The biblical Wisdom literature recognizes no zero-sum game between faith and reason. The Wisdom literature, like Proverbs, is convinced that ‘there is a profound and indissoluble unity between the knowledge of reason and the knowledge of faith’. ‘Faith sharpens the inner eye’ of the human person as philosopher.[1] It does not stunt or replace it. In line with contemporary biblical scholarship, which has unearthed ‘wisdom’ literatures in several ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, John Paul mentions that ‘these biblical texts ... embody not only the faith of Israel, but also the treasury of cultures and civilizations which have long vanished. As if by special design, the voices of Egypt and Mesopotamia sound again . in these pages which are so singularly rich in deep intuition’.[2] For Fides et ratio, it is not just ‘reason’ in the abstract which is in tune with faith, but the human culture of all nations, in their striving for meaning.

  • [1] Fides et ratio, §15.
  • [2] Fides et ratio, §16.
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