Towards a Complexity of Patriotic Allegiance
Edited By Maciej Hułas and Stanisław Fel
Patriotism, the Human Family, and a Christian Prophetic Stance (Robert Gascoigne)
Robert Gascoigne Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia Patriotism, the Human Family, and a Christian Prophetic Stance As human beings, we are concrete and creaturely; we are not pure spirits, but embodied spirits, bound by time and space� We are local, and therefore formed by what is local and particular, through landscape, language, culture and history� All these things shape us� Our humanity is something transcendent, but it is not something abstract – we become human in concrete and specific ways� It is there- fore appropriate that we experience feelings of attachment, affection and gratitude towards all the things that have enabled us to become truly human in and through a particular culture� It is good and right that we are patriotic� In Church tradition, patriotism is linked to the fourth commandment� Thomas Aquinas argued in the Summa Theologica (2a, 2ae, Q� 101, Article 1) that: ‘the principles of our being and government are our parents and our country, that have given us birth and nourishment� Consequently man is debtor chiefly to his parents and his country, after God� Wherefore, just as it belongs to religion to give worship to God, so does it belong to piety [pietas], in the second place, to give worship to one’s parents and one’s country’1� This essay will reflect on the meaning of patriotism from a Christian perspec- tive, its relationship to the concept of the ‘human family’, as emphasized in recent Papal teaching, and on the importance of a prophetic stance in criticizing unethi- cal...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.