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Fides et Ratio: On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason (Encyclicals of Pope John Paul II)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  660 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Pope John Paul II - Encyclical Letter "On the Relationship between Faith and Reason." (FIDES ET RATIO)
Paperback, 131 pages
Published 1998 by Pauline Books & Media
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Jim Robles
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be a splendid example of the similarity between science and religion: both rest on faith statements and proceed by logical analysis. If you think science does not rest on faith statements, consider "Hume's Problem of Induction" and "Popperian Falsification."

Five stars! (I read a .pdf version.)

p. 62. The Church remains profoundly convinced that faith and reason “mutually support each other”; 122 each influences the other, as they offer to each other a purifying critique and a stim
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ever since the 18th Century "Age of Reason", and particularly since the German philosopher Emmanuel Kant published his groundbreaking work "A Critique of Pure Reason", there has been an assumption that faith and reason are somehow opposed to one another, and that someone who accepts religious beliefs based on faith has laid aside his reason. This is a flawed assumption to say the least, and in the work "Fides et Ratio", Pope St. John Paul II takes on this viewpoint with all of the eloquence and ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The desire for knowledge is so great and it works in such a way that the human heart, despite its experience of insurmountable limitations, yearns for the infinite riches which lie beyond, knowing that there is to be found the satisfying answer to every question as yet unanswered.

This is but one of the many gems Saint John Paul II writes in his encyclical. With his solid background in philosophy and theology he explores with unremitting rigor the relationship of faith and reason and their nece
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I started this encyclical while recovering after my daughter's birth, and my brain wasn't working so I put it aside. But I FINALLY finished it tonight and it's phenomenal. My reading plan theme this year has been truth, philosophy, theology, the intellectual life, and just the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom in general. JPII explains the Catholic understanding of the relationship between faith and reason, the importance of philosophy in the faith (particularly Thomism), and he warns against the ...more
Sep 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
even if you aren't catholic, Pope John Paul still offers a lot. the most important thing I took, barring the religious aspects (which is like 90%) is that culture is headed in a direction that among other things attempts to validated two "truths" that might contradict one another such as "x" can be true for christians and something contradictory "y" can be true for muslims, and they are both universal truths...and thats no good
Kevin Wojciechowski
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love how Catholicism embraces the harmonious unity of faith and reason. Faith and reason both lead to God which, in turn, reveals to us the truths about who we are and what life's meaning is.
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A must read for those stuggling with the questions about religion. JPII's argument is solid and offers comfort for the secularized mind.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
FIDES ET RATIO, Encyclical Letter of John Paul II [On the Relationship between Faith and Reason] [1998]

As a person who came to Faith and the Catholic Church first through Reason (an intellectual inquiry prompted by my own road to Damascus moment), I’ve always been interested in how it's possible for the two to coexist in one mind, Faith (Fides) and Reason (Ratio), when on the surface they appear so different, even contradictory. The operative phrase there is “on the surface.” Dictionary definit
Jack Bates
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Philosophers
Pope John Paul II shows how much of a philosopher he really is in this work. He makes one of the more successful attempts at not only bridging the gap between faith and reason but making them codependent upon one another. My favorite quote from this work, one that kicks of the ideas that he puts forth, "Abandoning the investigation of being, modern philosophical research has concentrated instead upon human knowing. Rather than make use of the human capacity to know the truth, modern philosophy h ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chestertonian
A very well-written and needed exhortation on the necessary relationship between faith and reason. Central to the Pope's vision is the recovery of the ''Sapiential Dimension'' of philosophy and the sciences - that is, that science, ethics, and anthropology is are interrelated and should be studied together. Also vital is a real and firm metaphysics, on which universal truths and statements can be truly - though imperfectly - known. By reaffirming these fundamental truths whichnare necessary for ...more
Steven  Hunter
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Though an older work, John Paul II spends time explaining the relationship between faith and reason. The latter is used to interpret and understand the former, but it isn't in a place to question faith. Reason, as he portrays it, is a gift given from God, and every man by nature is a philosopher. The degree to which each knows philosophy determines their comprehension of faith. JP II certainly would not say that a philosophical education is essential to faith, but he would posit that the natural ...more
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've only read this book twice with a distance of 5 years in between. Surely I get much more of it now that I've converted, but it has been a good experience, and surely an influence in my conversion.

It's undoubtedly amazing, especially to know more about the Fathers of the Church and their decisive approach to philosophy as a way to show, how behind everything we can reason, there's a God. It's been quite an encouraging read to approach the Summa Theologica in the future, little by little.
Ben Daghir
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
How does our "faith" and "reason" (ability to think) work together?

How can we enhance both?

How can dig deeper into our own humanity with regards to faith and reason?

How has the history of humanity revealed (or failed to reveal) this relationship?

What does scripture have to say about this?

The Saints?


How important is this relationship?

It might just be everything your soul is looking for...
Mar 04, 2010 marked it as backburner
Dec 17, 2015: Not sure how long this has been on my ‘currently reading’ but I’m not, so it’s OFF!

Last night I discovered the best lecture on this amazing encyclical. Listened to 1/2 of it and hope to finish the other 1/2 today.
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
A very strong argument for the necessity of both faith and human reasoning in coming to the discovery of truth, and likewise of reason in approaching faith and faith in approaching reason. Passages can be difficult at times (the writing is deep especially if one is unaccustomed to philosophical argument/language)
Avel Deleon
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A brief explanation on the nature of faith and reason. But more so, a synthesis why faith and reason need to be reconciled to one another. A good philosophical structure leads to a well developed theology. Reason purifies faith from superstition, while faith purifies reason from odd conclusions of human existence.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Un excelente análisis y propuesta conciliadora entre los temas que competen a la fe y la razón. Teniendo como punto de unión el pensamiento y el Ser Humano, una obra que es de lectura forzosa para todo aquel que desea conocer de una manera honesta la relación intima que ha habido, hay y habrá siempre entre fe y filosofía.
Cristina Contilli
Letto all'epoca del Giubileo e soprattutto all'epoca in cui facevo la catechista in parrocchia... una lettura interessante (da quel che ricordo), ma anche impegnativa... e d'altra parte credo che il rapporto tra fede e ragione sia di natura teologica, ma anche individuale...
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Kingsley Layton
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I thought it was okay in parts, but as it drew to a conclusion it leaned more and more heavily on philosophy. Whilst this is a typical characteristic of Roman Catholic theology, and so should be of no surprise to a reader of this book, I found it unsatisfactory theologically.
Paul Graham
Aug 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the discussion of philosophy, the possibility of understanding how the realms of faith and reason coincide. I didn't get a sense of a specific thesis being defended, as a set of ideas presented in a variety of ways.
Sergio Arrangoiz
This is a very dense, philosophically-rich encyclical of John Paul II. It serves as a good introduction to the topic of religious epistemology and the study of the relationship between faith and reason.
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Although from a perspective I don't share on balance it is a great book. It discusses why faith and reason (or science) are not contrary, but can be complementary
Kevin Estabrook
read this in Epistemology back in college...picked it up again for my BXVI course...
Mitchell Hebert
Feb 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A must read for any Catholic philosopher
Angela Joyce
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is brilliantly concise.
Hark Herald Sarmiento
I like this enciclical by the Blessed Pope John Paul II.... faith and reason should go hand-in-hand.
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pontifical
Excellent demonstration of how the two actually complement one another.
Kevin Hughes
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Luminous and serene.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 3-philosophy
It's good if you believe. There are always fundamental flaws in the arguments of the faithful, but his weren't as bad as so many others.
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Saint Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus II), born Karol Józef Wojtyła was elected Pope at the Conclave of 16 October 1978, and he took the name of John Paul II. On 22 October, the Lord's Day, he solemnly inaugurated his Petrine ministry as the 263rd successor to the Apostle. His pontificate, one of the longest in the history of the Church, lasted nearly 27 years.

Driven by his pastoral solic
More about John Paul II

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Encyclicals of Pope John Paul II (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Redemptor Hominis: The Redeemer of Man
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  • Slavorum Apostoli: On Saints Cyril and Methodius
  • Dominum et Vivificantem: On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World
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  • The Splendor of Truth: Encyclical Letter of John Paul II
“Faith and Reason are like two wings of the human spirit by which is soars to the truth.” 124 likes
“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth- in a word, to know himself- so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” 30 likes
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