Friday, October 26, 2012
The next three talks will focus on the "theological virtues": faith, hope and charity. Western and Christian philosophy and theology posed the moral life as fulfilled in these three spiritual virtues. "The Meaning of Charity" is the theme for October. Charity, today, almost has a negative connotation. It is understood as a private virtue - privileged individuals giving monetary donations. But, a deeper look at the old idea of charity reveals a social meaning to the word. Charity is the necessary virtue for democracy, and should be understood as fundamentally social in character. It's about our commitment and generosity to one another - the way we care for one another in community. Charity is not about private giving of the privileged; it's the virtue that links our common lot together as one body. The presence or absence of "charity" defines the quality and character of any community more than it defines the character of an individual.