Reason and God: Encounters of Philosophy with Religion

Reason and God: Encounters of Philosophy with Religion

Reason and God: Encounters of Philosophy with Religion

Reason and God: Encounters of Philosophy with Religion

Excerpt

Religious faith and philosophical thought, the most fundamental spiritual forms in human life, have always found themselves in the peculiar position of not being able to get along with each other and of not being able to remain permanently apart. Their overlap of interest, as shown in their common concern for such matters as the ultimate nature of things, the form of the good life, the destiny of man and his status in the universe, has led to their mutual involvement. At times the two have developed together in fruitful cooperation and mutual support, at times they have eyed each other with infinite suspicion born of the fear that each seeks to supplant the other. As regards their cooperation, it has been shown that religious thought can develop most successfully through the medium of concepts and categories furnished by philosophical investigation, and that philosophy proves to be most original and vital when it is directed toward those ultimate questions about the universe and human life which religion keeps continually before us. The tradition of Christian Platonism, for example, and the great synthesis achieved by Thomas Aquinas show the power and depth of theology when it has philosophical form and self- consciousness; the great philosophers, on the other hand, have been those who concerned themselves with the most fundamental metaphysical questions that have always bordered on the religious concern.

Though the two forms may work together, we must not forget that their relations have also been marked by serious tensions. Philosophical minds have often regarded religion . . .

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