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Philosophical and Religious Sources of Modern Culture

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Edited By Jacek Grzybowski

Europe is the community of nations which, in the favorable conditions of a small yet extremely diversified continent, took over and developed the legacy of Greco-Roman civilization transformed and enriched by Christianity. Philosophy, theology, liturgy, religion, national culture and tradition are still manifestations of this heritage. Europe is not merely a region or geographical location. It is an idea that expresses cultural and social ideals. The nature of Europeanness is not defined by race or place but by freedom and culture in the broad sense. Latin Europe created a sphere of civilization. Though ridden by contrasts and differences, not merely an organic unity was established but also a unity of a spiritual kind by accentuating and merging of values all Europeans have in common. This was also made possible by Christianity whose ethos came to pervade a multiplicity of socio-cultural phenomena.

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Rev. Maciej Bała: Theodicy in Modern Culture. The Proposal of Paul Ricoeur

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Theodicy in Modern Culture. The Proposal of Paul Ricœur Rev. Maciej Bała Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw (CSWU) The Faculty of Christian Philosophy The existence of evil has always been a challenge to every culture. Where does evil come from? Who is to blame? Why me in particular? Why is it that I do evil in spite of desiring good? Such questions do not only appear in the reflection and investigations of the greatest intellectuals. They are also the lot of ordinary men. Surely there is no final and satisfying answer to the problem of evil and suffering that would make it possible to explicate their intriguing phenomenon. Does this mean that all effort to shed light on the mystery of evil is doomed to failure? Surely not. The confrontation of philosophical reflection with suffering carries a special challenge for the human mind, not to turn away from what is important and crucial to man, and not to avoid giving consideration, in philo- sophical reflection, to existing reality, so very thoroughly imbued with good and evil.1 This, among other things, is the essence of wisdom, beloved of philoso- phers, namely to seek creative answers to important, fundamental questions. And the problem of evil is doubtless such a question. The concept of “theodicy” (gr. theós – God, dike – victory, justice) entered into general use in the eighteenth century thanks to Leibniz, who published the work Essai de theodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l’homme...

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