I have to give the Philadelphia Inquirer a hat tip today. There is a tremendous editorial on Pope Benedict’s speach on theology and reason that has been used as grounds for protest and violence.
The author, Christopher Levenick, notes that Benedict’s speech was more about Europe than Islam.
Levenick goes on the summarize the major points of the address, and makes this brilliant observation about the Pope:
“Second, he reflects on the place of reason in Christian theology. Theology, he proposes, must be genuinely intellectually rigorous. A faith that lacks intellectual rigor will either harden into fanaticism or soften in sentimentalism. In either event, it will cease to be authentically Christian. This is not to equate theological rigor with the strict canons of the scientific method. Rather, it means that theology must proceed from the conviction that faith is deepened through, and disciplined by, the human intellect’s unflinching pursuit of understanding.”