Regensburg Revisited

On Sept. 12, 2006, the day after the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Benedict returned to the university where he taught as a young professor to speak about faith and reason, religion and violence. Faith and reason need each other as paths to truth, Benedict argued. Moreover, this is an essential part of Christian belief, because the God who reveals himself (faith) is also the author of the natural order and the human capacity to understand it (reason). The Holy Father highlighted that the prologue of John's Gospel begins: "In the beginning was the Word (Logos)," and logos is the Greek word for reason. God is reasonable, and so to act contrary to reason is to act contrary to God.

Benedict then asked if Islam conceives of God in the same way. Does Islam have an equivalent to the divine Logos? Does the Islamic conception of God as utterly transcendent, beyond all human categories, mean that God is beyond reason itself?

The suggestion is not that Allah is insane or irrational, but, rather, that he is not bound by a reason accessible to human beings.

Benedict argued that faith without reason gives rise to fundamentalism. He employed a late-14th century quotation from Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus — the one that ostensibly set off the riots on the inflammable Muslim street: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

In 2014, it is more obvious why the question needs to be asked — ordinary people watching the news are asking it. Benedict warns that one of the consequences of a faith-only fundamentalism is violence. Violent force — which by its nature does not seek to persuade — can grow out of a zeal to convert without recourse to reason. This is partly behind the rise in Islamic violence.
whole article at CERC

Doctor of the Church.

The Church, the last defender of Reason.


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