"Utilité de la théologie naturelle pour la connaissance de Dieu aujourd’hui" [Usefulness of Natural Theology for God's Knowledge Today]

Connaître : Cahiers de l'Association Foi Et Culture Scientifique (48):83-92 (2017)
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Abstract

In this public debate with Philippe Deterre (research director in immunology at the CNRS) – held at l'Enclos Rey in Paris' 15th district during the biennial Conference of the Réseau Blaise Pascal in March 2017 –, I defended the usefulness of natural theology. I first clarify theology's nature and understanding, then I speak about a tradition that upheld the public and exterior knowledge of God, and make an effort to show the presence of a theme reminiscent of natural theology behind attempts at the good life. I then ask whether natural theology would only exist for the Christian. In the reply to my opponent's own reaction, I insist on the incongruity of separating our knowledge of God from our knowledge of science's wonderful discoveries, I ask whether nature could be said to be crafty and "ingenious," and I conclude by building a case for the return of God in public conversation, as part of an effort that our world needs in terms of finding back its compass, and restoring an ideal of living rationally.

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Philippe Gagnon
Université Catholique de Lille

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