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In modernity, human dignity has often been understood as a pre-social category, adhering to human persons even when all social belonging has been stripped from them. Some thinkers interested in reviving the insights of ancient Aristotelian have therefore been suspicious of the concept of human dignity, and have tried to revive an ethic of honor, founded on social roles that serve the common good. Traditional Catholic teaching on the “two powers,” spiritual and temporal, can provide resources for a deeper understanding of human dignity. An ordered relation of those who have the care of the temporal common good of political society, and those who have the care of the common good of the most universal society, the City of God, enables us to see human dignity not as a pre- or anti- social category, but rather as the worthiness of all human persons to be honored as actual or potential sharers in the divine common good.

Speaker: Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., monk of Stift Heiligenkreuz

Fr. Edmund’s website: https://thejosias.com/author/sancrucensis/

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