This book investigates the central role of reason in Islamic intellectual life. Despite widespread characterization of Islam as a system of belief based only on revelation, John Walbridge argues that rational methods, not fundamentalism, have characterized Islamic law, philosophy and education since the medieval period. His research demonstrates that this medieval Islamic rational tradition was opposed by both modernists and fundamentalists, resulting in a general collapse of traditional Islamic intellectual life and its replacement by more modern but far (...) shallower forms of thought. However, the resources of this Islamic scholarly tradition remain an integral part of the Islamic intellectual tradition and will prove vital to its revival. The future of Islam, Walbridge argues, will be marked by a return to rationalism. (shrink)
Dialogue with three major Muslim authors shows that Islam can take a positive stance toward human rights while also presenting differing interpretations of the meaning and scope of rights. Because of their subordination of norms reached through reason to those drawn from faith, as well as negative experiences of the impact of Western colonization of parts of the Muslim world, Abul A‘la Maududi and Sayyid Qutb place significant restrictions on rights of conscience. 'Abdolkarim Soroush's positive support for (...) the role of reason in Islamic faith and his less-negative assessment of the West lead him to more vigorous support for the human rights agenda. This study raises the question of whether the humility needed in comparative ethics and the respect for others at the root of human rights are necessarily linked. (shrink)
This critical review of Responses to the Enlightenment focuses on the relationship between faith and reason as advanced by Hendrick Hart and William Sweet, respectively. It does so in the context of Enlightenment critique of faith, from which both Hart and Sweet seek to salvage religious faith. While faith as trust is admitted to be performative (Hart), faith is also belief with cognitive content (Sweet). However, faith and reason, as I contend, stand (...) in a dialectical relationship between the need for commitment and understanding at the root of religious as well as secular traditions or worldviews. (shrink)
Aquinas’s thought is often considered an exemplary balance between Christian faith and natural reason. However, it is not always sufficiently clear what such balance consists of. With respect to the relation between philosophical topics and the Christian faith, various scholars have advanced perspectives that, although supported by Aquinas’s texts, contrast one another. Some maintain that Aquinas elaborated his philosophical view without being under the influence of faith. Others believe that the Christian faith constitutes an indispensable (...) component of Aquinas’s view; at least when Aquinas focused on those statements that, though maintainable by mere reason, belong to the Christian revelation. In this essay I intend to show that the aforementioned perspectives can be reconciled on the basis of Aquinas’s concept of faith. If we do not limit ourselves to considering faith as the assent to the revealed truth, but also look at what leads the believer to assent—i.e., charity that unites the believer with God and is gratuitously conceded by God himself—then the relation between faith and reason appears to be twofold. On the one hand, the truths of faith cannot participate in the rational inquiry, because according to Aquinas faith lacks the evidence searched for by natural reason. On the other hand, since Aquinas holds that faith is the assent to the revelation due to the love for God that is granted by God himself, the believer will take faith as more certain than intellect and science, and the truths of faith will constitute the orientation and criterion of her/his rational investigation. The truths shall constitute orientation because the believer aims to confirm by reason what she/he already believes. They will also be criterion, because in case of a contradiction between rational arguments and revealed truths, reason must be considered mistaken and the rational investigation must start anew from the beginning. (shrink)
Faith is a central attitude in Christian religious practice. The problem of faith and reason is the problem of reconciling religious faith with the standards for our belief-forming practices in general (‘ordinary epistemic standards’). In order to see whether and when faith can be reconciled with ordinary epistemic standards, we first need to know what faith is. This chapter examines and catalogues views of propositional faith: faith that p. It is concerned with (...) the epistemology of such faith: what cognitive attitudes does such faith require, what epistemic norms govern these attitudes, and whether Christian faith can ever adhere to them. (shrink)
Although De Casu Diaboli is not a traditional locus for a discussion of faith and reason, it is nonetheless subtly permeated by this topic in two ways. The first concerns Anselm’s general strategy for answering the student’s questions regarding the cause of the devil’s first sin. Anselm ends by claiming the devil willed incorrectly for no other cause than that his will so willed. Anselm thus ultimately calls upon the student to have faith in the mysterious, libertarian (...) selfdetermining power of the created will; explanation must cease and the student must accept that God would only have punished the devil if the devil’s will were freely to blame. This implicit, ultimate appeal to faith appears in stark contrast to the content of the entire treatise—a treatise up to that point filled with explanations of how the devil sinned in terms of the structure of the angels’ wills and intellects. In other words, the purpose of the treatise had been to provide a reason for the devil’s sin. It would seem that such reasons-giving discussions which occupy the first part of the work would be unnecessary if Anselm were ultimately to appeal to the student to rest upon his faith. The first part of the paper accordingly explores and attempts to alleviate this seeming tension. Additionally, Anselm explains that the devil had some compelling reasons to choose the way in which he did given his particular epistemic state. Despite this, the devil was to have faith in God’s prohibition and not follow his reasons for doing otherwise. The second part of the paper, therefore, discusses how the relative priority of faith can be inferred from Anselm’s discussion of the devil’s first sin. (shrink)
In Truth in Aquinas, John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock attempt to render a “radically orthodox” reading of Aquinas that rejects an autonomous realm of natural reason unaided by faith. I argue that Milbank and Pickstock’s account fails as a reading of Aquinas and is problematic as a theory of the relationship between faith and reason. After sketching Milbank and Pickstock’s understanding of the relationship between faith and reason, I examine Aquinas’s doctrines of grace and (...) divine naming in order to show how they resist Milbank and Pickstock’s attempt to do away with the distinct and autonomous category of natural reason. I then conclude by considering how Milbank and Pickstock’s failure to preserve the integrity and autonomy of natural reason ironically tends toward fideism whilesimultaneously threatening to deprive faith of its meaning. (shrink)
Between Faith and Reason is a description of the interaction between our need to believe and our ability to reason. Faced with a reality that threatens him emotionally, man develops and adheres to articles of faith that help him cope with that reality. The author cuts through conflicting interpretations of the human condition to a simple but powerful internal dynamic which points to the fact that reason is always disequilibrating. he book attempts no ultimate explanation (...) of the conflict between rational knowledge and emotional uncertainty, but calls attention to its presence and emphasizes the need to cast a comprehensive and honest view over this conflict if we are ever to make sense of our actions. (shrink)
Athens or Jerusalem? By Tertullian.--Philosophy the handmaid of theology, by Clement of Alexandria.--Faith in search of understanding, by St. Augustine.--Revelation and analogy, by St. Thomas Aquinas.--The mystic way, by M. Eckhart.--The darkened intellect, by J. Calvin.--The reasons of the heart, by B. Pascal.--Faith, reason, and enthusiasm, by J. Locke.--Miracles and the skeptic, by D. Hume.--The limits of reason, by I. Kant.--Truth and subjectivity, by S. Kierkegaard.--In justification of faith, by W. James.--Religion as poetry, by G. (...) Santayana.--Faith and symbols, by P. Tillich.--Three parables on falsification, by A. Flew, R. M. Hare, and B. Mitchell.--For further reading (p. 233-235). (shrink)
Faith and Reason displays in historical perspective some of the rich dialogue between religion and philosophy over two millennia, beginning with Greek reflections about God and the gods and ending with twentieth-century debate about faith in a world which tends to reserve its reverence for science. Paul Helm uses as a case study the question of whether the world is eternal or whether it was created out of nothing, following this theme from Plato through medieval thought to (...) modern scientific speculation about the beginnings of the universe. This Oxford Reader also includes discussion of many other fundamental issues raised by the juxtaposition of faith and reason, including arguments for and against the existence of God, the relationship between religion and ethics, the contrast between reason and revelation as sources of knowledge, and the implications of religious belief for freedom of the will. (shrink)
Introduction: "Know yourself" -- The revelation of God's wisdom -- Credo ut intellegam -- Intellego ut credam -- The relationship between faith and reason -- The interventions of the Magisterium in philosophical matters -- The interaction between philosophy and theology -- Current requirements and tasks -- Conclusion.
Faith and reason in the Church Magisterium from Pius IX to Fides et ratio -- Pius IX (1846-1878) between the Qui pluribus and the syllabus -- Faith and reason in the First Vatican Council -- From the syllabus to the First Vatican Council -- Constitution Dei filius -- Leo XIII and the Aeterni patris -- Faith and reason in the light of Fides et ratio -- Fides et ratio after Dei filius and Aeterni patris: (...)faith and reason -- Truth, foundation and metaphysics -- Historical reconstruction of Chapter IV -- Patristic and Medieval period -- Faith and reason in the modern age -- For a comprehensive review -- Difference and reciprocity of faith and reason -- Stressing difference: S. Kierkegaard -- Stressing reciprocity and circularity -- Crisis of reason and of the relationship reason-truth -- Post-modernity as the name of contemporary times. a brief analysis -- Going beyond the reductionism of post-modern reason -- Faith and reason: a necessary encounter, if both are "loyal" to themselves. (shrink)
In this work, Sullivan analyzes the relationship between faith and reason in Kierkegaard's philosophy. Kierkegaard is widely considered to be an irrationalist. Sullivan argues that he views faith as reasonable in a distinct way that must be uncovered. In some of his pseudonymous works, Kierkegaard speaks of the movement of faith as paradoxical and absurd. There is evidence from his non-pseudonymous works that Kierkgaard does not consider faith irrational.
The paradox of 'the One and the Many' might, more generally, be understood as the paradox of relationship. In order for there to be relationship there must be at least two parties in relation. The relation must, at once, hold the parties apart (otherwise they would collapse into unity) while holding them together (otherwise relationship itself would cease). It must do so, further, without itself becoming a third party which would then, itself, need to be related. This paper considers this (...) paradox as we find it manifest in the theories of quantum physics, the Socratic pursuit of universals, and, finally, at the very heart of human personhood - where we discover it at the core of interpersonal relationships, existential anxiety, and social distress. It is suggested, in the end, that though reason cannot resolve the terms of this paradox, there is a potential solution to the existential problems that spring from it, a solution lying in what Jesus calls, simply, 'faith.'. (shrink)
This article contrasts St. Thomas More's theoretical work on the role of faith and history in biblical exegesis with that of Fr. Richard Simon. I argue that, although Simon's work appears to be a critique of his more skeptical contemporaries like Hobbes and Spinoza, in reality he is carrying their work forward. I argue that More's union of faith and reason, theology and history, is more promising than Simon's for Catholic theological biblical exegesis.
Religious faith is often critiqued as irrational either because its beliefs do not rise to the level of knowledge as defined by some philosophical theory or because it rests on emotion rather than knowledge. Or both. Kierkegaard helps us to see how these arguments rest on a misunderstanding of all three terms: faith, reason, and emotion.
Initial sketch of a concept of faith -- Facets of faith -- Faith and knowledge -- Faith and scientific knowledge -- Faith and morality -- Secular forms of faith -- Crises of faith -- My personal journey of faith.