J. L. A. Garcia Death of the (Hand)maiden: Contemporary Philosophy in Faith and Reason Though the actual text was not made public until the twentieth anniversary of John Paul II's ascension to the papacy, the recent encyclical Fides et Ratio bears an official proclamation date of a month earlier--September 14, which Catholics celebrate as the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. This seems at first distasteful triumphalism : reason contests, but is defeated by, faith. Such an interpretation would, I think, be misguided, for Pope John Paul II means the official dating to make a subtler point. For him, it is only through reflection on the mysteries of Christ's life and death, accepted in faith, that the mystery of man, which reason naturally seeks to penetrate, can begin adequately to be grasped, (sec. 60, quoting Gaudium et Spes [below], and his own first encyclical Redemptor hominis, sec. 8) Faith and reason, then, are not contestants but partners, "friends," as Pope Leo XIII called them. (sec. cj) The cross's triumph is not over reason, but a triumphjòr reason as well, since it helps reason achieve the knowledge it seeks. Thus, the image with which the encyclical commences: "Faith
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture – Logos: Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture
Published: Apr 4, 1999
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