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By Nature, Man is Relation to the Infinite

19 August 2012 - 25 August 2012

The phrase that gives the 33rd Meeting of Rimini its title is drawn from the first chapter of Fr. Giussani’s The Religious Sense: “By nature man is relation to the infinite.”

In fact, in everyday experience man discovers that he is made up of diverse needs (for truth, justice, happiness, and love) that are not satisfied by partial responses. As Benedict XVI recalled recently, on the occasion of his apostolic visits to Mexico and the Republic of Cuba, “Humankind is in need of the infinite.”

The Meeting intends to document the experience of this essential relation through encounters, exhibits, and shows.

There are many issues today that the title of the Meeting seeks to illuminate: from the subject of “rights” in all of its various aspects, to the questions posed by scientific research, to the challenging changes that the economic crisis has imposed on the lives of people and nations.
If man is relation to the infinite, then only this relation can provide an adequate basis for the rights of every person and every people, setting the terms for a civilized, free and dignified society. Likewise, scientific investigations regarding man and his biological and neurological structure cannot be detached from the recognition of an ultimate and mysterious relationship by which man is defined and which does not lend itself to any manipulation.

The question of man’s relation to the infinite is an anthropological question; it defines man in that it identifies religious nature as a continual reaching/ tension towards a “beyond” that is at the root of every human movement.

It is precisely this nature, a profound unity of heart and reason – as Benedict XVI affirmed, also during his visit to Mexico – that, being common to all men, permits the experience of the encounter among people of different faiths and cultures as the Meeting hopes to document again this year.

Only the lived experience of such a relation, in fact, creates men who are certain of their own identity and free to recognise that of others, capable of building together and taking the initiative in areas of culture, economics, and politics, for the common good.

There is a desire/an aspiration that we would like to share with all of those who are already working together to realize the aims of the Meeting, and with all of those who will participate in it: that it be, for everyone, the occasion to encounter people and experiences capable of reviving the desire for, and the awareness of, their own relation to the infinite.

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