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Question 276:

How does Christian faith relate to philosophy? Can it be defended with philosophical arguments?

 

Answer:

The Christian faith from the beginning (see, for instance, Justin, the Martyr, c. 100 – c. 165, the early Christian apologist and philosopher) has understood itself as vera philosophia (= true philosophy) in the sense that it does not close its eyes in front of the riddles of existence, not least that of the meaning of suffering and death, which philosophy alone cannot solve. This viewing together of faith and reason in union obtained until right into the middle ages. Later the relationship was viewed less as unity than as a relationship in tension.  But always faith and reason remained related to one another. The best short treatise on this issue may well be the Letter of Pope John Paul II “Fides et Ratio”.  See: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html

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