Between reason and faith ( Part II)


What is most striking, however, is the starting point for the development of the study of philosophy and culture in general, the Christian faith. In fact, the medieval Christian did not conceive faith as a private matter, to be hidden, but as the connecting matter of their society, their culture and their life. Thus apart from some extreme examples, they expressed in their culture the great ideals to which they professed. They believed in the essential goodness of human reason and thought that it has, beyond revelation, a natural capability of truth. Truth itself, however, has a fundamental reference point, that being faith in God as revealed in Jesus Christ. The different personalities, which continued research into reason and faith during the medieval centuries, were often of exceptional intelligence. Beginning with St. Gregory the Great, the movement continued through the Venerable Bede, Alcuino, John Scotus Eriugena, St. Anselm of Aosta, Peter Lombard, Abelard, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure of Bagnorea, Johan Duns Scotus, William of Occam. These are only some of the better-known names among the many intellectuals, who based their research on the Christian faith. Study of the Bible (sacra pagina), or of the ancient philosophical and theological sources (auctoritates), reflection (meditatio), debates between professors and students (quaestiones), or only between professors (quaestiones disputatae o quodilibet): this vivid intellectual labour formed the base of the wonderful development of the philosophical and theological sciences. And these, in turn, were based on a substratum of a profound faith, to be lived in harmony with the reason and with the heart.






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