Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The primacy of the logos

Some quotes from Ratzinger's Introduction to Christianity

If Christian belief in God is first of all an option in favor of the primacy of the logos, faith in the preexisting, world-supporting reality of the creative meaning, it is at the same time, as belief in the personal nature of that meaning, the belief that the original thought, whose being-thought is represented by the world, is not an anonymous, neutral consciousness but rather freedom, creative love, a person.

Accordingly, if the Christian option for the logos means an option for a personal, creative meaning, then it is at the same time an option for the primacy of the particular as against the universal. The highest is not the most universal but, precisely, the particular, and the Christian faith is thus above all also the option for man as the irreducible, infinity-oriented being. And here once again it is the option for the primacy of freedom as against the primacy of some cosmic necessity or natural law.

Thus the specific features of the Christian faith as opposed to other intellectual choices of the human mind now stand out in clear relief. The position occupied by a man who utters the Christian credo becomes unmistakably clear.

But if the logos of all being, the being that upholds and encompasses everything, is consciousness, freedom, and love, then it follows automatically that the supreme factor in the world is not cosmic necessity but freedom.

The implications of this are very extensive. ... this again means that one can only comprehend the world as incomprehensible ... Incalculability is an implication of freedom; the world can never--if this is the position--be completely reduced to mathematical logic. ... A world created and willed on the risk of freedom and love is no longer just mathematics.

As the arena of love it is also the playground of freedom and also incurs the risk of evil. It accepts the mystery of darkness for the sake of the greater light constituted by freedom and love.

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