All Saints Day

It is All Saints Day today, and I’ve been reading Ratzinger/Benedict this week and came upon this interesting remark about apologetics:

“The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced, and the art which has grown in her womb. Better witness is borne to the Lord by the splendor of holiness and art which have arisen in the community of believers than by the clever excuses which apologetics has come up with to justify the dark sides which, sadly, are so frequent in the Church’s human history.” —  
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), from The Ratzinger Report

We run back into the same old issue – teleology, teleology, teleology (both art and saints disclose what we might be, what we ought to strive for).  I think Ratzinger might be right, these telic significations are most powerfully met and felt in art and in the encounter with morally and spiritually excellent people (saints).


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About Kleiner

Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.

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