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Culture and inculturation in the theaching and activity of the Catholic Church from the Second Vatican Council

Written by Josip Šimić, this article appeared on the fourth issue of the journal Filozofska istraživanja in 2008.
The author comprehends the fact that the Church and Christianity emerged (founded), developed and spread in the atmosphere of the Greek-Roman or Hellenistic culture in wich they brought, by proclamation the faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and Savior, the certain ingredients of Jewish (biblical) cultur, making in such way possible the developement of European culture.

In missionary work, especially after the discovery of America, the Church meets and accepts the other cultures. In the modern world Church more and more becomes conscious of these cultures. Beginning with the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) the Church speaks of a plurality of cultures and the importance of authentic cultures of the third world in order to find the ways how to fertile connect cultures with the proclamation of Gospel. The author brings out that the
Church in the documents of Second Vatican Council, particularly in the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, widely speaks of culture accepting the fact of a plurality of cultures. The same pastoral constitution brings the definition of the word ‘culture’ in the number 53.
Based on the topic of culture after the Second Vatican Council the author analyzes the different papal document and speeches, the document of various Vatican offices, as well as documents of bishops from Latin America. The author particularly analyzes the Church’s speech founded on the problem of culture and inculturation in the proclamation of faith, in order to show how Church, in its work after the Second Vatican Council, met and accepted new challenges, especially anthropological admission to culture and inculturation, that gave an impulse to the Church to speak more clearly of culture, of a plurality of cultures and of inculturation of faith at the end of 20th century.


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