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at the deepest level

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 25, 2008

There are people who instead of listening to what is being said to them are already listening to what they are going to say themselves. -- Albert Guinon

OK, it sounds like two angry drunks at a bar, each nursing a private grievance. But it's not. In fact, we have the word of the The Tablet's Clifford Longley that the remarks he has published for our benefit are an example of Dialogue at the Deepest Level.

König: Fr Rahner called the idea of dialogue and religion the "supernatural existential", you remember.

Dupuis: Yes, of course. I was actually very much inspired by Rahner -- although I go beyond him.

König: If I said religion belongs to, or is a part of, human existence, would you say that was the same as what Rahner says when he talks of a/the "supernatural existential"?

Dupuis: I think so. Rahner's "existential" means that man is already always in Creation itself ...

König: Of course that is already the second step of the explanation.

Dupuis: That means -- and I develop that also -- that salvation history doesn't start with Abraham. It starts with Creation. And throughout human history God has been seeking the human beings he created and therefore there is Divine Revelation -- the Divine Act of Salvation -- throughout human history. But of course this line is not accepted by everybody.

König: And all this is a very important question for Europe. What is the meaning of Revelation -- what is the meaning of religion? The European way of practising religion -- of religious belief -- has undergone so many changes over the ages.

Don't blame yourself if you get the impression of a series of utterances taken from independent lectures and pasted together in the form of a disjointed conversation. I double-checked and, in spite of appearances to the contrary, it purports to be the transcript of an actual exchange between the late Cardinal Franz König and the late Fr. Jacques Dupuis, S.J., that took place in 2003. As is often the case, partisans tend to forget that their enthusiasm for dialogue does not endow them with exceptional skill at its practice. They're more interested in giving lectures than hearing them.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 25, 2008 10:41 AM ET USA

    The exchange above is reminiscent of Goethe's remark, 'Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they immediately translate into their own language and forthwith it means something entirely different.'

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