Approaching the Religious Issue Based on Council Guidelines and Today's Development
Catholic Faculty of Theology in Djakovo, University of Josip Juraj Strossmayer, Djakovo, Croatia
Keywords'deicidium'; anonimni kršćani; Ecclesiam suam; dijalog; zrake Istine; Nostra aetate; relativizam; teocentrizam; ezoterizam; teologija religija.
'deicidium'; anonymous Christian; Ecclesiam suam; dialogue; rays of Truth; Nostra Aetate; relativism; theocentrism; esotericism; theology of religions.
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AbstractThe article is divided into three sections relating to the analysis and description of religious issues before, during and after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Section One: Pope John XXIII proclaimed on 25th January 1959 preparations for the Second Vatican Council. It was a time when the Church faced the effects of modernist opinion, secularisation and its total marginalisation in contemporary society. The problem mostly occupying the Church prior to the Council was the position and role of the Church in a modern, scientific and technical world. Hence the Pope's call for a council. In this period, the Church's relationship towards non-Christian religions was based on the early Church's norm Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, whereby all non-Christian religions were false, while Christianity was the only true religion. In the aforementioned period, there were calls for a necessary re-examination of the Catholic Church's relationship towards non-Christian religions, however, it seems that this issue was not important enough at the time. In order to resolve some of the problematic views in Europe, as well as in the Church in relation to the Jewish people especially during the Second World War, Pope John XXIII forwarded to the Council's Preliminary Committee the issue relating to the Jewish people. Hence, this new religious topic began to run its course. Section Two: Since the topic surrounding the Jewish people, valuing the faith of Jewish history, the atrocities surrounding the holocaust in the Second World War was insisted upon, some council fathers also wanted a statement on Islam and the Muslims, particularly since religious issues in the Palestinian region were accentuated at that time. The topic further escalated, finally encompassing the Asian religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Pope Paul VI on 6th August 1964 issued the encyclical Ecclesiam Suam announcing universal dialogue with the whole world: in the Church itself, with other Christians, with non-Christians and those who do not believe, in other words, with all people of good will. The religious issue of the Second Vatican Council receives its ecclesial basis whereby a new relationship with non-Christian religions is built. The Second Vatican Council addressed this issue and its solution in the declaration Nostra Aetate on the Catholic Church's relationship towards non-Christian religions. The document principally contains a new norm suggesting that non-Christian religions are a »spark, ray, seed of the Truth« found in the fullness of Jesus Christ. Non-Christian religions are, according to conciliar theology, a 'preparation for the Gospel'! Section Three: The third section of the article endeavours to investigate the period after the Second Vatican Council leading to discussions on non-Christian religions. Theologians became aware of an absence of a correct theology of religions, which could offer a final answer to the question: are non-Christian religions a way to salvation, or are they only a sign or preparation for the salvific path? These discussions presented three opinions of non-Christian religions: exclusive (K. Earth), inclusive (K. Rahner) and pluralistic views (J. Hick, P. F. Knitter). Alongside the issue of Christian and non-Christian religions at the European level of philosophical thought, there appears a mainstream current in contemporary culture called general relativism endeavouring to eradicate every absolutism in reality, and introduce a new culture and tradition called the New period, or the time of the New Age. In order to more fully understand this issue, it is necessary to mention that today there prevails the theory of self-divination ('theosis') of man with the aid of esotericism, syncretism and globalisation of the great world religions. What was at the start of the Second Vatican Council only a hint of a new solution — the Catholic Church's relationship towards non-Christian religions —places today all religious values in a serious crisis.
Naslov ovoga rada upućuje na religijsku problematiku, kako na zasjedanjima Drugoga vatikanskoga sabora, tako i na vrijeme nakon Sabora, sve do danas. Religijska problematika nije bila središnja tema Dragoga vatikanskog sabora. Neki su tadašnji mislioci tražili da Crkva na Saboru rekne pozitivnu misao o židovskom narodu, njegovoj patnji u Drugom svjetskom ratu i o mogućnosti ispravka nekih negativnih misli o Židovima u katoličkoj teologiji, prije svega u liturgijskom govora. Papa Ivan ΧΧΙII. tu je misao prihvatio i tako je započelo jedno novo razdoblje za saborsku religijsku problematiku. Biskupi iz bliskoistočnih zemalja molili su da se na Sabora raspravlja i o odnosu kršćanstva prema muslimanima i islamu. U tijeku svih tih previranja tematski je došao na red govor i o azijskim religijama i o odnosu kršćana prema njima. Ovaj rad nastoji pratiti te rasprave, posebice one koje su se odvijale nakon Sabora kao što je relativizam, da bi se na koncu pružio pregled i današnjeg stanja religijske problematika, koji se očituje u religioznosti New Agea.