Reflection on Life

"Would it be correct to say our concepts reflect our life? They stand in the middle of it." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on Colour, 302). Insofar as our churches embody trust in the good news of Jesus Christ, they have a 'grammar' to them that the gospel structures, however imperfectly and partially. Our forms of life involve language-games in which our words and deeds mean what they do, according to an implicit or explicit grammar or set of rules. Wittgenstein understood his own career in terms of helping us think clearly about ourselves and our forms of life, avoiding seductive and intuitive mistakes that amount to grammatical mistakes that would distort our communications and self-analyses.

John Paul II charges us to do "our duty to preach the Gospel of life, to celebrate it in the Liturgy and in our whole existence, and to serve it with the various programmes and structures which support and promote life" (Evangelium Vitae, paragraph 79). To be grammatically-theologically correct, as it were.

How well are you doing?

Articulate the 'grammar of life' in your own life. What should a careful observer of your life see as your witness to "the gospel of life"? How does that compare to a truly intelligible, coherent embodiment of "the gospel of life" – or, if you prefer, theological anthropology – and why?

You do not need to take John Paul II's positions or West's positions or use them uncritically as a standard. However, I hope you find them helpful in sharpening your perception and analysis.

Please keep your paper 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers.

Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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