A renowned author and speaker inspired Franciscan University students and professors on Oct. 12 with a talk about Jesus Christ’s influence on contemporary culture. Tracey Rowland, whose book is entitled the same as her talk, “The Culture of the Incarnation,” spoke about the contemporary culture wars and how there is a debate on the fundamental idea of what it means to be human.
“Human love lets us see the love of God,” Rowland said. “Saint Pope John Paul II saw love as something that should be understood within the context of the love between the persons of the Trinity. In the incarnation, the mystery of the human takes on light.”
“Christ, taking the form of man, is an event that affects every human being,” Rowland said. “Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict wanted Christ to be the center and physician of civilization.”
Rowland explained that Saint Pope John Paul II worked to build off of what Saint Thomas Aquinas had taught and extended his teachings to teach others about the uniqueness of the human person and his connection to God. This was especially evident in his catechesis on human love.
Saint Pope John Paul II said that in order for a man to understand himself, he must draw near to Christ and assimilate into the realm of the incarnation and the redemption, said Rowland.
Rowland spoke of Pope Benedict XVI’s teachings and how he said that Christianity is primarily about the participation of the human person in the life and love of the Trinity, particularly in the Eucharist.
“Pope Benedict exalted to Catholics to keep the world open to God,” Rowland said. “ He cares enormously for the world and sees beauty and goodness objectively where it exists, especially in the arts.”
In our culture today it is especially important for people to witness to the incarnation. “At this moment, you try to get into an agreement on what the human person is and it is almost impossible,” Rowland said. “Before the incarnation, philosophers were of good will and open to truth. Now after the incarnation, some philosophers have rejected it.”
Students enjoyed Rowland’s talk. Clement Harrold, freshman, said, “I thought she was extremely interesting, and it was great to hear from her. I found her very engaging and informative.”
Freshman Ben Duncan said, “She inspired me to further discern my role in the world and setting it on fire for Christ.”