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Owning the Future: Between Genealogy and Tradition

Terence Sweeney

One may not expect to find a reflection on the future within a collection on the nature of tradition. The conceptual and narrative framework of tradition seems oriented to the past. However, if tradition is central to theological reflection and to the shape our lives, then tradition must have a word for the future. It must be able to speak of the future; otherwise, Christians will leave the future to others...

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Tradition

Issue Two: Tradition

We talk incessantly now about identities. But built as they are upon the ruins of our actual selves, the ones embedded in given natural (and supernatural) bonds, we have ceased to have any identity at all. Living in the tiny crawl spaces of our own wills, shut off from anything outside their artificial boundaries, our individuality is wiped out. But if we are still alive and kicking it is because we subsist on the remnant vapors of Tradition with a capital “T,” that heritage of truth that originates in God’s creative Word. It is also because that same Word, mercifully handed over to us in the flesh of the Church, invites us back to our very selves.

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Humanum is about the human: what makes us human, what keeps us human, and what does not. We are driven by the central questions of human existence: nature, freedom, sexual difference and the fundamental figures to which it gives rise, man, woman, and child. We probe these in the context of marriage, family, education, work, medicine and bioethics, science and technology, political and ecclesial life. We sift through the many competing ideas of our age so that we might “hold fast to what is good” and let go of what is not. In addition to articles, witness pieces, and book reviews ArteFact: Film & Fiction searches out the human in the literary and cinematic arts.

Humanum is published as a free service by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C.