Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fürst on the novum that was (and is) Christianity

“Pagan religion was on the whole a religion with neither a metaphysic nor an ethic.
“With Christianity it is in both cases completely otherwise. To the Christian faith belong [1] its justification and foundation by means of reason (and therefore theology or dogmatics in the broad sense of that word), and [2] implications for the lifestyle of the believer (and therefore ethics or morals). To put it another way, faith and religion require in the Christian understanding both [2] the love of neighbor and [1] a claim to the truth of that to which faith testifies that has been established rationally. On the basis of this character, which among other things it inherited from Judaism, Christianity had an effect upon the culture (and not just narrowly the religion) of antiquity so transformative that Western culture right down to the present day remains influenced by it.”

Alfons Fürst, “Der Einfluss des Christentums auf die Entwicklung der kulturellen Identität Europas in der Spätantike,” Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 43 (2000): 8.  Cf. http://liberlocorumcommunium.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-beauty-of-inflexibility.html.

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