Saturday, August 7, 2010

Labourdette on "the KNOWLEDGE at the heart of the religious attitude"

Some of the characteristics of religious (as distinguished from, say, scientific or philosophical) knowledge do become problematic when understood in terms of the tradition and categories of "a certain philosophy of religion without a doubt in itself surpassed but still widely 'popular' [(vulgarisée et diffuse)], a philosophy of religion associated with the ideas of Schleiermacher. This 'philosophy' is characterized by the tendency to dissociate, in the religious fact, affective attitude from intellectual formulation, to see in faith much more an obscure kind of affective experience than the adhesion to ideas. As a consequence one quite commonly imagines that the essence of religion, what sets it apart [(ce qui fait son prix)], is that perception of the divine beyond all creeds and all orthodoxies. These creeds, are they anything more [(autre)] than an intellectual residue—[an] objectification more or less naïve [and] wholly dependent on the [original] religious and cultural milieu—of an experience that cannot be formulated in terms of absolute truth? [A] mentality still too common, despite the fact that the more attentive study of the so-called 'primitive' myths and religions throws the knowledge at the heart of the religious attitude into higher and higher relief."

M.-M. Labourdette, O.P., "La vie théologale selon saint Thomas," Revue thomiste 58 (1958): 599 (597-622).

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