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Charity, a ‘Theological Place’

Charity is an eminent "theological place" because it places us in the steps of Christ, who came to reconnect the bonds of the covenant between God and humanity
Pieter Bruegel, Caritas

An artwork by Pieter Bruegel titled 'Caritas' (Charity) (Photo supplied)

Published: July 10, 2024 06:45 AM GMT
Updated: July 10, 2024 06:47 AM GMT

Is charity a “theological place”? By “theological place” we mean one of the “different areas where theological knowledge unfolds, or the different sources from which it draws: Scripture, Tradition, the Fathers, the magisterium, the liturgy,” according to the definition given by theologian Melchior Cano in the 16th century.

If it is a matter of systematically ordering the discourse about God, then charity has little chance of being considered a “theological place.” Indeed, it is an experience with uncertain boundaries, with language that is sometimes hesitant and seemingly very fragile.

With charity one is not dealing with well-defined, solid, stable and ordered elements, as when one is dealing, for example, with a written text. Indeed, all the theological sources cited by Melchior Cano are texts; but with experience we are no longer dealing with arguments that can be weighed and compared. How then, starting from here, can we move toward argumentative discourse?

On reflection, it could be pointed out that the sources cited by Melchior Cano actually refer to experiences, beginning with the Scriptures, which are the record of the experience of God, involving a people and numerous witnesses.

It is also worth adding that theology is not reduced to a collection of arguments but aims to present the history of the covenant and the events of salvation and to account for it in intelligible language.

Read the complete article here.

This article is brought to you by UCA News in association with "La Civiltà Cattolica."

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