Faith and Philosophy

The Monist 75 (3):321-340 (1992)
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In the history of Western thought, the relation between religion and philosophy has taken a variety of forms. The first is an example of mutual antagonism. It begins with the attempt of the Presocratic philosophers to disentangle their thought from the mythic discourse of Homer and Hesiod. And it reaches its most decisive expression in the trial of Socrates for turning away from traditional religion and for inventing new “gods.” Antagonism reemerges in the Christian tradition in Paul’s warning to the Colossians to turn away from “philosophy and vain deceit.” It also comes to focus in the claim of Tertullian that we must believe because to believe is absurd. Both theologians presuppose that faith surpasses human wisdom and that a rational account of its paradoxes can never unravel their mystery.



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