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There has always been the temptation in Christian history to conflate the humanitarian impulse with the kingdom of heaven. Today, this conflation has taken on various and sundry dangerous forms: liberation theology, globalism and the erasure of nation-states, philanthropy for purely human motives, and the like.
Are we to be salt of the earth and to love our enemies as Christ taught, or are we to be sugar and have no enemies as the “religion of humanity” teaches? The often confusing pronouncements by Pope Francis seem to manifest this blurring of classical distinctions.
Professor Daniel J. Mahoney
Professor Daniel J. Mahoney of Assumption College in Worcester, MA, has nailed the basic problem in a new book, The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity. We talked about the many dangerous ideas arising from the book and how to counter them.
In this episode, you will learn
- The philosophical and theological roots of humanitarian substitute for actual Christian faith
- The contemporary significance of Solzhenitsyn’s sharp disagreement with Tolstoy
- The ways in which Pope Benedict XVI represents the last of classically trained Pontiffs and global influencers
- Why humanitarianism is passive and Catholicism is active
- The enduring relevance of A Story Of Anti-Christ by Vladimir Soloviev
- Specific examples from the teaching documents and statements of Pope Francis that exemplify the primal error of flattening the truth of the gospel into a humanitarian messianism
Resources mentioned in this episode
- The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity by Daniel Mahoney
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Ascent from Ideology by Daniel Mahoney
- An Intellectual History of Liberalism by Pierre Manent
- The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century: A Comprehensive World History by Robert Royal
- The Drama of Atheist Humanism by Henri De Lubac
- Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order by Steven Mosher, PhD