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Article
"'The Great Task of the University': Reflections on the Regensburg Address of Pope Benedict XVI"
Cultural Encounters--A Journal for the Theology of Culture (2008)
  • Peter J. Casarella, DePaul University
Abstract

Pope Benedict’s address at the University of Regensburg created a firestorm. But far from trying to incite controversy, the Pontiff outlined a cogent argument for intercultural dialogue. This essay examines the theology of dialogue in the address, including Benedict’s claims regarding the real basis for dialogue between Christians and Muslims, the violence implicit in certain forms of nominalism, and the practical foundations for dialogue in the modern university. By interweaving experiences with students at The Catholic University of America during the attacks of September 11, 2001, the author of the present essay proposes his own interpretation of the infamous speech. He argues that if genuine intercultural dialogue takes place within the broad expanse of the logos that takes on flesh, then there is no way that Christians acting with this logos can reasonably advocate that God must be on our side because he contravenes the normal rules of civil discourse.

Keywords
  • modern university,
  • university of regensburg,
  • regensburg address,
  • pope benedict xvi,
  • intercultural dialogue,
  • Christians,
  • Muslims,
  • implicit violence,
  • nominalism,
  • the catholic university of america,
  • september 11,
  • civil discourse
Publication Date
Winter 2008
Citation Information
Peter J. Casarella. ""'The Great Task of the University': Reflections on the Regensburg Address of Pope Benedict XVI"" Cultural Encounters--A Journal for the Theology of Culture Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/petercasarella/11/