraham on Sept, 11, , the op-ed pieces in some of the major newspapers made it clear that all doctrinal or dogmatic religion is a threat to peace. Every religion must therefore give up every claim to truth and base its right to existence only on its offering private consolation and public charity. Religion in the new millennium must never be an excuse for violence but must, instead, play the role of peacemaker. At his election, he recalled St. Benedict and the role of the monasteries in pacifying Europe and preserving classical culture and education after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
Our question this evening touches indirectly the relation between religion and peace but asks, more specifically, about the relation between religion and forms of government, for every form of government justifies its own existence through its protection of the people governed and the creation of a public order in which they can be secure and live in peace. More specifically yet, we are raising the question of the relation between religion and a particular form of government, democracy.
Democracy justifies its existence not only because it can keep the peace but also because it can do so while respecting and preserving freedoms of all sorts. Basic to my distinctions will be the loosely Augustinian distinction between the sacred, the profane and the secular. After clarifying terms, I will argue three propositions that expose some difficulties and help us to address some of the reasons for the movement now to secularize our democratic society.
First, a word about religion: almost all historical religions are founded on the belief that God has taken an initiative in the affairs of humanity. They make truth claims about the nature of God, the nature of the human family and the destiny of the world and the human race. They and their truth claims are universal, although the major religions are each dominant in particular parts of the world. In these places, they have shaped cultures and public life, along with informing the lives of individual believers.
Because religion begins with a divine initiative, it is not entirely malleable; our experience is not definitive in establishing religious truth. Nor can faith be reduced to personal spirituality. Historical religions have afforded a window to a transcendent order not of our making. They become institutionally visible in a church or religious association, in monasteries and mosques and synagogues, in organizations of all sorts, especially in the fields of education, of health care, of charitable works. In the explicitly religious realm.
God or something like a divine presence permeates every dimension of experience, although always through mediators, whether popes or creeds, sacred texts or personal conscience. Historical religions, because they make truth claims, have been able to create or at least contribute to public discourse. It is of great importance to distinguish between religion and a personal philosophy of life, a view of things created by human thinkers and actors with no claim to a source transcendent to experience.
It is also important, if religion is to be a public voice, that it be able to critically examine its own claims and teachings. Of singular importance in this examination is the question of who God is, for if God is a competitor to human initiative, a type of cosmic dictator, then religion will sit uneasily in a public conversation about freedom.
To make these and other distinctions, religions that are not a simply arbitrary enterprise have used and continue to use reason to clarify, to better understand divine self-revelation in human history. Religion, as opposed to a personal philosophy, is ineluctably communitarian. It depends on texts only if those texts have been recognized as sacred by the community which wrote them. God, and therefore religion, demands a total response, a complete personal commitment; but neither God nor religion provides all the answers to worldly life.
If everything is sacred, then the faith community swallows up the world, and society becomes a convent.
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Secondly, a clarification about modernity: modernity, as it has come to characterize the largely Western and now global project of the past three centuries, means the pursuit of this - worldly fulfillment, an enterprise that often puts man at the center of at least human affairs if not of the universe. It proclaims the autonomy of the human race in pursuing science, the autonomy of the nations in pursuing sovereignty and the autonomy of individuals in pursuing rights.
In order to reduce the impediments or strictures interfering with autonomy, modernity conquers nature itself through scientific understanding and technological change, which is the manipulation of nature for human purposes. Progress in this field has enabled us to control disease on the one hand and to create weapons of mass destruction on the other. For many people, however, it is not only nature they still fail to understand; it is also the modern machines that create our environment.
Likewise, in order to reduce the impediments to autonomy that come from other persons or from the state, modernity has developed forms of liberal democracy, protecting rights to worship, think, speak, associate, own and exchange goods of all sorts. But the protection of rights has not purged from human memory the idea of the state as protector of the common good, a staple term in Western political theory throughout the Middle Ages.
Modern times have therefore been marked by numerous attempts to create a perfect society by social engineering, always justified by one political ideology or another, many careless of or destructive of human freedoms. There is at the heart of the liberal democratic project, a tension recognized by Locke and Madison in our own political tradition and by Aristotle and others in classic thought.
How can society purposefully and safely use the state to effect the fulfillment of its citizens, when power tends to corrupt its holders? Containment of and limitations to harmful forms of possible state coercion have created constitutions with bills of rights, systems of mixed regimes, separation of powers and checks and balances.
Democracy, considered as the participation of all in politics at least through the device of election of rulers, is the form of government most consistent with liberalism. These form people in ways of thought inimical to even constitutionally protected rights. If a democratic society comes to believe, for example, that agnosticism and moral relativism are necessary to preserve social peace, truth becomes the enemy of freedom and freedom itself is reduced to individual autonomy. The common life, which participatory liberalism was designed to protect, can then be lost to dominant interests divorced from the common good but capable of influencing politics and public life.
Democracy is based on more than legal procedures; it needs a shared vision. Pope John Paul built his defense of liberalism on its positive ability to protect freedoms, including the freedom of the Church to pursue her mission in the world and freedom for all to foster the good of the poor and the working classes through freedom of association and speech and the right to private property with a social mortgage. Thirdly, a clarification about secularity and secularism: secularism as a total philosophy of public life captures the world for the profane.
It is not neutral toward any claims to truth or rights to act, if it is religion that sets the terms for the claims or the actions. Public life must be constructed on the assumption that God does not exist or, if he does, that it makes no difference.
This project occupies the entire ground of public human action and public discourse in the pursuit of truth. By contrast, an understanding of the secular as the ground between the sacred and the profane displays it as the world of the contingent, with its own penultimate ends and purposes. While the profane excludes God, the sacred and the secular are both authorized by God who therefore governs a human race defined by pluralism and institutional diversity.
The realm of morality is independent of political decisions but influences them, much as a Constitution regulates particular legislation. If religion provides a legitimate ground for secular concern with penultimate things, then the secular must provide legitimate ground for religion to address ultimate things on their own terms. Freedom of religion in the saeculum extends beyond freedom of personal conscience and beyond freedom to worship. It includes freedom for religious institutions to have a public voice, to be public actors.
To illustrate this point, compare freedom of the press to freedom of religion. If newspaper publishers and editors were free to believe what they like and to organize their companies and employees according to good business practices but were forbidden to speak to issues of public policy, unable to criticize public officials or institutions, restricted to printing for general consumption only what the law or dominant public opinion permits, there would be no freedom of the press.
Yet this is exactly the straight jacket in which religion is placed today by secularists who espouse a seemingly democratic public morality and insist that any public religious critique is illegitimate. Religious institutions are by their own communal nature public actors. When the saeculum is constituted without respect for religious freedom, it becomes profane and persecution of religion becomes inevitable. There is no guarantee that even democratic institutions will prevent this. Independent courts, a free press, an elected legislature can all be manipulated, and have been in our own history, to subvert various freedoms and reflect the prejudices of the ruling class as well as those of ordinary citizens.
Does this mean that a sane understanding of the world, the saeculum, demands there be no restrictions on religious institutions? Of course not, and some will be examined below. But the nature of a well-ordered saeculum places restrictions on governments as well, even on democratic governments. Let me add only that restrictions on democratic polity in a well-ordered saeculum would extend not only to governmental institutions but also to the range of human concerns these can address. A government that determines what is a religious ministry and what is not, what is the nature of an institution such as marriage, which predates both Church and state and is the creature of neither, when human life begins and when it can be taken without a penal trial, has exceeded the boundaries of limited governance and is already on the road to totalitarianism.
While democratic in form, it has betrayed human freedom. A final word to define the secular: the saeculum is the place where two key conversations take place, the conversation between faith and culture and that between faith and reason. The dialogue between faith and culture is necessary because both faith and culture are normative systems; both tell us what to do, what is important, what should be our hierarchy of values. The dialogue between faith and reason is also necessary because both faith and reason search for and espouse truth. If what one professes as a believer and what one thinks as a philosopher or scientist or ordinary citizen cannot be reconciled, skepticism becomes the intellectual order and doubt paralyzes the possibility of common action.
A saeculum where faith cannot be a public dialogue partner is by definition totalitarian or at least non-pluralist; such a secularist society is cut off from dialogue with most of the human race, with consequent misunderstanding tragically inevitable. Lastly, fourthly, a further clarification about democracy, that political arrangement most protective of human freedom: a theory of democratic governance presupposes, against Hobbes and his disciples, that government is more than a form of legal coercion.
It brings together individual freedom and the common good, space for individual initiative and united action for common purposes. It exercises a form of authority in which sovereignty is never completely transmitted and where equality before the law does not destroy natural communities such as marriage and the family, religious associations, business enterprises and voluntary groupings of all kinds with their leaders and officers. Its own political institutions presuppose, sustain and encourage those associations that create a morality of responsibility for the whole, especially religious institutions that train people in the virtues necessary for self-sacrifice.
Democracy depends on a vision of what it means to be human that it itself cannot provide. Permit me now to move to the three propositions or arguments that build on these definitions. I presume that everyone in this room is a small-d democrat. As we have known since September 11, , there are abroad in the world some very potent challengers to our sense of democracy. Yet those of us who appreciate what modem democracy has meant in the past must also be among the most concerned about what may be happening to it in the present and future.
Our recognition that democracy has no serious rival at the moment as a philosophy and form for human government does not prevent us from reflecting critically on it both in theory and practice. In this, we follow an American tradition, beginning with the Declaration of Independence, of seeking a more perfect union, present perfection evidently being regarded by our Founders as less than we should hope for.
My first argument is that, here in the United States, the primary danger to democratic freedoms comes not from religion but from philosophical secularism. Even before embarking on this line of reasoning, however, I believe we must acknowledge that religions themselves have been agents in secularizing public life in America. Jews often led the way in secularizing our society because they felt it was the best way to guarantee that one did not have to be Christian to be American.
Analogously, Catholics contributed to secularization in various ways in order to be sure one did not have to be Protestant to be American. But because all of us have been basically united in our regard for democracy in America, we have for most of our history until quite recently cultivated a moderate pluralism in public life. Now, however, it seems a battle has arisen between our older notion of a civic pluralism accommodating the religious beliefs of the vast majority of Americans on the one hand and, on the other hand, an aggressive secularism that seems quite intent on eliminating any religiously motivated idea, speech or action in civic and intellectual life.
Some have recently argued that pluralism of its very nature demands secularism. There seems to be no logical reason why respect for the beliefs of more than a quarter billion Americans, 90 percent of whom declare themselves to be religious, should require us now to eschew the public expression of religion, even in discussing political affairs that have moral foundations or implications. It is, of course, true that politics is not a sacral activity. Very often, however, political issues do not even admit of full evaluation by unaided reason. We can easily think of any number of political or economic questions - state vs.
And we may think that God has made us free and rational, without being sure about how much the law may legitimately curtail freedom. Our religious traditions must recognize certain things as beyond their competence. But at the same time, the properly secular society has to be sober in its recognition that it exists under God, firm in its understanding that fundamental truths, many of them religious in nature, under-gird its very existence and prudent in determining the good that can and cannot be achieved under given circumstances.
The danger to freedom today arises when this saeculum, this public world that Christians, Jews, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, and others inhabit during our transitory life on earth is administered by a strict secularism. We cannot agree about our beliefs or doubts, it is often said, so we leave them aside in our deliberations about how we are to live our public lives together.
This seeming neutrality is not at all neutral. Its contemporary claim to be the unique public philosophy of America was probably the central factor in the rise of what is sometimes referred to as the Religious Right, in reaction not to neutrality but to a perceived anti-religious bias heading in the general direction of seeking to eliminate religion from public discourse.
Such an outcome is very unlikely in America; even 70 years of official atheism backed by the Gulag did not eliminate all belief in the former Soviet Union. Man does not live by reason alone. We often talk about divisiveness in the culture and some like to trace it to religious views. But secularism has been as divisive — and perhaps more so — than any other current viewpoint. In sum, as befits a movement that espouses as many controversial views as any other ideology, secularism today cannot be thought of as a healing, neutral, reconciling space in a divided culture.
A skeptical secularism fails to provide a foundation for human rights and undermines the foundation that historically has existed. Secular republics need inspiration about the nature of the person and of liberty that they cannot find within themselves, and they depend on religious and moral traditions to provide it. Most ordinary citizens in a country like America understand that intuitively. John Paul II, the great pope of the modern struggle with totalitarianism, warned in his encyclical Veriiatis splendor:. Today, when many countries have seen the fall of ideologies which bound politics to a totalitarian conception of the world — Marxism being the foremost of these — there is no less grave a danger that the fundamental rights of the human person will be denied and that the religious yearnings which arise in the heart of every human being will be absorbed once again into politics.
This is the risk of an alliance between democracy and ethical relativism, which would remove any sure moral reference point from political and social life, and on a deeper level make the acknowledgement of truth impossible. Indeed, if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.
Pluralism must mean that all individuals and groups are welcome to participate in the public debate, religious and not. What protects the foundation of this legitimate pluralism? Three candidates are evident today: religion itself; secular philosophy; scientific theory.
The Founders of the American constitutional experiment in well ordered democratic government thought that religion played a crucial role in protecting legitimate pluralism. That they are not violated but with his wrath? At the very least, the historically religious insistence on both the freedom and the responsibility of the human person helps us to understand what a properly secular and pluralist society should be. I would go even further and say that human life and public order cannot flourish without the strong presence of some religious features.
In that sense, a modern state should not and cannot be neutral between belief and non-belief.
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The purpose of religion, of course, is not first of all to protect democracy or any other civil order, but faith does supply ultimate perspectives and human virtues that a merely secular order cannot generate from within itself. To say this is to advocate neither theocracy nor the removal of atheists from public life.
It is to stand in the original and realistic American vision of democracy. There have been powerful and well-intentioned efforts to address the lack of civil foundations without religion by grounding our respect for one another and our practice of liberty in purely secular philosophy and procedural arrangements. Rawls himself realized that his book presumed that people behind the veil would be acting according to ideologically liberal principles, which is to say that they would follow mostly progressive social assumptions and would elevate things like tolerance for diverse lifestyles over more substantive commitments.
In , he published Political Liberalism, which acknowledged the problems with his earlier formulation, not least that Americans are not philosophically liberal and became markedly less so in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Political Liberalism tried to encourage Americans to see that, in a pluralistic society, all have an interest in not making comprehensive, ultimate commitments the norms for political life.
At the end of the day, Rawls and many a lesser theorist seem to be searching for ways for the secular order to maintain newly discovered rights to abortion and homosexual activity without seeming to contradict their own openness to all forms of rationality and thereby falling back into asserting a comprehensive liberalism under the guise of neutrality. The strictly secular pluralist who seeks to exclude religion from public life bumps up against that fact that, once you really allow the voices of various people to be heard, they will be overwhelmingly religious because the human race is overwhelmingly religious.
Any intellectual tradition that did not allow such voices into the discussion would be narrow, and any political regime that excludes them can hardly be called pluralist. It would be a secularism seeking to swallow up everything or ignore everyone outside its own narrow purview. Today, a third foundation for a sane secular order is sought in materialistic theories that appeal to science for support. Such sectarians think they should be able to impose their views on us all through schools and other state instruments.
He has asserted that raising children in a religious household is a form of child abuse, that Moses was like Hitler, and that the New Testament espouses sadomasochism. Yet Dawkins is not wholly ready to accept even his own arguments. He seems quite pointlessly enraged at religious people who, in his system, are only the necessary products of blind natural forces. But why do human beings show a near universal disposition to believe something that neo-Darwinism claims is unreal?
Why does a false picture of the world aid our chances of survival? Although secularism is not logically entailed by pluralism, might there be something in human nature that inexorably leads individuals and masses in conditions of modern freedom to embrace secularism and radical individualism? For an answer, it might be better to look to history and the social sciences rather than to physics and biology.
We can at least observe that pluralism in modern conditions seems to exert a gravitational force on a significant sector of the population, especially those in highly sensitive institutions like the media, the universities, and other shapers of contemporary public culture, to espouse the view that secularism is the only legitimate foundation of democracy in our circumstances. But cultures, like individuals, change over time. At the end of the day, at least for the believer, human beings are free and open to graces and energies that, as history repeatedly shows, were not and cannot be anticipated.
The prospects for religion in postmodern societies may seem unfavorable. Still, there is no reason why the religious impulses that seem, even to the neuroscientists, to be hardwired into us may not find new ways of public expression. For pluralism and secularism to stop that, they would have to produce something like a change in human nature, a new man. Scientific socialism was not up to the task with quite powerful methods at its disposal, and I do not believe scientific secularism will be either.
My second argument is that secularism and its attendant danger to freedoms protected by democratic political institutions can arise from those institutions themselves. I would like to take as a case in point the jurisprudence of the U. Supreme Court on religious liberty since the days of Justice Felix Frankfurter. The history of law in this country exposes our cultural history, for law is the most important unifying factor in a country as diverse as ours.
Law exercises a pedagogical function along with its coercive power. It is primarily from the law that we learn how to live as Americans. What does constitutional law now teach us about religious freedom in our country? To put it simply, it seems to me that the Court has not yet denied that religious freedom is a human right, a more than civil right, but it has tended to regard the public expression of religion as divisive and something the social order has to regard with some suspicion.
For example, in the case of Lemon v. That our society is so fragile that it needs such protection would be surprising to the citizens of other countries. Does the existence of such families itself contribute to divisiveness? The obvious danger here is that, if every difference is evidence of divisiveness or even discrimination, then eliminating divisiveness and discrimination will be the reason for eliminating all differences, including religious differences, cultural differences, gender differences, racial differences, everything, perhaps, except economic differences in a commercial republic.
A good number of other decisions could be cited as cases in point. In McCullom v. More decisions could be called upon to illustrate the point that the court understands religious liberty as a means to avoid irrational coercion and civil conflicts rather than as a means to advance an important foundation of human dignity.
The court has rightly refused to be drawn into questions of religious truth claims, but its reluctance to distinguish between historical religion and any personal philosophy of life demonstrates only a concern to protect the rights of autonomous individuals and clashes with a more traditional understanding of a religious believer as someone owing duties and loyalties to two distinct but sovereign powers. A doctrine that rests on the premise that anything counts as religion will also find it very difficult to afford strong protection to the free exercise of religion, for fear that every individual will eventually be a law unto himself or herself.
In the well-known Lemon test, the assertion that any and all government involvement with religion is necessarily corrosive of religion itself is unproven. Many examples of cooperation between religious institutions and governmental agencies have demonstrated the contrary conclusion. Government institutions, under the pressure of incoherent and unpredictable case law, have predictably engaged in self-censorship. What is taught in such prohibitions is not state neutrality but state disdain for religion.
The consequences of this interpretation of the First Amendment for Catholic Health Care and Social Services will mean the withdrawal of the Church from many public ministries. I have chosen egregious examples, for the Court has also protected religious freedoms; but the trends point, I believe, to a First Amendment doctrine that permits government to limit the ability of religious believers to live out their commitments fully in public life and opens up further threats that the state may burden and discriminate against religious practices and even eliminate the existence of religiously governed organizations if they are engaged in public activities, and all this will be done in the name of civil rights for individuals.
Should these trends be taken up and placed into concrete policy, religious believers would be forced to decide upon their primary loyalties, whether to God or to Caesar. It is supremely unhealthy for a country to create such dilemmas and thereby provide grounds for the alienation of its citizens who are religious believers.
The fact, moreover, that the First Amendment is now interpreted to permit such developments does not necessarily mean that governments will choose to use their constitutional powers to further dilute religious liberty and secularize society. We still have a largely religious population in many parts of our nation; but to the extent that religious believers become a minority, they will have few constitutional protections to fall back on. Democratic institutions, like the Supreme Court, can and have become agents of an oppressive secularization.
My third argument about secularization and democracy arises with particular force in the United States. It can happen that democracy does not control or eradicate religion but simply replaces it. American civil religion has been discussed broadly and well. The line between a religious duty of patriotism and the replacing of religion by the State is thin and negotiated with difficulty. But as historical religion can be and has been co-opted by a state for its own purposes, so also can it be replaced by devotion to the nation itself when national purpose takes on the character of a religious mission.
National symbols can easily pass from demanding our respect and even affection to commanding our ultimate loyalties; but a nation is never a Church, much less an object of worship. No more than the profane should take over the domain of the secular should the secular replace the domain of the sacred. In his second Inaugural address, inscribed on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial here in Washington, Abraham Lincoln wrestled with the intentions of a God of history. The Almighty has his own purpose Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.
Even as he wrestled with the horrors of war, Lincoln trusted that God had his own will for the world, often not understood and sometimes antithetical to our own. The problem of evil remains unresolved, and this very conundrum warns us against secular Utopian schemes. This is perhaps the ultimate protection against a purely civil religion as a form of secularization: that God cannot be co-opted and yet remains the primary actor in our history and our endeavors.
In the long run, any attempt to reduce the complexity of the relations between the sacred, the properly secular and the profane is doomed to failure, although each such effort can cause great human hardship in the short run. But in both the short and the long run, the Church, or the synagogue, or the mosque or the temple is where you go when you want to be connected to the One who relates to everyone and every people.
People on the Move, N°
The Church is where you go when you want to be free. What kind of democracy leads to secularism? Ours, if it reduces the realm of human freedom in the name of individual civil rights. What kind of democracy protects freedom? Ours, if it limits itself to its properly secular purposes. Des situations. Nous sommes dans un nouveau monde social, culturel et professionnel, multi linguistique, multi-religieux et pluri-confessionnel, et multi-culturel. Asia is the largest continent of the world and it holds almost two-thirds of the human population.
It is the cradle of many ancient civilizations, religious traditions and cultures. The Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Islamic religions had their origins in the Middle East, while the socio-philosophical teachings of Confucius and the rites of Shintoism have held sway in China, Japan and the Far East. Many of these have a plurimillennial history.
Today these religious and cultural traditions are firmly rooted in the Asian soil, have their own scriptures and sages, prayers and symbols, places of worship and ascetical practices yoga, vypassana, zen meditation, etc. This mosaic of religious and cultural -isms which flood the Asian scenario is now complicated by the appearance of pseudo-religious doctrines like the New Age, Reiki, Fengshui and other esoteric practices, which ignore the transcendental and tend to make God irrelevant. The inroads which secularist globalization are making in Asia are producing hybrid cultures and are threatening to sweep away traditional ethical and moral values of yesteryears.
Even the Church in Asia is vulnerable in this sense. Against the dark and grim background of modem secularism, there are two candles which have been lit, especially after the Second Vatican Council. They are inculturation and inter-religious dialogue. They could well be considered pastoral priorities for the Church in Asia today.
Inculturation is the process by which the Gospel message is incarnated into the Asian cultures and local contexts. It must be meaningful to those within the Church and easily understood by those outside it. This poses a special challenge for the peoples in Asia, which is a mosaic of cultures differing from place to place. As a culture Is transformed, so too are persons and societies transformed by it.
Faith and culture must blend together harmoniously to become something beautiful before God and men. Unfortunately, the Gospel and cultures are often in conflict with each other. Pope Paul VI calls this split between Gospel and culture the drama of our time, which has a profound impact upon both evangelization and culture Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. Many attempts are presently being made in the Catholic Church in Asia to inculturate art, music and dance, Liturgy and theology. These initiatives must indeed be applauded and encouraged. Inter-Religious Dialogue. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.
These values merit the attention and esteem of all Christians. Their spiritual patrimony is a genuine invitation to dialogue, not only in those things which they have in common with Christian culture, but also in their differences. This does not mean that we abandon our own convictions. For a Christian then, a dialogue of cultures is the discovery of the relationship between the working of the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith and culture and His persevering action in other cultures, be they religious or otherwise.
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It forms a part of the mission of proclamation entrusted to the Church by Christ Himself. In the various Asian traditions there are values which have their equivalent in Christian thought and behaviour: for instance, a search for union with the Absolute, the importance of silence and contemplation, honesty and simplicity, the spirit of asceticism and discipline, frugal living, the thirst for learning and philosophical enquiry, love of nature, as also compassion for all beings, filial piety towards parents, elders and ancestors, love for the family and solidarity within the community.
All these elements can be starting points for an inter-religious dialogue and serve as a basis to explain the message of salvation enshrined in the divine person of Our Lord Jesus Christ cf Ecclesia in Asia, n. The two important means to achieve this end are inculturation and inter-religious dialogue. Evangelization is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit, who has been at work in all cultures since the beginning of the universe.
It was He who prepared the Incarnation of the Son of God and His redemptive sacrifice two thousand years ago on Asian soil. He has left pointers all along the history of world cultures which would lead honest seekers towards the fullness of the truth in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit started the work of evangelization with direct and indirect proclamation at the very moment that Christ Jesus was born in Bethlehem Lk ; Mt Indirect proclamation: when a star rose in the East and led some Wise Men laden with precious gifts to Jesus, the new-born King and Savior of the world.
Applying this to the Asian peoples, we must acknowledge and respect the precious treasures of their cultural and religious heritage which they carry in their bosom, as also the efforts they are making to discover Truth by following their respective scriptures as guiding stars. Just as the Wise Men were restless until they found Jesus and placed their treasures before Him and adored Him, so also the peoples of Asia, with their varied cultures and religions traditions, will be restless until they find and adore Him who alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Las sectas y el secularismo en la cultura: una influencia mutua. Las sectas nacen de la cultura secularista y el secularismo es, en buena parte, el efecto que las sectas causan en el individuo y la comunidad. Es necesario contar con Leccionarios o traducciones del Misal Romano adecuadas. No se trata simplemente de que vuelvan los dioses y se reivindica su culto. Se trata de reivindicar a sus adoradores, a los hombres de aquellas culturas cuyos valores religiosos hay que revivir para que ellos tengan vida. Una relectura de la identidad religiosa pre-colombina. No puede dejarse de lado el ambiente cultural de la Nueva Era, especialmente en su aspecto chamanista y neo naturalista en general.
Von s. Il pensiero totalmente illuminato si risolve in causa di trionfale sventura: lungi dal produrre emancipazione, genera dolore, alienazione e morte. Il nazionalismo porta inevitabilmente alla guerra. Bonhoeffer , Etica, a cura di E. Bethge, Milano 2 , 86s. Bonhoeffer , op. Del Bo, Milano 3 , Bultmann , Che senso ha parlare di Dio? E un amore che resta fragile. In parts of the world like Australia, secularist ideology - or secularism as it is called in the Instrumentum Laboris - has surged with a vengeance in recent times.
One reason for this is that secularist ideology has been caught off guard and is rattled by the way religion has made a comeback. Suddenly, it seems, secularist ideology feels under threat in a way it did not expect, and its reaction is to strike back with a certain virulence. A battle which some had thought over - the battle between, shall we say, religion and irreligion - has resumed, with religion doing surprisingly well against an opponent that had perhaps grown complacent. Just when religion looked down and out, it has found a new lease of life.
This does not necessarily mean that secularism is at an end, but it does mean that it has been unsettled in cultures like my own. Even in the public domain the forces of religion and the realm of the supernatural are making their presence felt in new ways. In a country like Australia, there are powerful pressures seeking to drive religion into a strictly private domain, since, it is claimed, religion has no place in the public domain.
This is often justified as a corollary of the separation of Church and state. Any intrusion of religion into the public domain, it is claimed, would be a violation of that hard-won principle. Yet religion, it seems, refuses to be quarantined in a purely private world. Beyond the public domain, new forms of popular religiosity have emerged as well, especially perhaps among the young.
This is scarcely less perplexing, given that the power of reason had seemed close to victory over what some would see as the forces of unreason, that is the forces of religion. People of all kinds turned out in great number just to see and touch the Cross and Icon. This was greeted by a certain perplexity; some could not understand why all the fuss and why so many people, young and old, seemed to be so moved. Some politicians turned out to greet the symbols, but many were simply puzzled.
They struggled to understand why the Cross and Icon were here at all and why someone like myself had invited politicians to be part of the event. If ever there was a need to demonstrate the power of popular religiosity - understood so deeply and powerfully by Pope John Paul when he gave the Cross and Icon to the youth of the world - it was celebrations such as these. The Cross and Icon are very simple, but that is part of their power. They go to deep places of the human heart - and not just among Catholic people, as the experience in my own Diocese showed. At each place we visited, the celebration was a combination of a party and a prayer-meeting.
The mood was festive, as it usually is with popular religiosity; people enjoyed themselves. But there was also a deep spirit of prayer, and people were clearly moved by symbols which spoke to them of God's love. This combination of party and prayer has always been central to the religious experience of pilgrimage, which is one of the most enduring forms of popular religiosity. As I speak, my own Auxiliary Bishop is one of many people on the pilgrim way towards Compostela; and one of the lay members of my Archdiocesan executive team, having once made the journey to Compostela, has recently completed a doctoral thesis on the spirituality of pilgrimage.
But El Camino is only the best known of many forms of pilgrimage which have made a comeback in recent years. Beyond the resurgence of interest in pilgrimage, other fouls of popular religiosity are having their effect. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal, for instance, has become deeply influential in ways both obvious and less obvious. After the erosion of Catholic devotional life that followed the Second Vatican Council, many Catholic people were left in a kind of desert where, whatever about the needs of the head, the needs of the heart were left unsatisfied.
Some older devotions have emerged in new forms. One example of this is the devotion of the Divine Mercy which traces its origins to the mystical experience of Saint Faustina Kowalska. It has always seemed to me a latter-day version of the devotion of the Sacred Heart, which traced its origins to the mystical experience of the Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. The way it has struck such a deep chord in the Catholic heart is mysterious but unmistakable, and it has surely opened people in a way both new and old to the infinite treasures of the merciful love of Christ.