Becoming Human: Joseph Ratzinger’s Theological Anthropology

Date(s) - November 17, 2018
11:00 am - 1:00 pm

St. Mark's College

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Becoming Human: Joseph Ratzinger’s Theological Anthropology
Dr. Andrew Kaethler | Academic Dean, Catholic Pacific College
Room 101, St. Mark’s College, 11am
17 November 2018
ADMISSION: FREE, Suggested Donation: $5

Nietzsche acutely quipped that ‘“each is the farthest away from himself’––as far as ourselves are concerned we are not knowers.” Perhaps that is because, as G. K. Chesterton wittily noted, that we are absolutely unique creatures “almost in the sense of being a stranger on the earth.” If knowing is an analogous process and the human person is a stranger on the earth where can he look to learn about himself? This presentation explores Joseph Ratzinger’s response in which he turns to the person of Christ and puts forth what we could call an ecclesial or eucharistic understanding of the human person.

Andrew TJ Kaethler is Academic Dean at Catholic Pacific College in Langley. He received his doctorate in systematic theology from the University of St Andrews. His research interests include theological anthropology, eschatology, and theology and literature. He is particularly interested in the ways that Joseph Ratzinger and Alexander Schmemann engaged in these areas.

As a note of interest, Ratzinger’s theological work influenced not only Andrew’s academic outlook but also his faith, helping Andrew journey into the Catholic Church. In a gesture of gratitude, Andrew sent a letter to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sharing his ‘conversion’ story and thanking him for his work. Along with the letter Andrew enclosed a copy of his PhD thesis (Eschatology and Personhood: Alexander Schmemann and Joseph Ratzinger in Dialogue). Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI responded with a brief pastoral letter in which he states: “Looking into your thesis and reading your letter I was really moved and I thank the Lord, together with you and your family, for the wonders he worked in your life. If my theological work has been of some help to you, I praise the Lord. Be sure that I will accompany your new way in the Catholic Church with my prayer.”

The Newman Association of Vancouver is a Catholic organization that promotes and cultivates the religious, intellectual, and social formation of its members and associates. It is named after Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, an Anglican convert to Catholicism whose life story of conversion and writings on the idea of a university greatly inspired those working for the advancement of the liberal arts and the ideals of Catholic education, an inspiration that led to the start of the Newman movement around the world in the 20th century. Founded in 1940, The Newman Association extends the mission of the Newman Club of the University of British Columbia from the UBC campus to the wider community and brings issues of pertinence into discussion and dialogue through its activities in the local Church.

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