RELIGION AND CULTURE AFTER MODERNITY
June 9-10, 2004 Sinaia, Romania
The 20th century has not been kind and will be remembered as a period of oppressive ideologies and of wars, hot and cold. In all this religion has been especially under attack.
Now, as we move into the new millennium and a period as yet able to be designated only as “post-modern” the challenge opens before us, in the words of John XXIII in convoking the Second Vatican Council, “to restore the visage of humanity in the image of Christ”. For this new opportunities open before us.
No longer does the rationalism which marked modernity claim unquestioned adherence. To the contrary there would appear to open new sensitivity to human subjectivity and hence to issues of values, culture and the relations between peoples in these terms. If the cultural heritage of a people reflects the ways in which they have responded to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit over time, then their culture can best be seen as the place where the Spirit dwells and the terms in which we can cooperate in God’s work in time – the essence of religion.
It is important then to look in depth at cultures as composed of the values and virtues of a people and at their present transformations in order to cooperate with the work of the spirit in our times.
What are the values which we inherit and which mark our people; what are the pressures which undermine or reorient them in our times; how can we contribute to the formation of our children and to the future direction of our culture?
These and other related issues will be the subject of these deliberations.