Jorge Martín Montoya Camacho and José Manuel Giménez Amaya :: Jorge Martín Montoya Camacho and José Manuel Giménez Amaya
What is demanded of Christians in a world like ours? This question is imperative in the face of the proven distancing from God as a mass phenomenon, as Leonardo Rodríguez Duplá, Full Professor of the Complutense University, has already warned. Attempts have been made to solve this problem from many points of view, but tackling it from an intellectual perspective has become a necessity. To a large extent, the battle against post-Christianity must be fought in the field of ideas.
Human beings must think about reality in a manager and committed way, as Miguel García-Baró of the Pontifical University of Comillas says Full Professor . For this reason, Christians have the obligation to think about the faith and to debate with arguments the questions raised in today's world, giving priority to the dialogue between faith and culture.
Encubrimiento y verdad: algunos rasgos diagnósticos de la sociedad actual, published by EUNSA, is an attempt to show this attitude. The reflection provoked in these pages leads to three actions that we summarise in these lines.
The first action is to transmit the faith in a culture that has been emptied of it. This is the first challenge that we Christians have in a modernity that has succeeded in "emptying" the Christian culture that once housed it. For there is a Christian culture that has been robbed of Christianity itself, but which continues to exist in a latent form.
We are living at a time when a kind of "historical amnesia" is shining through, which has eradicated a series of Christian values from our consciousness in their origin, and which are now experienced in this modern world, but without their relationship to faith.
Following the philosopher Rémi Brague, it seems clear that, over the last few centuries, many of the elements of the Christian worldview have become part of the heritage of modern humanity, but detached from their origin. Such "transplanted" values (e.g. human dignity, freedom, etc.) were reinforced by the scientific knowledge , and a self-convinced human reason, eager to be fully autonomous.
Seen in this light, sectors of public opinion see Christian faith as irrelevant to the preservation and promotion of the values that make up our world. Moreover, it seems that religion - the faith of Catholics - has become an enemy of those very values that were born in it, branding it as civil service examination obsessive and irrational in the face of human progress.
In the face of this status it is particularly urgent to educate ourselves in the true meaning of the Christian tradition, especially in the family. This is a tough social battle in which all Christians find themselves.
The second is to think the faith: to explain why it is reasonable to believe what we believe. But what does it mean to "think" faith? We understand it as a call to enter into dialogue with the culture and thinking in which we are imbued in order, appreciating its positive aspects, to unravel its contradictions and, in this way, to clarify and rescue those Christian values that are now isolated and without context to illuminate them.
What is the road map for the reflection we are proposing? It is directed towards three major consequences of modernity - and its post-modern culmination - which require a good intellectual understanding of the Christian faith in order to face them.
The first is the dissolution of the subject, of the human being, in a merely technical rationality that has led him to become a manipulable object in the face of any subject of power. The second is to delve into the roots of the Withdrawal to truth, which our society has brought about by confining it to the "functionality" of technique and immediate pragmatic results, leaving the subject at the mercy of his own feelings and conditioning human experience to prejudices. Talk of a true life has become illusory. The third is the farewell to history that modern thought has been proclaiming for centuries, where the past has become irrelevant to the present. All this is shaping a culture that looks at Christianity as something quite alien to it.
Finally, the third action could be understood from the idea that to evangelise in today's society is also to try to "facilitate" space for God through anthropological and ethical reflection.
With this term "facilitate" we refer to the need to give God a channel in the dense forest of modern ideas and projects and to "illuminate" his relationship with mankind. To give God a channel, in all his living reality, from an intellectual perspective, because the secularisation we have suffered in recent centuries has left God "enclosed" in the private sphere of conscience.
Trying to show God's relationship to mankind, so that the content of the Christian faith is recognised as a financial aid to development and to the coexistence of society, thus becomes a priority intellectual task for all Christians.