Champions of reason and the Year of Faith

Scripture and contemporary Catholic theology

Martin Poulsom SDB

As the Year of Faith begins, Martin Poulsom SDB considers the relation between faith and reason, tracing a development that has taken place in the thinking of the Church since Vatican II. The author is a Salesian of Don Bosco and a lecturer in theology at Heythrop College, University of London.

There is something about the triumph of human reason that makes for a great news story. With the discovery of evidence for the Higgs Boson earlier this year, physics took another step towards a Theory of Every- thing " the exciting possibility of uniting all the existing theories of physics into one simple and elegant account of our universe. Indeed, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking both famously claimed that a Theory of Everything would remove the need for belief in God, because there would be nothing for a Creator to do.1 Similar statements have also been made more recently on the basis of the theory of evolution in biology, perhaps most vociferously by Richard Dawkins.

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