It is even more essential
than the notion of God.
It is even more essential than the notion of God.
There is no religion without at the least an implicit idea of holiness because this is, by its very nature, a religious concept. Holiness is the significant term in religion; it is even more essential than the notion of God. Certainly, God is holy and holiness, as such, belongs to Him alone. However, the word "holiness" is used analogically both with regard to God, and with regard to those who are linked to Him, that is, who have an interior relationship with Him.
The theme of holiness is the central question of Christianity first of all because men participate in the holiness of God in an analogical way by being created in His image. Then - according to Christ’s teachings - the ultimate goal of man is the vision of God, and holiness is seen as a path to perfection animated by supernatural intervention. In the history of spirituality and throughout the Church’s history, holiness was always considered the highest expression of love initiated in baptism. In Catholic theology, the concept of holiness has undergone a long evolution, from the martyrs and through the first confessors to a contemporary perspective in the light of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council.
Therefore, it will be extremely significant to compare theological nuances in the definition and perception of the concept of holiness proper to the Eastern Churches. At the same time, it will be stimulating to query the figure of evliyāʾ (Arabic: awliyāʾ), friends of God and bearers of his blessings, within Turkish culture which is characterised by a strong Islamic reference. Moreover, it will be precisely on the forms / figures of holiness that comparative research among Christian theologies and interreligious approaches will make for a particularly lively and fruitful three-day seminar.