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Faith and Reason

The Possibility of a Christian Philosophy

Neil Ormerod


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The twentieth century witnessed considerable debate over the question of the possibility of a "Christian philosophy," particularly in light of the revival of Thomism initiated by the papal encyclical Aeterni Patris. Two major figures of that revival were Etienne Gilson and Bernard Lonergan, both of whom read Aquinas in quite different ways. Nonetheless, this work brings these two authors into conversation on the possibility of a Christian philosophy. Gilson was a great proponent of the term, and while Lonergan does not use it, he does speak of "Christian realism." Both display a lively interaction of faith and philosophical positions, while maintaining a clear distinction between philosophy and theology. Debates continue in the twenty-first century, but the context has shifted, with Radical Orthodoxy and new atheism standing at opposite ends of a spectrum of positions on the relationship between faith and reason. This work will demonstrate how the two thinkers, Gilson and Lonergan, may still contribute to a better understanding of this relationship and so shed light on contemporary issues.

Fortress Press, 9781506432649, 204pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2017