brotherhood

Article

The Christian concept rates all men, of every race and nation and type, as possessed of the same human nature and essential worth and dignity. God creates the soul of each man and infuses it into a body; this implies a special divine choice and a special value in the beginning of natural life. Further, God has called every man to a supernatural destiny, dependent on the probationary period of life on earth, which consists in the perfect union of mind and will with the Divine Essence for all eternity, which is Heaven. As the necessary means to secure this salvation of men, God became incarnate, suffered, and died, and instituted His Church and His sacramental system. These divine acts, of infinite value, are directly related to each individual man, and give to each individual man an eternal value and worth. Since each man is so constituted, it follows that each man must live and act with due reference to these facts, both in his purely individual acts and in acts which involve others. Social life reveals differences of race, culture, nationality, and temperament, which lead to divisions and separations; but these are accidental and superficial as compared with the basic equality of all in the divine plan. To emphasize these differences to such an extent as to lose sight of the essential human dignity of any individual, race, or class, is an offense against human nature, and a violation of justice or charity or both. The notion of the brotherhood of men, thus worked out by Christian theology, is supported by natural reasonings, such as those of the humanitarian philosophy. However these natural arguments, appealing only to general notions of sympathy, are apt to be countered by self-interest, and by conflicting arguments supporting claims of nationalism, race, and special culture.

MLA Citation

  • “brotherhood”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 June 2010. Web. 23 September 2017. <http://catholicsaints.info/brotherhood/>