On Faith and Reason: A Thomistic Account, Part II

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.”

– St. Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio

Today, there are two common errors concerning the relationship between faith and reason. On the one hand is the error which holds that faith is essentially and entirely irrational and unreasonable. On the other hand, however, is the error of many defenders of religious belief, which holds that faith is wholly rational/reasonable. These errors are contrary extremes; and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Though faith is reasonable in the sense that it is not contrary to reason, it is not wholly reasonable in the sense of being reducible to or identifiable with reason. Faith and reason are truly distinct; and as such should never be conflated.

The critic of religious belief might here respond that we have merely proven their point: faith is something other than reason. But it does not follow from this, however, that faith is thereby irrational. Indeed, faith is not reducible to reason precisely because faith is something higher than reason, something superior and transcendent to reason.

As we saw in the previous post, many today take “reason” to mean something like a general epistemic justification. In this wide sense, a large variety of different kinds of beliefs can be said to be “rational” or “reasonable,” such as my belief that a whole is greater than one of its parts, that a tree I see in front of me actually exists, that all men are bipeds, that Socrates is mortal, that China exists though I have never been there, or that the earth is 92.96 million miles away from the sun.

But in a strict sense, reason is something narrower than general epistemic justification. Here we will briefly overview the conclusions of the previous post on the nature of reason: reasoning seeks truth. Truth is the object and perfection of the intellect, achieved when the mind is in conformity with being. When the intellect grasps truth it has knowledge. How does the intellect come to grasp truth? Sometimes the intellect intuits or grasps the truth of something immediately, absolutely, and in itself; and this is called intelligere or understanding. It is how the intellect knows self-evident first principles. Sometimes the intellect, from a process of reasoning, reaches the conclusion of a demonstratio which is certain and necessary; and this is scientia or scientific knowledge. This is the process properly called “reason.” Reasoning is the movement of the intellect from what is known (a premise/principle) to something unknown (a conclusion). Dubitatio or doubt is when the intellect cannot determine between the two extremes of a contradictory proposition (e.g. “the car is green” vs. “the car is not-green). This occurs either when there is no evidence/justification for either side, or else there is an equal weight of evidence/justification for both sides. Then there is opinatus or opinion, when the intellect inclines to one extreme but not absolutely or with certainty/full determination.

And, finally, there is fides, or belief. It is here that we can move to our discussion of faith and its relation to reason.

As we have said, the object and perfection of the intellect is truth, and truth is intellect in conformity with being. Before it is in conformity with being, the intellect must have the ability or potential to conform to being. Saint Thomas writes on this:

The possible intellect, however, as far as its own nature is concerned, is in potency to all intelligible forms, just as first matter of itself is in potency to all sensible forms. Therefore, it has no intrinsic determination which necessitates joining rather than dividing concepts, or the converse. Now, everything which is undetermined with reference to two things is not limited to one of them unless by something which moves it. But only two things move the possible intellect: its proper object, which is an intelligible form, that is, a quiddity, as is said in De Anima, and the will, which moves all the other powers” [1].

The intellect can be moved to either affirmation or denial of a proposition either by the intelligible object itself, or by the will. The former is the case in scientia and intelligere. In intelligere, the intelligible object moves the intellect immediately; in scientia, it moves the intellect mediately, through demonstratio. In these instances, when the intellect actually understands all concepts/principles present, it automatically accepts and knows them as true, without doubt or reservation. For example, if you are presented with the statement 2 + 2 = 4, you automatically know it to be true, by virtue of the proposition itself. It is the proposition in itself which has “moved” your intellect to accept and grasp its truth.

But it is also possible for the intellect to be moved by the will. Think, for instance, of someone who chooses to believe that extra-terrestrial life exists. The intellect could not have been moved to this belief on the basis of the proposition itself, or any evidence for it; since there is currently no conclusive evidence for such a fact. In choosing to believe, however, the person moves their intellect (rightly or wrongly) such that it assents to the proposition. And this is fides.

Saint Thomas writes:

Sometimes, however, the understanding can be determined to one side of a contradictory proposition neither immediately through the definitions of the terms, as is the case with principles, nor yet in virtue of principles, as is the case with conclusions from a demonstration. And in this situation our understanding is determined by the will, which chooses to assent to one side definitely and precisely because of something which is enough to move the will, though not enough to move the understanding, namely, since it seems good or fitting to assent to this side. And this is the state of one who believes. This may happen when someone believes what another says because it seems fitting or useful to do so” [2].

Elsewhere Aquinas, following Saint Augustine, defines faith as cogitare cum assensione, or to think with assent. Thus fides is something in between intelligere and scientia on the one hand, and dubitatio on the other. It is not doubt, it is not mere opinion; but neither has it reached the satisfaction of intellect achieved in understanding and scientia.

Perhaps here the critic of religious belief will raise the objection that this conception of faith is precisely what they deem problematic. To quote once again from the new atheist Richard Dawkins: “One of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding” (emphasis mine) [3]. To further support the supposition that faith is opposed to understanding, one might also point to the famous dictum of Saint Anselm: credo ut intelligam. I believe that I might understand. The full quote comes from the first chapter of his Proslogion:

“I do not try, Lord, to attain Your lofty heights, because my understanding is in no way equal to it. But I do desire to understand Your truth a little, that truth that my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand” [4].

Elsewhere Saint Anselm makes similar comments:

“[The faithful ask for explanations for doctrines], not with a view to arriving at faith through reason, but in order that they may take delight in the understanding and contemplation of the things which they believe” [5].

And again:

“On the one hand, right order demands that we should believe the profundities of the Christian faith before we presume to discuss it logically, but, on the other, it seems to me negligence if, after we have been confirmed in the faith, we do not make an effort to understand what we believe . . . I think I adhere to faith in our redemption in such a way that, even though I cannot understand what I believe in any rational way, yet there is nothing which can tear my away from its steadfastness” [6].

On the surface, such statements seem the epitome of anti-intellectual, unjustified, irrational blind faith. Anselm is exhorting us to believe before we understand, before we even “discuss it logically” or “understand what [we] believe in any rational way.” Indeed he explicitly discourages “arriving at faith through reason.”

This overall method championed by Saint Anselm is known as fides quaerens intellectum, or “faith seeking understanding.” It is precisely such apparent sentiments as this that we find Dawkins et al. vehemently opposing as ludicrous and even dangerous. And yet it is not a position unique to Anselm. Indeed it finds expression in one of the greatest thinkers in Christian history, Saint Augustine:

“Do you wish to understand? Believe. For God has said by the prophet: Unless you believe, you shall not understand. Isaiah 7:9 . . . . If you have not understood, said I, believe. For understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that you may understand” [7].

In his The Usefulness of Belief, Augustine makes other similar remarks:

“Things must first be believed of which a man may later achieve understanding” [8].

“Rightly, therefore, and in full accord with the majesty of the Catholic discipline, it is insisted that those who come to religion must be asked to have faith before everything else” [9].

“For my part I judge that believing before reasoning, if you are not able to follow reasoning, and cultivating the mind by faith in order to be ready to receive the seeds of truth, is not only most wholesome, but is indeed the only way by which health can return to sick minds” [10].

Many of these quotes, no doubt, might even make some intellectually-minded Christians a bit uncomfortable. After all, here we have clear statements from some of Christendom’s most brilliant and influential thinkers, that one ought to believe apart from, before, and without reason. If this is what the smartest Christian minds in history have thought, what else can we conclude than that Christian faith really is irrational? If, as Aquinas says, faith is not moved to accept what it believes on the basis of knowledge or understanding, but rather is moved by the will, must we not then agree with many skeptics that faith is nothing but wish fulfillment? That people believe on no other grounds than that they want what they believe to be true?

C. S. Lewis described the issue of wish-fulfillment in his paper On Obstinacy in Belief. He writes:

“There are of course people in our own day to whom the whole situation seems altered by the doctrine of the concealed wish. They will admit that men, otherwise apparently rational, have been deceived by the arguments for religion. But they will say that they have been deceived first by their own desired and produced the arguments afterwards as a rationalization: that these arguments have never been intrinsically even plausible, but have seemed so because they were secretly weighted by our wishes” [11].

Now compare this critique to what Aquinas goes on to say about why the will moves the intellect to believe:

Thus, too, we are moved to believe what God says because we are promised eternal life as a reward if we believe. And this reward moves the will to assent to what is said, although the intellect is not moved by anything which it understands. Therefore, Augustine says: ‘Man can do other things unwillingly, but he can believe only if he wills it'” [12].

Here we have St. Thomas Aquinas himself, the preeminent Doctor of the Church, seemingly admitting that we believe, not on the basis of reason, but “because we are promised eternal life as a reward if we believe.” Is this not the very epitome of wish-fulfillment?

To answer affirmatively here would be a drastic misunderstanding and misrepresentation of these great thinkers’ actual positions. For it is absolutely false that they would say that holding to faith is something irrational, in the sense of lacking or even opposing epistemic justification. Their view is rather something different, and something much more profound.

In short, their actual view is that the truths of faith cannot be attained by natural reason, since the truths of faith transcend natural reason. But, as we’ve seen, for Saint Thomas, to “attain something by reason” does not just mean “to have some epistemic justification for believing X.” Rather, it has a narrower, more specific meaning: reasoning is a movement of the intellect from something which is already known to something as yet unknown. In reasoning, the intellect moves along a connected chain of thought from principles to conclusions.

All reasoning, then, must be grounded in fundamental principles which are known naturally to us (e.g., the law of non-contradiction, the principle of causality, etc.). As rational animals, we can really know these intelligible principles, but our knowledge of them is rooted in and limited by our physicality and our finiteness. As Saint Thomas says, “knowledge is according to the mode of the one who knows” [13]. In other words, knowledge is proportionate to the nature of the knower. Hence Aquinas repeatedly affirms that “our natural knowledge begins from sense” and, as such, “our natural knowledge can go as far as it can be led by sensible things” [14]. As rational animals, we can have real intellectual knowledge; but our knowledge begins in the senses, and cannot on its own extend beyond what the senses can lead it to know.

As Saint Thomas sees it, humans can in fact have natural knowledge of truths about God. Our natural reason is capable of moving from the physical world to the existence of God as a conclusion. Thus he writes:

“Because they [sensible things] are His effects and depend on their cause, we can be led from them so far as to known of God whether He exists, and to know of Him what must necessarily belong to Him, as the first cause of all things” [15].

In short, from knowledge of the natural world we can reason to the existence of God as to a cause from its effects. Hence our natural knowledge can know that God exists. But the truths that our natural knowledge can attain about God are only those truths which follow in relation to God’s being the first cause of all sensible things. This is as far as natural reason can extend. Indeed, this knowledge of God is the very height and summit of natural reason.

Any knowledge of God beyond this is impossible for natural reason. For if “the mode of anything’s being exceeds the mode of the knower, it must result that the knowledge of the object is above the nature of the knower” [16]. But God, as infinite, not only surpasses and transcends human nature, he does so infinitely. Hence, Saint Thomas writes:

Sensible things, from which the human reason takes the origin of its knowledge, retain within themselves some sort of trace of a likeness to God. This is so imperfect, however, that it is absolutely inadequate to manifest the substance of God. For effects bear within themselves, in their own way, the likeness of their causes, since an agent produces its like; yet an effect does not always reach to the full likeness of its cause” [17].

In other words, we reason from effects to cause; but in this case the actual nature and power of the cause infinitely transcends the entire order of its effects, such that our knowledge of the cause is imperfect, and vastly so.

So, Saint Thomas summarizes:

There is a twofold mode of truth in what we profess about God. Some truths about God exceed all the ability of the human reason. Such is the truth that God is triune. But there are some truths which the natural reason also is able to reach. Such are that God exists, that He is one, and the like. In fact, such truths about God have been proved demonstratively by the philosophers, guided by the light of the natural reason . . . . [But] the human intellect is not able to reach a comprehension of the divine substance through its natural power. For, according to its manner of knowing in the present life, the intellect depends on the sense for the origin of knowledge; and so those things that do not fall under the senses cannot be grasped by the human intellect except in so far as the knowledge of them is gathered from sensible things. Now, sensible things cannot lead the human intellect to the point of seeing in them the nature of the divine substance; for sensible things are effects that fall short of the power of their cause. Yet, beginning with sensible things, our intellect is led to the point of knowing about God that He exists, and other such characteristics that must be attributed to the First Principle. There are, consequently, some intelligible truths about God that are open to the human reason; but there are others that absolutely surpass its power” [18].

Human reason, then, can by its own power attain to the knowledge that God exists as first cause of all things. But human reason cannot pass beyond this to a deeper knowledge of what God is in himself. For example, human reason could never, even in principle, discover that God is triune. The truth of the Trinity, therefore, could never be a conclusion of natural reason, could never be naturally demonstrated.

Here a problem emerges. For man is directed to knowledge of God as his final end, his perfection and beatitude, the very purpose of his existence. So Aquinas writes: “The final perfection toward which man is ordained consists in the perfect knowledge of God” [19]. And yet, though man is ordained and directed towards such knowledge of God as his final end, he is, by his own powers, completely incapable of reaching that end. If this is the case, then there is an inherent vanity and absurdity to the whole existence and life of man. 

And yet, since all things are ordained to their proper end by God himself, and since an agent that wills an end wills also the necessary means to that end, God has also provided a means for man to attain to that knowledge of God which surpasses the capacities of his own natural reason: divine revelation. St. Thomas gives an explanation of this in the very first article of the Summa Theologiae:

“It was necessary for man’s salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God besides philosophical science built up by human reason. First, indeed, because man is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason . . . But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation . . . . Man’s whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation” [20].

Natural reason, on its own, can never discover that God is triune. And yet, if this truth is revealed to man by God, man can accept and believe it. And this is fides.

Now we can see what Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas have meant by fides quaerens intellectum, faith seeking understanding. Now we can see what they meant by saying that we must believe before we understand, that faith does not have any “reasons” which ground it. They do not mean by this that faith cannot be epistemically justified. Rather, they mean that the content of faith is not something natural reason could ever have discovered on its own, even in principle. The knowledge of faith is something far higher than the natural objects of our knowing capacity. We could never “reason” our way to the truths of faith in the technical sense of moving from naturally known principles to conclusions derived therefrom. Since our knowledge is of the natural world, and the truths of faith infinitely transcend the natural world, our knowledge on its own could never reach the truths of faith.

Is fides, in this light, something irrational or unjustified? No. Although fides is not “rational” in the sense of reaching truths on the basis of reason, it is reasonable in that its adherence to those truths is itself justified. The epistemic justification for fides is grounded in authority. So Saint Augustine writes, “True religion cannot by any means be approached without the weighty command of authority” [21], and “Our knowledge, therefore, we owe to reason; our beliefs to authority” [22].

Can authority be a proper justification for beliefs? It depends on the nature of both the belief in question and the authority being appealed to. But, in certain circumstances, it is undeniable that authority not only can, but must be a proper justification for beliefs. For, as Aquinas and numerous others have pointed out, were intellectual submission to an authority unable to justify beliefs, we would never be able to actually learn anything. In the learning process, we begin with a lack of knowledge, and we only gain knowledge through some teacher/instructor, i.e. some authority which does possess the knowledge. Saint Thomas explains:

For a thing is brought from imperfection to perfection only through the activity of something perfect. Nor does the imperfect thing at once in the very beginning fully receive the action of that which is perfect; at first it receives it imperfectly and, later, more perfectly. And it continues in this way until it reaches perfection . . . . We see the same thing in human works, especially in the learning process. For in the beginning a man has incomplete knowledge, and, if he is to reach the perfection of scientific knowledge, needs an instructor to bring him to that perfection. Nor could the teacher do this unless he himself had full knowledge of the science, that is unless he understood the intelligible principles of the things which form the subject matter of the science. At the outset of his teaching, however, he does not explain to his pupil the intelligible principles of the things to be known which he intends to teach, because then, at the very beginning, the pupil would [have to] know the science perfectly. Instead, the teacher proposes some things, the principles of which the pupil does not understand when first taught, but will know later when he has made some progress in the science. For this reason it is said that the learner must believe. And he could not acquire mastery of the science in any other way unless he accepted without proof those things which he is taught at first and the arguments for which he cannot then understand” [23].

The learner, in order to learn, must first trust the authority of his teacher, must accept and believe what the teacher proposes even before the learner can actually understand the thing being taught and the reasons behind it. Hence a student is a perfect exemplar of the process of fides quaerens intellectum.

The same is true in countless other instances of normal, everyday life. As children we trust our parents. As laypeople we believe what scientific consensus tells us, such as that the sun is 92.96 million miles away from the earth. When we get into a taxi or board a plane we trust that the driver/pilot will safely take us to the right destination.

Can trust be misplaced? Absolutely. Can those we trust lead us to error? Of course. But that does not lessen the necessity, nor the legitimacy, of actually trusting different authorities for different matters. The case of the teacher and student illustrates nicely the difference between scientia/intelligere on the one hand and fides on the other. In most cases, the authority which proposes information to us does not actually make that information true. The earth is not 93 million miles away from the sun because scientists say so; but the fact that scientists say so does provide an epistemic justification for believing this proposition, even if we don’t understand why or how it is true. Our assent to these authorities is not a matter of our intellect being determined/moved by the intelligibility of a statement or the proper evidence in its favor; our assent is rather a choice, a submission of intellect by way of the will. This is fides.

Now, in the case of some scientific proposition, the truth in question is in principle capable of being known by natural reason; even if, for most people, and for most occasions, it is not in fact known by reason, but only by belief in authority. Still, this does not alter the fact that one can be entirely epistemically justified in holding the proposition as true without knowing it by reason. It does not make such a belief irrational or unreasonable. Indeed, Aquinas implies that there are some situations wherein a truth we accept on the basis of authority can be more justified than truths we know by reason:

Other things being equal sight is more certain than hearing; but if (the authority of) the person from whom we hear greatly surpasses that of the seer’s sight, hearing is more certain than sight: thus a man of little science is more certain about what he hears on the authority of an expert in science, than about what is apparent to him according to his own reason: and much more is a man certain about what he hears from God, Who cannot be deceived, than about what he sees with his own reason, which can be mistaken” [24].

In general, we trust more, and are more justified in doing so, the things we perceive with our own sight/senses. But imagine, for instance, that we are standing next to some fantastical creature with sight which we know far exceeds our own abilities (say, an elf from Tolkien’s Middle Earth). Imagine, too, that we are looking out across a field so large we cannot see the other side. Now suppose that the creature tells us that on the other side of the field is a hill with a tree on top. Normally, as we’ve said, we are more justified in trusting what we perceive for ourselves, than what we are told from others. But in a situation such as this, we would be more justified in trusting that there is such a hill with a tree on top, even though we cannot see it ourselves. We do so because we know that the creature has capacities which far exceed our own; and so we trust on the basis of the creature’s authority.

The situation is analogous in regards to truths of faith. These truths, though not even in principle knowable by reason, can be received on the basis of the divine authority which reveals and teaches them to us. Such belief is not “reasonable” in the sense of being a discovered/concluded result of natural reason; but it is reasonable in the sense of being epistemically justified, since it is accepted on the basis of the highest and most trustworthy authority: divine truth itself.

Saint Thomas writes on this:

“This doctrine [on the truths of faith] is especially based upon arguments from authority, inasmuch as its principles are obtained by revelation: thus we ought to believe on the authority of those to whom the revelation has been made. Nor does this take away from the dignity of this doctrine, for although the argument from authority based on human reason is the weakest, yet the argument from authority based on divine revelation is the strongest” [25].

And on the justification of belief in such revelation from divine authority:

Those who place their faith in this truth, however, “for which the human reason offers no experimental evidence,” do not believe foolishly, as though “following artificial fables” (2 Peter 2:16). For these “secrets of divine Wisdom” (Job 11:6) the divine Wisdom itself, which knows all things to the full, has deigned to reveal to men” [26].

So, far from being foolish or irrational to believe in such revelation on the basis of divine authority; it would rather be foolish not to believe. As Saint Thomas repeatedly makes clear, “faith does not destroy reason, but goes beyond it and perfects it” [27]. Truth is the perfection of the intellect; and the ultimate truth, the divine truth, in this life can only be known by faith in divine revelation. Thus, faith surpasses and perfects reason. 

But this raises the difficult question of how we can know whether something has actually been divinely revealed. We trust scientists and doctors and other professionals on the basis of their credentials. We trust family members on the basis of personal relationships with the specific persons in question. All of these fall within the domain of our normal experiences. Divine revelation, however, is something vastly different.

First, both Aquinas and the Catholic Church hold that grace is absolutely essential and necessary for the assent of faith to revelation. Since the content of divine revelation is supernatural, adherence to it requires supernatural assistance, which is grace. But, in addition, Aquinas and the Church also acknowledge that there are certain “external signs” which make credible the claim that the Christian faith has been divinely revealed [*].  These sings clearly indicate the Faith’s supernatural origin and status and validate its claim to divine authority:

“[Divine Wisdom] reveals its own presence, as well as the truth of its teaching and inspiration, by fitting arguments; and in order to confirm those truths that exceed natural knowledge, it gives visible manifestation to works that surpass the ability of all nature” [28].

And elsewhere he writes:

All the intermediaries through which faith comes to us are above suspicion. We believe the prophets and apostles because the Lord has been their witness by performing miracles” [29].

Faith has not that research of natural reason which demonstrates what is believed, but a research into those things whereby a man is induced to believe, for instance that such things have been uttered by God and confirmed by miracles” [30].

These supernatural signs help convince us that the authority in question really has divine validation, and hence is to be cleaved to with the assent of faith.

Both St. Thomas and St. Augustine, throughout various writings, describe various examples of such signs which support the Christian faith as being divine revelation. We will list some of the most significant here:

  • The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth (for which there is good historical evidence)
  • The writings and witness of the Apostles
  • The birth and growth of the Church
  • The conversion of the world to the Church
  • The drastic moral transformations which many experience upon conversion to the Christian faith
  • The lives of the saints

In a future post we might extrapolate on and defend some of these points, as valid and persuasive indications of the truth of the Christian (and, specifically, Catholic) faith. Here it is enough to simply point out that if, upon investigation of the available evidence, one becomes convinced that the Christian faith really does bear divine validation, then it is entirely justified, and indeed reasonable, to assent in faith, even without actually being able to demonstrate or “reason to” the specific content of the faith.

In summary, faith and reason are not opposed to each other, nor in conflict; but neither are they identical. Faith, far from suppressing reason, surpasses and perfects reason. Indeed, “natural reason should minister [and submit] to faith” [31], and faith in turn raises natural reason to supernatural heights. Faith is the fulfillment of reason.

To conclude, then, we shall quote from Pope St. John Paull II’s wonderful encyclical Fides et Ratio:

“There exists a knowledge which is peculiar to faith, surpassing the knowledge proper to human reason, which nevertheless by its nature can discover the Creator. This knowledge expresses a truth based upon the very fact of God who reveals himself, a truth which is most certain, since God neither deceives nor wishes to deceive. The First Vatican Council teaches, then, that the truth attained by philosophy and the truth of Revelation are neither identical nor mutually exclusive: ‘There exists a twofold order of knowledge, distinct not only as regards their source, but also as regards their object. With regard to the source, because we know in one by natural reason, in the other by divine faith. With regard to the object, because besides those things which natural reason can attain, there are proposed for our belief mysteries hidden in God which, unless they are divinely revealed, cannot be known.’ Based upon God’s testimony and enjoying the supernatural assistance of grace, faith is an order other than philosophical knowledge which depends upon sense perception and experience and which advances by the light of the intellect alone. Philosophy and the sciences function within the order of natural reason; while faith, enlightened and guided by the Spirit, recognizes in the message of salvation the ‘fulness of grace and truth’ (c. Jn. 1:14) which God has willed to reveal in history and definitively through his Son, Jesus Christ” [32].




[1]. Aquinas. Quaestiones Disputatae de VeritateQuestions 10-20 translated by James V. McGlynn, S.J. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1953. <https://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer14.htm#1&gt;. Q. 14, Art. 1.

[2]. Ibid.

[3]. Richard Dawkins. The God Delusion. Mariner Books 2008 edition. 152.

[4]. Anselm of Canterbury. “Proslogion” in The Major Works. Edited by Brian Davies and G. R. Evans. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Chapter 1.

[5]. Anselm. “Why God Became Man” in The Major Works. Book 1, chapter 1.

[6]. Ibid.

[7]. Augustine. Tractates on the Gospel of John. Tractate 29.6. Translated by John Gibb. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First SeriesVol. 7. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701029.htm&gt;.

[8]. Augustine. “The Usefulness of Belief” in Augustine: Earlier Writings. Edited and translated by J. H. S. Burleigh. 1953 Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Reissued 2006. IX, 21 (page 308).

[9]. Ibid. XIII, 29 (page 315-316).

[10]. Ibid. XIV, 31 (page 316).

[11]. Lewis, C. S. “On Obstinacy in Belief.” The Sewanee Review, vol. 63, no. 4, 1955, pp. 525–538. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27538479. Quote found here: http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2010/07/c-s-lewiss-classic-reply-to-wish.html

[12]. Aquinas. Quaestiones Disputatae de VeritateQuestions 10-20 translated by James V. McGlynn, S.J. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1953. <https://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer14.htm#1&gt;. Q. 14, Art. 1.

[13]. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. Translated by Fr. Laurence Shapcote, O.P. The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, 2012. I, Q. 14, Art. 1.

[14]. Ibid. I, Q. 12, Art. 12.

[15]. Ibid.

[16]. Ibid. I, Q. 12, Art. 4.

[17]. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Contra Gentiles. Book One translated by Anton C. Pegis. New York: Hanover House, 1955-57. Edited, with English, especially Scriptural references, updated by Joseph Kenny, O.P. https://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles.htm. Book 1, chapter 8.1.

[18]. Ibid. Chapter 3.2-3

[19]. Aquinas. Quaestiones Disputatae de VeritateQuestions 10-20 translated by James V. McGlynn, S.J. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1953. <https://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer14.htm#1&gt;. Q. 14, Art. 10

[20]. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. Translated by Fr. Laurence Shapcote, O.P. The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, 2012. I, Q. 1, Art. 1

[21]. Augustine. “The Usefulness of Belief” in Augustine: Earlier Writings. Edited and translated by J. H. S. Burleigh. 1953 Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Reissued 2006. IX, 21 (page 308).

[22]. Ibid. XI, 25 (312).

[23]. Aquinas. Quaestiones Disputatae de VeritateQuestions 10-20 translated by James V. McGlynn, S.J. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1953. <https://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer14.htm#1&gt;. Q. 14, Art. 10

[24]. Aquinas Summa Theologiae(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947). Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. https://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/index.html. II-II, Q. 4, Art. 8. Quote originally found here: https://thomistica.net/news/2011/10/18/aquinas-on-the-epistemology-of-authority.html

[25]. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. Translated by Fr. Laurence Shapcote, O.P. The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, 2012. I, Q. 1, Art. 8

[26]. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Contra Gentiles. Book One translated by Anton C. Pegis. New York: Hanover House, 1955-57. Edited, with English, especially Scriptural references, updated by Joseph Kenny, O.P. https://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles.htm. Book 1, chapter 6.1

[27]. Aquinas. Quaestiones Disputatae de VeritateQuestions 10-20 translated by James V. McGlynn, S.J. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1953. <https://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer14.htm#1&gt;. Q. 14, Art. 10

[*] See: Pope, Hugh. “Faith.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company,1909. 16 Aug. 2018 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05752c.htm&gt;.

[28]. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Contra Gentiles. Book One translated by Anton C. Pegis. New York: Hanover House, 1955-57. Edited, with English, especially Scriptural references, updated by Joseph Kenny, O.P. https://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles.htm. Book 1, chapter 6.1

[29]. Aquinas. Quaestiones Disputatae de VeritateQuestions 10-20 translated by James V. McGlynn, S.J. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1953. <https://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer14.htm#1&gt;. Q. 14, Art. 10

[30]. Aquinas Summa Theologiae(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947). Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. https://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/index.html. II-II, Q. 2, Art. 1

[31]. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae. Translated by Fr. Laurence Shapcote, O.P. The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, 2012. I, Q. 1, Art. 8

[32]. Both this quote and the opening quote of the post are from Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio, which can be accessed online through the Vatican here: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_14091998_fides-et-ratio.html







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