26 January 2006

new encyclical

A commenter on the previous post asks if I have any comments on the recent encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love). To be honest, I've not read it in its entirely and have heard very little discussion of it on campus as of yet.

I have read through the first part of the encyclical, however, and it is a wonderful theological, pastoral, and philosophical meditation on the biblical concept of "love." The Pope unfolds the notion of love in relation to the wider traditions in which the biblical tradition grew up, all the while emphasizing the newness of the biblical revelation of God as love, particularly as that comes to its culmination in the person of Jesus Christ. The opening sections of the second part, reflecting upon "the Church's charitable activity as a manifestation of Trinitarian love" are also profound.

I look forward to perusing the rest of the encyclical where Benedict appears to apply this biblical perspective on love to the concrete issues of Christian charitable activity in the contemporary world.