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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Reason and Revelation: Christians Need Philosophy

Many Christians question the value of philosophical arguments for conjugal marriage, preferring to appeal to revelation. But our natural moral knowledge in some ways precedes revelation and helps us to understand it. The first of a three-part series. Read more here.

From First Things

Today at Public Discourse, my brilliant co-author and former student Sherif Girgis begins an important three part series of articles on the need for philosophical reflection and analysis in thinking and arguing about moral questions, including morally-charged questions of law and public policy.

Against the view advanced by a number of prominent contemporary Christian writers, Sherif argues that we cannot get along simply by relying on scriptural revelation or the tradition of the Church. As the headnote to today’s article says “our natural moral knowledge in some ways precedes revelation and helps us to understand it.” It should go without saying that in no way is this to claim that revelation is irrelevant or redundant. It is to argue, rather, that faith and reason really are, as Pope John Paul II famously said, “like two wings on which the human spirit ascends to contemplation of truth.”

Sherif is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton, where he won prizes for the best senior thesis in philosophy and the best senior thesis in ethics, as well as the International Dante Prize. He earned a graduate degree at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and is currently completing a J.D. at Yale Law School, where he is an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and a Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton.

Watch for this three-part series. It promises to be very good!

Related reading: Leo Strauss

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