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Judaism, Augustine And Pope Benedict XVI On The Plurality Of Opinions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines that pope Benedict XVI conviction that Augustine is not just an antiquated source of knowledge but a highly relevant guide for modern man, is what fascinates van Oort. After dealing with both Judaism and Augustine, the chapter confronts the results with a modern thinker on the same topic, the theologian Joseph Ratzinger. The sources in the Talmud dealing with plurality of opinions are quoted so often that one may well hesitate to quote them once more. The Rabbinic story related how upon request of R. Eliezer the walls threatened to collapse upon the scholars present, Augustine invokes Gods word to kill the superficial in order to make them profound. The rule of pluralism of opinions serves the religious community from within. Only by accepting pluralism as God-given, a religious community manages to do justice to each and every person sharing the love and faith of that community.

Keywords: Augustine; Joseph Ratzinger; Judaism; pluralism; pope Benedict XVI



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