PHL 260 3 B Lecture on “Without Roots” by Marcelo Pera and Joseph Ratzinger


This is lecture 3 part 2 of PHL 260 Ethical Issues at Salve Regina University. In this lecture I discuss the book Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity and Islam (Basic books, 2007) by Marcelo Pera and Joseph Ratzinger. Pera is not a Christian, and Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is. They wrote a book together because they have some common concerns about Europe. In this lecture/discussion we try to build a picture of the current state of culture in the West, offer some historical, philosophical and religious reasons for it and explore the question of the relation between faith, the history of Europe and current cultural and public policy questions. Pera and Ratzinger offer solutions, and we compare and contrast those.

Christian Personalism and Theology of the Body

In this lecture I express some of the insights from Christian Personalism/Realist Phenomenology about the spiritual and bodily unity that human persons are and how these insights inform John Paul II’s Theology of the body. In other words, this lecture attempts to show the mystery and beauty of the fact that human persons are spiritual and bodily. In the end I explain an argument to support the Church’s teaching forbidding contraception related to this bodily and spiritual unity of human persons and to spousal love.   This lecture, the full title of which is “The Christian Personalism of John Paul II as the Foundation of Theology of the Body”, was given at the National Theology of the Body Congress in the Philadelphia area, held July 28 – 30, 2010, and is posted here with permission.   Christian Personalism and Theology of the Body.