Thursday, October 19, 2017

Luther's Faith/Science Disjunction

This little excerpt is part of a longer, valuable, essay on the topic:

...It is easy to see how one of the most profound effects of Luther’s approach to reason was a generalized distrust of it amongst the theologians and adherents of the reformed tradition, the theological and spiritual tradition that dominates the Anglo-Saxon world. Luther’s distrust of reason was broader however, than its application to theology. It was not long before philosophy, that branch of knowledge most closely associated with reason, was itself regarded as something detached from religion. If Luther thought that his knowledge of God through the Scriptures (faith) was superior to human reason, others began to regard human reason as superior to faith. That movement was called the Enlightenment; the Age of Reason with capital letters.  [There's your old 'thesis/antithesis'--but the 'antithesis' was God-less.]

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the West inherited from Luther two “thought worlds”: one which, putting reason aside, believed in God relying only on conclusions drawn from Scripture; and the other, putting the “question” of God to one side, relied on the application of reason to human realities. Thus, Luther’s deprecation of reason is one of the factors that gave rise in the West and particularly in the English-speaking world to the split between faith and reason. From there it was a small step to a supposed conflict between religion and science. The origins of this conflict certainly owed something to propagandist use of the Galileo affair by Enlightenment writers, but at a more basic level, it had to do with the perceived distance between the knowledge of God and the knowledge of the universe first insisted upon by Martin Luther....

Of particular note and germane to this, is B-16's Regensburg lecture, which made it clear that the Moslems also practice a "reason-free religion."  That's food for thought for my Lut'ran friends, no

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