The Human Experience
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By Romano Guardini
The Human Experience shows the tremendous range of Guardini’s intellectual prowess and the enduring relevance of his philosophical and theological insights. These essays converge into a discourse on the unfathomable mystery of what it means to be human.
“Every experience, be it pleasant or ugly, constructive or destructive, leaves its trace. Thus at every moment man lives by the heritage of what went before.” – Romano Guardini
The Human Experience consists of four essays that converge into a discourse on the unfathomable mystery of what it means to be human. The first articulates providence as the singular embrace of free human agency with the divine dicta of history, as seen in the life of St. Francis of Assisi. The Kierkegaard-inspired “Meaning of Melancholy” shows the critical role of melancholy in illuminating the meaning of the human condition. “The Meaning of Community” explores how the intersection of individuality and commonality gives rise to a shared structure in which humanity and its history become truly intelligible. Crowning the collection is “The Freedom of the Spirit,” a theologically rich reflection on how the Holy Spirit animates human freedom and raises it to the heights of the divine life.
Romano Guardini (1885–1968) was a Catholic priest, professor, and author. He taught theology and philosophy at the University of Berlin, University of Tübingen, and University of Munich. Included among his intellectual disciples are Josef Pieper, Luigi Giussani, and Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI).