Philosophy as Making Room for Faith

  • M. J. Charlesworth
Part of the Philosophy of Religion Series book series


‘If we submit everything to reason, our religion will have no mysterious or supernatural element’ (1). Pascal’s statement very aptly expresses the persistent fear and suspicion of philosophy within the Christian tradition that has existed alongside the religious intellectualism we have just been discussing. Once philosophy is allowed a foothold within the domain of religious faith, it inevitably ends, so it is claimed, by rationalising away the mysterious and supernatural dimension of faith, and by making religion appear as all man’s own work and achievement instead of being a free gift and gratuitous disclosure from God. Again, the philosophising of religious faith makes it into a kind of speculative assent, so that the practical or moral or personal dimension of religion becomes secondary; or, put in another way, philosophical religion is necessarily ‘objective’ in the sense that it is concerned with impersonal truths that are available to all, and the ‘subjective’ or ‘personal’ or ‘inward’ character of religious faith is neglected. The God of the philosophers, as Pascal says again, is not the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob (2).


Practical Reason Speculative Reason Religious Order Religious Faith Human Reason 
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Copyright information

© M. J. Charlesworth 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Charlesworth
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneAustralia

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