Philosophy Word of the Day – Fideism

Tertullian
Image via Wikipedia

“What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” . . . . This question of the relation between reason—here represented by Athens—and faith—represented by Jerusalem—was posed by the church father Tertullian (c.160-230 CE), and it remains a central preoccupation among contemporary philosophers of religion.

“Fideism” is the name given to that school of thought—to which Tertullian himself is frequently said to have subscribed—which answers that faith is in some sense independent of—if not outright adversarial toward—reason. In contrast to the more rationalistic tradition of natural theology, with its arguments for the existence of God, fideism holds that reason is unnecessary and inappropriate for the exercise and justification of religious belief. The term itself derives from fides, the Latin word for faith, and can be rendered literally as faith-ism. “Fideism” is thus to be understood not as a synonym for “religious belief,” but as denoting a particular philosophical account of faith’s appropriate jurisdiction vis-a-vis that of reason.

(Via Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

What do you think?  Is fideism the best approach to faith?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Philosophy Word of the Day – Fideism

  1. This argument always makes me think of 1 Tim 6:3-5 because at the end of the day, very few people actually care about the logic behind our actions. They care about how our actions affect them which is why our actions of godliness will always out-weight our quarreling over reason.

    I am glad for the work of many who have shown our faith to be a reasonable one but I do not believe that reason alone will break a hard heart.

    To borrow from a famous quote: “Preach faith at all times. Use reason when necessary.”

    • Hi Jake,
      I think it’s true that, overall, actions speak louder than words. And that what we do and how we do it makes a big difference when we’re trying to share the Good News. I also think the relationship between faith and reason is something we need to explore and try to sort through. Reason is an ally and something that God gave us to discern truth. I think we ought to cultivate it and use it for His glory. If we do that, faith and reason can be tremendous allies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s