The Spring, 2013 edition of Communio is dedicated to the themes of “Catholicity” and “Education.”
We continue our series devoted to the mystery of the Church as one, holy, catholic, and apostolic with the theme of “Catholicity.” Adrian J. Walker begins our reflection with his article “‘Your Reasonable Worship’: Catholic Communion as the True Life According to Reason.” In it, Walker argues that the truly philosophic life is one lived in communion with the Church—that is, existence in and through the Body of Christ. “The Eucharistic existence that the Apostle calls ‘reasonable worship,’” writes Walker, “turns the whole of us, body and soul, into an argument for Christ. In part, it does this by making us flourish as ‘rational animals’ whose entire way of life unites passionate commitment to the truth with . . . intellectual humility. . . . It is here, in this renewal of the philosophic way of life, that we find the source and standard of good discursive arguments for the faith.”
In “Athens—Jerusalem—Rome”, Rémi Brague takes the oft-repeated polarity of the Western intellectual heritage—Athens and Jerusalem—and suggests the introduction of a third term: Rome. This “third”, Brague argues, is necessary to sustain the tension between the other two poles; it is Rome that transmits and preserves the heritage of the two great cities. Romans “had the courage to learn and to adapt what they perceived as superior. . . . Thus Rome worked not only for itself but just as much for others,” writes Brague. This ec-centric structurality is then passed on to Christianity, giving the Church space to preserve all that is best about the world.
Last on the theme of “Catholicity” is Olivier de Berranger’s “Becoming Catholic: John Henry Newman.” It presents an interesting and compelling picture of the development of the great Cardinal’s thought, which eventually led him to full communion with the Church. We find that one of the driving forces in Newman’s movement from the Anglican to the Roman Catholic Church was answering, “how a ‘national Church’ can claim to maintain communion with the orbis terrarum.”
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