EG 132: Culture, Thought, and Education

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdalenePope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, states that “The entire people of God proclaims the Gospel.” Is this true? Should it be? Sections 132-134 wrap up this thought begun in EG 111. We’ll look at the Holy Father’s final theme, “Culture, thought and education.”

132. Proclaiming the Gospel message to different cultures also involves proclaiming it to professional, scientific and academic circles. This means an encounter between faith, reason and the sciences with a view to developing new approaches and arguments on the issue of credibility, a creative apologetics [Cf. Propositio 17] which would encourage greater openness to the Gospel on the part of all. When certain categories of reason and the sciences are taken up into the proclamation of the message, these categories then become tools of evangelization; water is changed into wine. Whatever is taken up is not just redeemed, but becomes an instrument of the Spirit for enlightening and renewing the world.

This is the only mention of “apologetics” in the whole document. Do you find it interesting it is used in a non-religious context–the dialogue between faith and reason, the soul and the mind?

I was also struck with the confidence of Pope Francis, that pieces of the rational culture that might even seem antithetical to the mission of the Gospel might be transformed to become tools for its propagation in the world. The iconic presentations of the sidera of the universe inspire wonder and gratitude–at least to me. Clouds of gas and dust, accumulations of ice, stone, and metals–these inspire me to reflect more deeply on God. And there are certainly wonders aplenty on our own planet.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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