Friday, June 23, 2006
Subjective Faith and the Value of Philosophy
What justification can we offer for the use of philosophy in theology? The objects of Christian faith are certainly the articles of the Creed, which are essentially summaries of the doctrines of revelation, materially identical to the sacred text. But the subject of faith is the created intellect, the very nature of which is to seek understanding. Since the articles of faith, in virtue of their supernatural character – even as revealed truths, are incomprehensible to the created intellect, the will, which is also the subject of faith, moves, by the same infused virtue, the intellect to assent to these mysteries. This movement of the intellect by the will, infused with the theological virtues of faith, hope and love, is the very definition of contemplation. Thus theology, because it is rational reflection on the object of faith, hope and love, is a contemplative act. The contemplative character of theology requires the application of cultivated reason. Philosophy is cultivated reason.