· 'Religious language and secular languages' in a theological congress at Bressanone ·
An international congress sponsored by the European Association for Catholic Theology entitled God in Question: Religious Language and Secular Languages . In collaboration with the academic Theological Studium at Bressanone/Brixen it will focus on the theme "European dialogue among believers, people seeking and non-believers", says Martin M. Lintner, the association's Vice-President, considering that against the background of a corrosive secularization and a religious indifference that involves vast sectors of the population, European men and women are increasingly "religiously unmusical", hence dissonant if not alternative to every belief.
The facile prophecies concerning God's second coming, an ambiguous phenomenon that should be judged with prudence since the return of the majority would not be to the religion of the Church, in brief, to the institution, but rather to a rarefied spirituality that often gives in to the short-term gratification of subjective needs.. Therefore the question of speaking of God in such a context remains. Where should we start? How is it possible to attract the proper attention? What should we do to prevent our conversation partner from immediately unplugging – either because he is distracted or overcome by commonplaces?
The matter cannot be reduced to how to talk about God, in which case only a problem of the adjustment of language would apply, in other words the new passwords to access the modern communications circuits. Saying language means saying being in sync, the ability to fit into contexts, a life modelled on words, an experience that opens on to a new way of speaking since, as Paul Ricoeur maintains, "Christianity is an event of language, and, through language, an event of meaning". Making an absolute of what our language on God should be like puts in parenthesis the reason and the thing, takes them for granted, as if we had always known what it was a question of and were merely going in search of new forms of expression.
At the risk of giving in, even in Gospel proclamation, to the mythology of the new. "Putting the how before the why", as Fabrice Hadjadj, a French philosopher of Tunisian origins noted, little by little causes us to succumb to the fascination of the zapper. And this even happens within the Church. Many people think that the crucial point of the new evangelization (what makes it truly new) consists in adapting innovations, in improving communications methods and in a better mastery of the most recent technologies. The Gospel in itself does not work well enough; what we need is the Gospel plus multimedia, the Face of God plus Facebook, the Holy Spirit plus Twitter. The Good News was waiting for the News".
St. Peter’s Square
Sept. 18, 2019
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