Flannery O’Connor’s personal remedy for “vague belief” is similar to Pope Benedict’s (and mine).

There’s nothing vague about Jesus Christ!

At the center of what I have termed vague belief is the notion that Jesus is simply one religious figure among many and that God is without a name and therefore cannot enter into relationship with the world—nor would he want to, even if he could. Put simply, vague belief is a denial of revelation—a denial of the specificity of Christ.

The way back to specific belief, therefore, will come by way of exposing the naiveté of vague belief, specifically by addressing the power of God’s name and proposing an adequate understanding of the person of Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior of the world. Of course, this has been Benedict’s life-long project, beginning with Introduction to Christianity all the way to his latest volume of Jesus of Nazareth. But, this return to specific belief is a major component of O’Connor’s project as well.

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