Analysis of the Catechism Divine Human Equality and Difference

By analyzing a text, one can draw conclusions about the thoughts of the author on philosophical matters.  In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a philosophical overview of Catholic philosophy promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1997, there is a passage which centers on divine human equality and difference as established by God in the natural world.  By calling attention to the divine human equality of and difference between the sexes, one is able to consider the male and female as equal yet different complimentary figures within the divine plan.  It is the purpose of this paper to take a look at divine human equality and difference with respect to the philosophical topics of power and revolution.

The meaning of divine human equality and difference is expressed very plainly and succinctly in the following passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Equality and difference willed by God
369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. Being man or being woman is a reality which is good and willed by God man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity in the image of God. In their being-man and being-woman, they reflect the Creators wisdom and goodness.

In this passage, the reader is able to discern that in the philosophy and theology of the Catholic Church, the study of God and his relationship to man, the Pope believes that man and woman have been created by God in perfect equality to one another and in perfect compliment to one another in their differences.  There is attention given to the fact that both people, the being of man and the being of woman, are willed by God in the image of God.  They are of equal dignity and worth and their differences compliment and contribute to one another in an all encompassing spirit of good will in the natural plan.

When considering the ideas of the Catholic Church in relationship to divine human equality and difference, it can be meaningful to consider this ideology in relationship to the topics of power and revolution.  Here, there is a spring of power which comes from God as the source, yet man and woman participate together with God in His divine plan, as they are expressions of God and created in His image.  Man and woman are considered to be equally powerful and compliment one another in their differences.  It is a highly significant statement that man and woman are equally powerful, as there are often discussions about oppression of man over woman and even woman over man.  In todays world, there is often controversy surrounding the complimentary differences between man and woman.  In the 1950s, it was typical for men to be the heads of households and for women to spend more time at home and with their children.  Perhaps a revolution of the current age would be a return to traditional thoughts about the complimentary differences between man and woman.  The modern dogma of not paying attention to the differences is likely to continue to have a negative effect on understanding the natural philosophy of what is means to be man and what is means to be woman, unless there is a revolution and return to traditional ethics.

Considering man and woman in their relationship to one another from a perspective of power and a perspective of revolution lends insight into their mutual meaning and purpose in the divine plan.  It is of significant importance that man and woman are equally valued for their varying yet essential beings.  The power they each exude and lend to one another must be equally valued as well as equally understood.  In considering the tendency for human behavior to revolve or return to previous states, it is hopeful that man and woman will come to a greater understanding of their differences and complimentary purposes, so that one can truly learn to serve the other in his or her own unique way.


Post a Comment