Thursday, February 3, 2011

Christianity is the Religion of the Logos (Reason)

by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

From the beginning, Christianity has understood itself as the religion of the Logos, as the religion according to reason...It has always defined men, all men without distinction, as creatures and images of God, proclaiming for them...the same dignity.

In this connection, the Enlightenment is of Christian origin and it is no accident that it was born precisely and exclusively in the realm of the Christian faith....It was and is the merit of the Enlightenment to have again proposed these original values of Christianity and of having given back to reason its own voice. In the pastoral constitution, On the Church in the Modern World, Vatican Council II underlined again this profound correspondence between Christianity and the Enlightenment, seeking to come to a true conciliation between the Church and modernity, which is the great heritage that both sides must defend.

Given all this, it is necessary that both sides engage in self-reflection and be willing to correct themselves. Christianity must always remember that it is the religion of the "Logos." ...Today, this should be precisely its philosophical strength, in so far as the problem is whether the world comes from the irrational, and reason is not other than a 'sub-product,' on occasion even harmful of its development—or whether the world comes from reason, and is, as a consequence, its criterion and goal.

In the so necessary dialogue between secularists and Catholics, we Christians must be very careful to remain faithful to this fundamental line: to live a faith that comes from the Logos, from creative reason, and that, because of this, is also open to all that is truly rational.


Pope Benedict's role in history, as seen by many cardinals and intellectuals, is to help bring about the conversion of the secularist West (as JPII brought about the conversion of the Marxist East). And the emphasis on Christianity's reason is one of the key strategies for this victory over secularism.

Our country which is strongly religious and faith-based has a tendency not to emphasize reason, or even to distrust it. There is a big opportunity for formation here.

In the beginning was the Word (Logos) and the Word (Logos) was with God, and the Logos (Reason) was God.


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