Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Benedict XVI on Evaluating Religious Contributions to Development

June 29, 2009

The Christian revelation of the unity of the human race presupposes a metaphysical interpretation of the "humanum" in which relationality is an essential element [italics in original]. Other cultures and religions teach brotherhood and peace and are therefore of enormous importance to integral human development. Some religious and cultural attitudes, however, do not fully embrace the principle of love and truth and therefore end up retarding or even obstructing authentic human development. [...] Furthermore, a certain proliferation of different religious "paths", attracting small groups or even single individuals, together with religious syncretism, can give rise to separation and disengagement. One possible negative effect of the process of globalization is the tendency to favour this kind of syncretism by encouraging forms of "religion" that, instead of bringing people together, alienate them from one another and distance them from reality.

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