The Shaping of Rationality: Toward Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Science

The Shaping of Rationality: Toward Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Science

The Shaping of Rationality: Toward Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Science

The Shaping of Rationality: Toward Interdisciplinarity in Theology and Science

Excerpt

Why rationality? The answer to this question has not been an easy one. I do know, however, that writing this book on the problem of rationality has been a life-changing experience that started a long time ago with a lingering fascination with a rather abstract, theoretical problem, and ends now with a profound and humble awareness of the deeply spiritual nature of the human self as embedded in the complexities of everyday life. My initial and ever-increasing fascination has been with the sheer fact of human intelligence, and with the spectacular difference its presence and almost limitless achievements have made in our time. As time went by, however, the contours of the problem shifted as the theologian in me pushed further and started wondering about the relationship between intelligence and rationality, and about how the uniquely human ability and skill of being rational in belief and action could ever be brought to bear upon what seemed to be a distant and remote world — the world of faith and religious commitment. From here it has been a short step to what has become one of the most pervasive and exciting problems of our time, the relationship of life-changing religious faith to the overwhelming and ongoing successes of contemporary science. It took me a long time, however, to grasp that in trying to understand what scientific reflection is about, and in trying to understand what theological reflection is about, the answer lay hidden in the understanding itself.

So, I do want to attempt an answer to the perplexing question why rationality? I now believe that the problem of rationality holds the key to understanding the forces that have shaped the radically differ-

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