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Believing Scholars: Ten Catholic Intellectuals by James L. Heft

By James L. Heft

Believing students: Ten Catholic Intellectuals, deftly edited through James L. Heft (President and Founding Director of the Institute for complicated Catholic experiences and collage Professor of religion and tradition and Chancellor, college of Dayton) is a scholarly selection of works depicting the connections of personal lives of religion and public lives as lecturers, scholars, and intellectuals informed from the viewpoint of top public figures. together with writings from Marcia Colish, Jill Ker Conway, Mary Douglas, Avery Cardinal Dulles, Mary Ann Glendon, Gustavo Guterrez, Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, Peter Steinfels, Charles Taylor and David Tracy, Believing students is an educated and informative look at sleek Catholic inspiration, and is very urged to Catholic students, theologians, clergy and laymen.

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What is possible in real life? I said earlier that just having appropriate beliefs is no solution to these dilemmas. And the transformation of high ideals into brutal practice was demonstrated lavishly in Christendom well before modern humanism came on the scene. So is there a way out? This cannot be a matter of guarantee, only of faith. But it is clear that Christian spirituality points to one. It can be described in two ways—either as a love and compassion which is unconditional, that is, not based on what you the recipient have made of yourself; or as one based on what you are most profoundly, a being in the image of God.

There is nothing higher than the movement of life itself (the Will to Power). But it chafes at the benevolence, the universalism, the harmony, the order. It wants to rehabilitate destruction and chaos, the infliction of suffering and exploitation, as part of the life to be affirmed. Life properly understood also affirms death and destruction. To pretend otherwise is to try to restrict it, tame it, hem it in, deprive it of its highest manifestations, what makes it something you can say yes to. A religion of life which would proscribe death-dealing, the infliction of suffering, is confining and demeaning.

It is important to avoid this idolatry, even in theology. Liberation Theology can also be a little idol for some people. However, the Bible and the saints remind us that God is the ultimate end of our commitments. I think it is very important to be hopeful about this matter, in order to be very radical in the commitment to the poor, too. If we take seriously the preference for the poor, we may have a new approach to ................. 11475$ $CH2 08-02-05 14:00:14 PS PAGE 41 Believing Scholars 42 a very important fact today: the relation between ethics and the economy.

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