Culture of the Incarnation

From the introduction in Tracey Rowland’s 2017 book “The Culture of the Incarnation: Essays in Catholic Theology”:

This is a collection of essays that have previously been published in separate journals over the past decade. In one way or another, they each take seriously the idea that the Incarnation was the greatest revolution in world history. When the Word became flesh, a new era of grace began, redemption from the effects of the first sin became possible, and humanity found itself in a sacramental cosmos. As St. Thomas Aquinas expressed the idea poetically, Et antiquum, Novo cedat ritui: ancient rites have now departed; newer rites of grace prevail.

These newer rites of grace opened the gates to a Christian humanism and a whole cultural order built upon it. St John Paul II described such a culture as a civilisation of love and contrasted it with a culture of death. Pope Benedict XVI described the culture of death as a dictatorship of relativism. These two men, who were arguably two of the finest scholars ever to occupy the Chair of St. Peter, shared a quarter century of intellectual partnership. During this time, they offered the world a theological analysis of the current crisis in which Western culture finds itself. The essays in the present volume amplify this analysis.

. . . .


  • Introduction
  • Beyond the Correlationist Paradigm: Joseph Ratzinger on Re-Evangelization and Mass Culture.
  • The World in the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI
  • Augustinian and Thomist Engagements with the World
  • Variations on the Theme of Christian Hope in the Works of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI
  • Culture in the Thought of John Paul II and Benedict XVI
  • Poland and Communism (for Those Too Young to Remember)
  • The Contribution of the Polish Intelligentsia to the Breakthrough of 1989
  • The Humanism of the Incarnation: Catholic, Barthian, and Dutch Reformed

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