June 14, 2009

Faith and Reason: A Theological Marriage


(This blog is dedicated to the proposition that faith and reason are complementary not contradictory. The following is from the"Theology of the Person, Part One," a series of essays by Father Robert Papi. The first essay deals with Theology as a marriage of faith and reason. We will discuss the "Theology of the Person" more in later posts.)

Fr. Robert Papi

This series, of which the following will be the first essay, is a work of reflections on Pope John Paul II's Theology Of The Body. I offer it as a means of understanding, and joyfully accepting, our reality as persons. We are persons created, redeemed, and sanctified by the Blessed Trinity.

The classic definition of theology, ascribed to St. Anslem is: "Faith Seeking Understanding!"

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines theology as: "Rational analysis of a religious faith."

For the Fathers of the Church Theologia (theology) "refers to the mystery of God's innermost life within the Blessed Trinity" (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 236).

Pope John Paul II reminds us that: " Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know truth - in a word, to know Himself - so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves." (Opening statement of the encyclical FAITH AND REASON).

A Theology of the Person then is a search for understanding of the 'who I am' and 'why I am' of personal existence. It is an exploration of personhood as a unique individual, and as one who is like, therefore in relation to, others like ourselves.

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