Saturday 3 January 2015

Grace builds on culture

"Grace builds on nature," we've heard that one endlessly. Is Pope Francis being original when he says, in Evangelii Gaudium: "Grace supposes culture, and God's gift becomes flesh in the culture of those who receive it" (EG 115)? Absolutely indovinato, anyway! Vatican II, which the pope quotes here, integrated the insights of Hegel and other moderns - the human person is always situated in a culture: nature and culture are intimately linked (GS 53) - without succumbing to the inherent individualist atomism of modernity (the human person, by nature, stands completely in need of life in society and always exists in reference to society, [GS 25] finding there a concrete way of relating to reality. (EG 115)

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