Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dehellenization and Protestantism

In the very same speech from Pope BXVI that adherents of the Religion O'Rage are all riled up about comes this illuminating comment about the dehellenization of religion (Christianity specifically):

Dehellenization first emerges in connection with the fundamental postulates of the Reformation in the 16th century. Looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted with a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of the faith based on an alien system of thought. As a result, faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system. The principle of sola scriptura, on the other hand, sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word. Metaphysics appeared as a premise derived from another source, from which faith had to be liberated in order to become once more fully itself. When Kant stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this program forward with a radicalism that the Reformers could never have foreseen. He thus anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.

What the pope is essentially suggesting here is that Protestantism is a historical cause of the separation of faith from reason. This is quite an indictment, which I am quite sure many Protestants, Fundamentalists in particular, would take umbrage with. Despite such disagreement, though, I'm fairly confident that there will be no worldwide Protestant fatwas to assasinate the pope or burn Catholic church buildings. At most, we might see an offensive anti-Catholic tract by Jack Chick, which I personally find more amusing than anything else.

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