Sunday, June 17, 2007

Christian Uniqueness

Here is something then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in the mid-1980s, when there was widespread interest in the religious techniques and traditions of the East.
I believe that as far as religion is concerned, the present age will have to decide ultimately between the Asiatic religious worldview and the Christian faith. I have no doubt that both sides have a great deal to learn from each other. The issue may be which of the two can rescue more of the other’s authentic content. But in spite of this possibility of mutual exchange, no one will dispute the fact that the two ways are different. In a nutshell one could say that the goal of Asiatic contemplation is the escape from personality, whereas biblical prayer is essentially a relation between persons and hence ultimately the affirmation of the person.
This is a truly significant insight, and the key sentence is: "The issues may be which of the two can rescue more of the other's authentic content." That sentence is the key to understanding Christian uniqueness.

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