Thursday, April 2, 2009

Knowledge As The Daughter Of Faith

St Innocent of Kherson on the union of faith and knowledge:
The near-sighted philosophy of the previous century [i.e., the 18th] had for a time dreamt of breaking this holy union and had forced knowledge to dig a grave for faith, but what came of this attempt at matricide? Holy faith, honored by self-forgetting reason, hid in a depth of the heart inaccessible to this reason, and false knowledge itself remained with its sophistries in the grave dug by it … True philosophy can exist only in a union with heaven, for true knowledge lives by and is nourished not by earth but by heaven … We are accustomed to saying the sphere of the sciences, the sphere of knowledge, and to separating it from the sphere of faith; but strictly speaking, there is no sphere of sciences and can be no such sphere. Rather, there exists only a boundless sphere of faith, whose inwardness is divided among the sciences. Knowledge without faith is a middle without a beginning or end; whoever seeks not soulless fragments but a living reasonably whole must therefore necessarily unite knowledge with faith …What in general is true knowledge, if not a natural daughter of faith? And what is true faith if not the natural end and crown of all grounded knowledge?
Source. The Life of St Innocent mentions this: "He attentively followed the state of, and advances in, the natural sciences; in his view, they not only did not conflict with theology, but in the best ways possible were useful to theology."

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