Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Jean Daniélou, SJ

… there are certain identifiable human values, not peculiarly Christian, which nevertheless flourish only in a Christian setting, and tend to wither away when Christian influences are withdrawn. With the removal of Christianity, men lose their religion, but also in a measure their humanity. We should be the last to exaggerate the value and importance of the civilizing aspects of Christianity, especially in comparison with its essential other-worldly significance. And we are satisfied that non-Christian civilizations have their own values, which are not to be depreciated. But when we consider the universal constant work of civilization, which is the defense of mankind against necessity, or fate, we remain convinced that civilization’s most reliable ally is Christianity, though the essentail purpose of Christianity is something entirely different.

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