The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 26, 2023 - 5:46:20

About personalism being the key to interpreting Pope Francis, I was right

Katie van Schaijik, Jun 25, 2015

Devra has drawn my attention to this paragraph of Laudato Si.

81. Human beings, even if we postulate a process of evolution, also possess a uniqueness which cannot be fully explained by the evolution of other open systems. Each of us has his or her own personal identity and is capable of entering into dialogue with others and with God himself. Our capacity to reason, to develop arguments, to be inventive, to interpret reality and to create art, along with other not yet discovered capacities, are signs of a uniqueness which transcends the spheres of physics and biology. The sheer novelty involved in the emergence of a personal being within a material universe presupposes a direct action of God and a particular call to life and to relationship on the part of a “Thou” who addresses himself to another “thou”. The biblical accounts of creation invite us to see each human being as a subject who can never be reduced to the status of an object.

You see? I was right.

Note, too, that it's not just subjectivity that transcends the material cosmos, but intersubjectivity. To be a person is to dwell in I/Thou relations. It is to be dialogically engaged with all of reality.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, my teachers! Thank you, above all, John Crosby.