Theology in ‘dialogue with cultures’ renews humanity, Pope Francis says

Light of truth

When theology and philosophy engage with cultures in creative ways, they become a powerful tool for renewing humanity with the Word of God, Pope Francis said Saturday, during the awarding of the Ratzinger Prize on 9th November 2019.

“This is true for all cultures: access to redemption for humanity in all of its dimensions should be sought with creativity and imagination,” the Pope said.

He quoted St Paul VI’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, which says, “Evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new.”

“It is a duty for theology to be and remain in active dialogue with cultures, even as they change over time and evolve differently in various parts of the world,” he said. “It is a condition necessary for the vitality of Christian faith, for the Church’s mission of evangelization.”

“All the arts and disciplines,” Francis said, “thus cooperate in contributing to the full growth of the human person, which is to be found ultimately in the encounter with the living person of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Logos, the revelation of the God who is love.”

Pope Francis addressed members of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation in the Vatican’s apostolic palace during the award ceremony for the 2019 edition of the prestigious Ratzinger Prize.

The Ratzinger Prize was begun in 2011 to recognize scholars whose work demonstrates a meaningful contribution to theology or philosophy in the spirit of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Bavarian theologian who became Benedict XVI.

The winners of the 2019 prize are Catholic intellectual Charles Taylor and Jesuit priest and theologian, Fr Paul Béré.

Béré is the first African to win the prestigious Ratzinger Prize. A lecturer at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, he received the prize for his work on the figure of the prophet Joshua.

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