Reason and Religion: Essays in Philosophical Theology

Reason and Religion: Essays in Philosophical Theology

Reason and Religion: Essays in Philosophical Theology

Reason and Religion: Essays in Philosophical Theology

Excerpt

In this volume I have collected papers which I have written on topics of philosophical theology during the last thirty years. Some of them were written while I was a Catholic and a priest; others belong to more recent periods since I have been at a distance from Catholic thought and practice. For this reason I thought of entitling the collection 'Essays Catholic and Critical'. But having re-read the papers I decided that this title would imply a false antithesis. For some of the essays which I wrote as a Catholic are very critical of Catholic doctrine in that they present in sharp relief difficulties and inconsistencies in Catholic teaching; while some of the most recent essays, written from the viewpoint of an agnostic, are more sympathetic to traditional Catholic doctrine than to the prevailing climate of liberal secular opinion.

The essays are all essays in philosophical theology: that is to say, they exhibit the application of philosophical methods to theological topics. Not all of the essays concern what used to be called 'natural theology', namely, truths in the religious sphere allegedly attainable by the unaided use of reason. Several of them are concerned with 'revealed theology', that is to say, they are philosophical examinations of the coherence of doctrines put forward by their proponents on the basis of a particular religious tradition and claimed to be part of the content of divine revelation. All of them can be considered as essays in the philosophy of religion, if that expression is given a broad interpretation.

I have grouped the essays by subject matter, not chronologically.

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