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October 28, 2013

Archbishop Gomez on moral anthropology and the Imago Dei

My first post at Mirror of Justice, back in 2004, had to do with the implications for law and the legal enterprise of a Catholic "moral anthropology":

One of our shared goals for this blog is to -- in Mark's words -- "discover[] how our Catholic perspective can inform our understanding of the law."  One line of inquiry that, in my view, is particularly promising -- and one that I know several of my colleagues have written and thought about -- involves working through the implications for legal questions of a Catholic "moral anthropology."  By "moral anthropology," I mean an account of what it is about the human person that does the work in moral arguments about what we ought or ought not to do and about how we ought or ought not to be treated; I mean, in Pope John Paul II's words, the “moral truth about the human person."

With this theme in mind . . .  Here (HT:  Distinctly Catholic) is a really good talk by Archbishop Gomez, of Los Angeles, called "The Exalted Creator:  Reflections on Human Nature and the Image of God."   Read the whole thing (please!), but here's a bit:

I am coming to see that the new evangelization must include a new presentation of Christian anthropology — a new proclamation of our beautiful Catholic vision for the human person.

God has entrusted us in the Church with the beautiful truth that the human person is sacred. That every man and woman is created in the image and likeness of God.

There is a beautiful saying from the Church Father, St. Ireneaus: "The glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man’s life is the vision of God."

This belief runs deep in Judaism as well as Christianity. There is a beautiful Midrash that says: "A procession of angels pass before a human being wherever he or she goes, proclaiming, Make way for the image of God!"

        The men and women of our times need to hear this good news. They need to know they are the         glory of God, created and destined for the vision of God. They need to know that they are God’s         image and that everyone they meet is God’s image, too.

As Christians, we need to be the ones who tell our neighbors that their lives are not trivial. That humans are not just random beings, contingent products of evolution, going through life with no "why" or reason. . . .

Posted by Rick Garnett on October 28, 2013 at 02:09 PM in Garnett, Rick | Permalink