Ratzinger on the Anthropological Basis for Mission
Summary : I. The Church – Sign among the Nations. II. Salvation as Applied to the Subject. III. Christianity and World Religions. IV. Culture and Conscience.
The motivating force behind Ratzinger’s theology is his acute awareness of the divine mission of the Church. Conscious of the need to give a reason for the hope that is in us (cfr. 1Pet 3 :15), his entire theological oeuvre is marked by this missionary dynamism.
After a brief sketch of Ratzinger’s understanding of the Church’s mission in objective terms within the context of world religions – as the Body of Christ that exists for the salvation of humanity (the “few” for the “many”) –, this article attempts to clarify his claim that conscience is the anthropological basis for mission.