Monday, January 17, 2011

Ratzinger on truth and freedom

Ratzinger is both a philosopher and a theologian and it's hard, in this essay, to tell where the one ends and the other begins:
The pathology of religion is the most dangerous sickness of the human mind. It exists in the religions, but it also exists precisely where religion as such is rejected [...] Where the purest and deepest religious traditions are entirely discarded, man severs himself from his truth, he lives contrary to it and becomes unfree. [...] If there is no truth about man, man also has no freedom. Only the truth makes us free.

from Joseph Ratzinger: Truth and Freedom, 1996.

See also Ratzinger's 1991 essay Conscience and Truth.

I came across these essays at the excellent wikipedia article on Truth. The views of Nietzsche and Foucault are interesting, especially the latter's concept of episteme (with its headless and right-handless statue of an Episteme goddess, her left hand lifting her outer skirt to reveal layers beneath).

Note also the many uses of female bodies personifying truth, especially this one.

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