Sunday, February 21, 2010

happy together

"love and marriage [philosophy and theology, french and english, faith and reason (update: mass and confession, love and mercy)] go together like a horse and carriage, this i tell you brother, you can't have one without the other." words once spoken by Frank Sinatra in 1955, are as true today as they were then. of course, i added the words in brackets. i read yet another article by an author who believes that the two best buds - faith and reason, must somehow be split up, separated, divorced. why is that?

faith and reason live on the same axis. however, Rebecca Goldstein, an American novelist, disagrees and writes about it in her new book. the danger with splitting faith and reason up is that it usually means building up one at the expense of the other. both are needed, period.

in the article, there are several mentions of new atheism - whatever that means. maybe it's like the new country? anywho, you can't separate faith and reason, nor can you separate love and marriage, soup and sandwich, or the strands of DNA without becoming lost. faith and reason are happy together, are they not?

i remember my first year at the seminary. i had to study philosophy first, before theology. some people told me that it would make me lose my faith. i was necessarily a bit weary of beginning those studies. however, nothing could have been further from the truth! it did not make me lose my faith, but rather made it stronger. we had to study all type of philosophers, their thoughts, ideas, atheists, religious, and everything in between. i enjoyed that year and the conversations that it made me have with my fellow brothers. i particularly enjoyed David Hume's idea on causation - not because i understood it, but because he used billiard balls in one of his famous examples on the topic (see An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding). i love playing pool. ask me, and i'll challenge you! :)

faith and reason go together, and when reason has no answers, faith goes beyond it. many have discussed this in greater detail vs. this blog entry. a classic of course is Pope JPII's encyclical Fides et ratio on the relationship between faith and reason. i'm sure many remember Pope BXVI's lecture at the university of Regensburg, in Sept. 2006 (summary, comment). on the topic of faith, reason and university, it sparked international reaction and controversy. Charles Taylor also speaks of the divide between the two in his book, A Secular Age, which i still must finish.

however, the marriage of faith and reason still causes people to get upset. comparing the two, Pope BXVI said that "faith and reason are inextricably linked for both seek the truth". there have been many yesterday, and today that try to break the two apart. and i'm sure more will in the future. for example, St. Bernard of Clairvaux and Abelard fought tooth and nails about where to put the focus - faith or reason. faith seeking understanding. St. Bernard put the focus on the first, where as Abelard put the focus on the latter. St. Bernard won that battle. indeed, Pope BXVI said in another report "when controversies arise in theology people should always strive to protect their faith while searching for truth." both men were fully reconciled, by the way.
"me and you and you and me
no matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
the only one for me is you, and you for me
so happy together" (The Turtles - Happy Together, 1967)
faith and reason, it does a body (+ soul) good. have a great prayerful Lent! peace out.

No comments:

Post a Comment