Reason and Faith in Modern Society: Liberalism, Marxism, and Democracy

Reason and Faith in Modern Society: Liberalism, Marxism, and Democracy

Reason and Faith in Modern Society: Liberalism, Marxism, and Democracy

Reason and Faith in Modern Society: Liberalism, Marxism, and Democracy

Excerpt

This book was conceived, like two preceding ones, as a contribution to a "theology of society," in contrast to the conventional "sociology of religion." It is the latter in which the tendencies of today's social sciences culminate, because it subsumes religion under social phenomena and laws. A theory directed against the sociology of religion must then be, according to its very definition, a social theory too. This is true also of this book, in which methodological problems receive a fairly extensive treatment. (For a systematic presentation of this methodology, cf. the article Christian Foundations of the Social Sciences, Social Research, Autumn 1959.) Some readers indeed, so soon as they see that the book takes religion as its starting point, will want to stop reading: if it is religious, then it plainly is not scientific. This book, however, is among those which argue that allegedly autonomous science rests on dogmatic--that is, unprovable--foundations, so that there is no difference in this respect, except that conventional science denies its dogmatic bond. A dogmatic bond, or in methodological language a dependence on fundamental hypotheses, is nothing but natural from our own point of view. Science cannot pull itself out of the dilemma of its own lack of presupposition by its own pigtail, like Munchausen. The question, dogma or no dogma, is erroneous.

We are far from denying that religion has fully deserved the disregard into which it has largely fallen in all Western countries. For generations its representatives have failed to shed the light of the faith upon the troubles of the times and to integrate the intellectual-spiritual discoveries of the times into the system of faith. It is only through such ever renewed "assimilation'' (Henri de Lubac) of social and intellectual material that the unity of life can be preserved and the validity of faith demon-

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