The modern culture we live off and take for granted is an elevated, sophisticated one, containing a great variety of precious anthropological insights and strengths, with a surprising adaptability and openness to absorb, to clarify and to unite. However, in the present moment it comes across, in many cases, as a culture detached from the faith that gave life to it in the first place, and without which it may simply not survive. In fact it has become, of late, a fragile culture, a culture less and less capable of adapting and absorbing and uniting. This may be seen in the way many aspects of modern culture and public life have fallen into a pathology of rationalism, individualism, inequality, discord, ingratitude. This may be seen in our attempt to live in isolation from our fellow humans, unwilling to recognize the world we live in and the privileges we enjoy as God’s gifts. Faith Challenges Culture: A Reflection of the Dynamics of Modernity describes the process in two directions: how culture challenges faith to provide answers that have not been previously given, and how faith challenges culture not only by showing modern culture’s fragility and ambivalence, but also by posing new questions.
Paul O'Callaghan is full professor of theological anthropology at Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
Chapter 1. The Terms
Section I. Faith Challenges Culture
Chapter 2. Faith Challenging Culture: Biblical Ethics and Anthropology
Chapter 3. How Faith Challenges Culture
Section II. Culture Challenges Faith
Chapter 4. How Culture Challenges Faith, I: The Meaning of Rationality
Chapter 5. How Culture Challenges Faith, II: Individualism and Freedom
Chapter 6. How Culture Challenges Faith, III: Equality and Solidarity
Chapter 7. How Culture Challenges Faith, IV: Conquest and Gratitude
Epilogue: Integrating Conservatism and Progressive Liberalism
Paul O'Callaghan is one of the most insightful theologians of our time. With his characteristically modest style coupled with his extraordinary erudition, O'Callaghan delivers a sophisticated and nuanced portrait of the ennobling impact of Christian faith upon rationality, freedom, equality, and achievement. Never polemical, O'Callaghan shows us how the incarnate Logos, far from being outdated or posing some kind of threat, provides the deepest ground of all that we moderns--whether 'conservative' or 'liberal'--hold most dear. A wise book for a world in need of wisdom!