2010 Can Christianity Inspire a Global Culture?

In modern times society has often been built upon the values of liberty and tolerance, dialogue, equality, and the search for peace. Owing both to their intrinsic power as well as to a variety of other causes (historical, cultural, social, economic, etc.), these principles have engendered the universal appreciation of people from the most diverse countries, allowing them even to serve as the basis of a global culture. In his discourse to the ‘La Sapienza’ University in Rome in 2008, Benedict XVI acknowledged that our understanding and recognition of human rights have increased thanks to the notable development of the sciences in the modern age. He added that this is an achievement for which we should indeed be thankful. Nevertheless, Pope Benedict also pointed out that this modern heritage is jeopardized if it forgets that its roots are grounded in the Christian faith: “if our culture seeks only to build itself on the basis of the circle of its own argumentation, on what convinces it at the time, and if – anxious to preserve its secularism – it detaches itself from its life-giving roots, then it will not become more reasonable or purer, but will fall apart and disintegrate.”