The genius of Western civilization is its unique synthesis of reason and faith. In his new book, Reason, Faith and the Struggle for Western Civilization, Samuel Gregg shows that the revelation in the Hebrew scriptures of a reasonable Creator imbued Judaism and Christianity with a conviction that the world is intelligible, leading to the flowering of reason and the invention of science in the West. It was no accident that the Enlightenment took place in the culture formed by the Jewish and Christian faiths.
But today that synthesis is under attack. We can all see that faith without reason is benighted at best, fanatical and violent at worst. But too many forget that reason, stripped of faith, is subject to its own pathologies. A supposedly autonomous reason easily sinks into fanaticism, stifling dissent as bigoted and irrational and devouring the humane civilization fostered by the integration of reason and faith. But Samuel Gregg does more than lament the intellectual and spiritual ruin caused by the divorce of reason and faith. He shows that each of these foundational principles corrects the other’s excesses and enhances our comprehension of Truth in a continuous renewal of civilization. By recovering this balance, we can avoid a suicidal winner-take-all conflict between reason and faith and a future that will respect neither.
A free livestream of this lecture will be available to view @ 12 noon Eastern on May 14 for those who cannot join in person.