New Blackfriars 98 (1077):567-581 (2017)

Vatican II's documents Gaudium et Spes and Ad gentes reveal two interrelated dialogues: a dialogue between Church and other religious traditions, and a more general dialogue between faith and particular societies. The theme takes its cue form Paul VI's first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam and, in the last fifty years, has flowered into a rich body of teaching expressed in various documents. It became central to the teaching of John Paul II with his passionate concern for the dignity of the human person. Benedict XVI in a series of speeches delivered both before and after becoming Pope introduced a note of caution to such cultural dialogue. While accepting that he offered an impressive case against the positivism, which he considered to be undermining contemporary culture, we should be hesitant in following his more cautious approach.
Keywords Benedict XVI  Dialogue  Gaudium et Spes  John Paul II  Paul VI  culture  faith
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DOI 10.1111/nbfr.12090
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