Fortress Press

Faith and Reason: The Possibility of a Christian Philosophy

Faith and Reason

The Possibility of a Christian Philosophy

Neil Ormerod (Author)

$79.00

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 Étienne 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.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9781506432649
  • Format Hardcover
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 208
  • Publication Date September 1, 2017

Endorsements

Ormerod gives us a clear, concise, informative, and refreshing account of the complementarity of reason and faith. 

"Neil Ormerod gives us a clear, concise, informative, and refreshing account of the complementarity of reason and faith. In the process, he provides a much-needed exposition of the misconceptions of the nature and implications of the modern "turn to the subject" that underlie Gilsonian Thomists’ suspicions of and resistance to Lonerganian and other post-Kantian and post-Hegelian Thomisms. Ormerod’s exposition makes it quite clear that the “turn to the subject” need not entail idealism and need not be a threat to or incompatible with a Christian realism in the Thomistic tradition."

Mark D. Morelli | Loyola Marymount University

Highly recommended for all students and general readers in theology and philosophy!

"With a sense of judgment that draws in the reader carefully and confidently, Neil Ormerod releases the intellectual arrow from his quiver that targets the phenomenon known as 'Christian philosophy'. With daring precision and deft wisdom, Ormerod avoids easy generalities and clichés. He explains the faith / reason relationship with a deep awareness of the reception of Plato and Aristotle by Augustine and Aquinas. Étienne Gilson and Bernard Lonergan are revealed to be the twofold fulcrum upon which this entire tradition reaches a modern climax. Ormerod clarifies a radiant set of implications, ranging from the philosophy of sub-atomic physics to religion and violence and the Radical Orthodoxy movement. Precise insights brim on every page. Highly recommended for all students and general readers in theology and philosophy!"

Paul Allen | Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the meaning and possibility of a Christian philosophy.

'This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the meaning and possibility of a Christian philosophy. Neil Ormerod provides a compendious account of two giants of Twentieth-century Catholic thought, Etienne Gilson and Bernard Lonergan. He examines both how they agree on basic philosophic positions, and how they stand in chasmal opposition. He explores in scholarly detail how these two thinkers are both greatly indebted to the thought of Thomas Aquinas and take a historical approach to philosophy. He shows how they concur on the metaphysical distinction of essence and existence, on the significant role of judgment in intellectual activity, on the unity-in-tension of faith and reason, on the significance of revelation for the development of philosophic thought, and on the possibility of a Christian philosophy or Christian realism. At the same time, Ormerod lays bare the dialectical divide that separates Lonergan’s critical realism from Gilson’s dogmatic realism. His deft and charitable reading of Gilson and Lonergan allows for genuine appreciation of both thinkers. Ormerod further explores contemporary developments that challenge the fruitful interaction of faith and reason, placing the New Atheism on one end of the spectrum and Radical Orthodoxy on the other."

Elizabeth Murray | Loyola Marymount University
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