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Protestant Reflections on Pope Benedict XVI's Faith, Reason and the University

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When Pope Benedict XVI delivered his September 2006 address at the University of Regensburg, Faith, Reason, and the University, he pined at the diminishment of universal reason in church life. He blamed the Protestant Reformation for beginning a process of dehellenization that has led to the loss of reliance upon reason. Over against the pope's claim, a closer look at Reformation history and Protestant theology will show no diminishment in the role of reason. What is distinctive to the Reformers and today's heirs is reliance on sola scriptura, scripture alone. The role that reason plays for Protestants is to expand our understanding as we reflect on scripture and, not only scripture, but also tradition and expereince. No less than Roman Catholics, Protestants embrace fides quaerens intellectum or “faith seeking understanding.”
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Keywords: Anselm; Augustine; Bible; John Wesley; Martin Luther; Pope Benedict XVI; faith and reason

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Roland Chia teaches systematic theology at Trinity Theological College in Singapore. He is author of Revelation and Theology: The Knowledge of God in Balthasar and Barth (Peter J. Lang, 1999).

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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