December 7, 2007

Where faith falters, art comes to rescue

An important part of Benedict XVI’s new encyclical Spe Salvi is dedicated to the Last Judgment, a chapter of the Christian faith, which has “faded” in favour of an individualistic vision of man's destiny. This is also why—according to the Pope—a self-criticism of modern Christianity is necessary.

But where faith falters, art comes to the rescue, as shown in the recently published The Sistine Chapel: A New Vision, a splendid book by Heinrich W. Pfeiffer, a German Jesuit and a professor of the history of Christian art at the Pontifical Gregorian University. A book which—according to Italian Vativanist Sandro Magister—should also be read (and viewed) to supplement the reading of Spe Salvi. In Magister-maintained website, the pages on the Last Judgment, hell, paradise, and purgatory in Benedict XVI's encyclical on hope are reproduced. This will be well worth a visit.

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