At the Western Cape meeting on Saturday 13th October at 10h00, Patrick Giddy will talk on “Christian faith in the context of world-wide people’s religiosity”

“The people are like river water. The water can carry a boat. But it can also overturn a boat.” Ancient Chinese saying.

One of Waacsa’s aims is to carry forward the Vatican II project of maturing Christian faith in the context of a scientific culture and a value system that promotes individual choice and democratic social structures. At the same time popular religiosity is often associated with and draws its strength from images that seem to be at odds with this contemporary context. On the one hand the more educated part of the world sees a gullible supernaturalism at work here, on the other hand that same secularized society can itself be accused of promoting the disenchantment of the world, and a materialist culture blind to the Creator at work in our lives. Pope Francis in his Evangelii Gaudium sees much that is positive in popular religiosity and the “instinct of faith” among poorer communities; while the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium warns against promoting forms of religiosity that choose to ignore our contemporary religiously plural cultural context or that foster an unnecessary division with non-Catholic Christian communities.

The talk will review Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman’s reflections on the religiosity of Medjugorje; Jesuit Roger Lenaers’ outline of a Christian faith that strictly breaks with “heteronomous” forms of religion; and French philosopher Michel Gauchet’s notion of Christianity as the religion that exits from religion.