8/21/2013—EWNT News reports today that former students of Pope Benedict XVI will meet to discuss the question of God against the background of secularization. The group of students, called the "students' circle," has met to discuss theology and the life of the Church since 1978, when professor Ratzinger became a bishop and left academic life. This year's meeting of the group will be held from August 29 to September 2. Interestingly, Pope Benedict chose the topic, as well as the guest speaker, the philosopher Rémi Brague. Over the years, Pope Benedict participated in the annual meetings, but this year he will not do so. Last year the group discussed ecumenism.
The choice of topic is significant. Benedict once said that the truths of religion must be plausible in every age. The growth of secularism is a background fact with which theology must contend. Benedict's view presumably is quite different from simply considering secularization to be rebellion against God. It is not surprising that a Benedict would approach matters in a nuanced way.
If only secular thinkers could discuss the very same issue: the question of God against the background of secularization. If only secular thinkers could do more with the concept of God than simply dismiss it as superstition. I do not know how the proceedings of this group are publicized, if they are. But I believe we would all benefit from hearing what these well-informed and thoughtful former students of Pope Benedict had to say on this topic.