The formal status of christian philosophy 2

The first consequence of the meeting with Revelation is that the misteries of faith are not accepted for their intrinsic evidence but as a result of a free assent. While the greek attitude highlights the noetic aspect of intellectual adhesion, faith highlights the existential aspect in which personal adhesion is a key element.

The wisdom with which greeks find the First Mover is quite different from the personal meeting with the God of history. The second consequence implied in the meeting of man with Revelation is the conviction of the believer that, although the truths of faith overcome his natural capacity, at the same time he believes that these truths have a great intelligibility themselves.

It is therefore not surprising that, after believing, the believer has a great desire to find and deepen the sense of the truths that he has believed. These two aspects of the meeting between reason and revelation are often taken into account by the Christian theologian when determining theology as the exercise of applying reason to the contents of faith. On one hand, he will stress the special character of the free and responsible acceptance of a number of contents of which he doesn’t have intrinsic evidence; on the other hand, he will highlight that these unreachable misteries – to reason – have an intelligibility by themselves that overcomes him.

The christian theologian is someone who, after believing, tries to better understand his beliefs. Staying at this point would justify a theological discourse on the act of faith, in which we would find valuable elements about the noetics of faith, the reasons to believe, the freedom of faith as personal adhesion, the rationality of the mystery and many other contributions that would help us articulating reason and faith in both the personal life of the believer and in the rational exercise of theology.

Even so, not only faith arises from the meeting of man and revelation – by which he becomes a believer – but also a whole new configuration of his mental universe. If the basis of a true Christian philosophy has to be found, we’ll do it in this new mental configuration.

Faith produces a change in the mental cathegories in which he moved before believing – or if/when not believing – and this change implies a number of consequences that form the core of Christian philosophy, understood as the exercise of reason enlightened by faith. Troughout history, the work of christian theologians had major consequences, affecting the status of philosophy itself. The rational exercise applied to faith questions the very limits of the philosophical reason, specially regarding its autonomy.

It will be said that philosophy is – or should be – a science autonomus from temporal realities, presented with a rational method. While this is true, it could also be said – without contradiction – at the same time that the certainties of faith, that the believer is trying to clarify, lead him into a mystery zone, unreachable in itself by his natural reason, but in accordance with that wise vocation of totality that we mentioned before regarding the greek thought. There is no true statement about reality that doesn’t affect the philosopher, wherever it comes from, even if this statement comes from Revelation or is a religious claim.

02/02/2017 09:00:00

See also
02/01/2017 The formal status of christian philosopy

02/03/2017 The formal status of christian philosophy 3

02/04/2017 The formal status of christian philosophy 4

02/12/2014 Being as act

02/08/2015 The ontological communication