‘Het geloof corrigeert de rede’

Nieuws | de redactie
2 mei 2007 | De neiging van de rede om met alomvattende verklaringen te komen voor de evolutie, moet door het geloof gecorrigeerd worden. Dit zegt theoloog Clifford Anderson uit Princeton in een reactie op Benedictus XVI, die onlangs schreef dat de rationaliteit waarmee de mens natuur en werkelijkheid doorvorsen kan nadrukkelijk deel van de schepping zelf is “der uns den Weg zu einer Zivilisation der Vernunft gezeigt hat”.



Clifford Anderson, chef van het Abraham Kuyper Instituut te Princeton, roemt de manier waarop de paus het vraagstuk van schepping en evolutie benadert vanwege “an exemplary level of theological sophistication”. Maar ook wijst hij op de spanning tussen geloof en rede. ”Does not reason always seek to create totalistic explanations (or ‘worldviews’) from the natural order? Does not rational inquiry into creation and human origins inevitably try to address and perhaps dismiss the question of God? Is the role of faith not also to break apart such worldviews—not by setting aside the fruits of scientific inquiry, but by challenging and redefining rationality’s underpinnings and superstructure?“

“Pope Benedict XVI approaches the question of creation and evolution with an exemplary level of theological sophistication. I agree with his presupposition that the question of creation and evolution cannot be held apart from the question of the relation between reason and faith. I think he puts the traditional Roman Catholic understanding of the relation between reason and faith quite well. On the one hand, reasoning about the natural world can reveal something of the Mind of the Creator. However, it does not give the total picture, especially when we consider the problem of natural evil. Reason thus raises questions which only faith can answer.

I personally wonder if there may be more tension or competition between reason and faith. Does not reason always seek to create totalistic explanations (or ‘worldviews’) from the natural order? Does not rational inquiry into creation and human origins inevitably try to address and perhaps dismiss the question of God? Is the role of faith not also to break apart such worldviews—not by setting aside the fruits of scientific inquiry, but by challenging and redefining rationality’s underpinnings and superstructure?

Benedict XVI is certainly right that the present commotion over evolution rests on a much more profound disagreement about the relation between faith and reason. Some discussants in the contemporary debate on this topic in England and America recognize this point and are trying to address the question’s philosophical roots; others continue happily to speak at their opponents across this wide gulf of misunderstanding.”

Clifford Anderson is hoofd van het Abraham Kuyper Instituut in Princeton. Samen met het Historisch Documentatiecentrum van de VU heeft hij de afgelopen maanden gewerkt aan de digitalisering van het archief van Abraham Kuyper, dat binnenkort toegankelijk gemaakt wordt op de site van het Historisch Documentatiecentrum.  


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