‘The Courtyard of the Gentiles’ seeks to create a public space for dialogue on the great questions of human existence.

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Cultural dialogue on the great questions

France is the scene this Thursday and Friday of the inauguration of a major Vatican initiative headed by the Pontifical Council for Culture, aimed at recovering a broad cultural dialogue, the purpose of which is to preserve the great questions about human existence – especially spiritual questions – in contemporary Western public intellectual life.

The “Courtyard of the Gentiles” as the initiative is known in English, takes its name from the space in the area of the great Temple at Jerusalem, in which Jews and gentiles met and engaged each other.

Pope Benedict XVI invoked this image in his 2009 address to the Roman Curia. Then, the Holy Father called for,

“dialogue with those to whom religion is something foreign, to whom God is unknown and who nevertheless do not want to be left merely Godless, but rather to draw near to Him, albeit as the Unknown.”

Pope Benedict is scheduled to address participants by live video on Friday, March 25th.