Real Diversity And Jesus Christ

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Real Diversity and Jesus Christ The exact relationship between philosophy and theology has been greatly debated throughout many different eras of thought. Pope Saint John Paul II addressed this very question in his encyclical Fides et Ratio. Facing challenges from numerous sides, he offers a distinctly Catholic position: “There is a profound and indissoluble unity between the knowledge of reason and the knowledge of faith…This is to say that with the light of reason human beings can know which path to take, but they can follow that path to its end, quickly and unhindered, only if with a rightly tuned spirit they search for it within the horizon of faith. Therefore, reason and faith cannot be separated without diminishing the capacity of men and women to know themselves, the world and God in an appropriate way, (§16).” Indeed, this is not merely a vague theory for one can clearly witness this interrelation of thought between Western philosophy and Christian theology in what is perhaps best called the question of real diversity. This is the question of how real, diverse beings can exist, a question which philosophers have long been occupied with. Indeed, Fr. Norris Clarke goes very far with his estimation of the topic: “This problem of the One and the Many, as it is called, is the ultimate paradox of being and the deepest and most fundamental problem of all metaphysics, of every intellectual effort to achieve a total, unified vision of all reality,” (72). And yet this question of the seemingly contradictory experience of both the unity and diversity of real things would seem to echo questions found in the discussions the Church regarding the doctrines of Creation, the Trinity, and the Incarnation. As such, the logic and approach... ... middle of paper ... ...This is why, for example, rather than defining being as the Good (as for Plato, the Form was standard of the unchanging and the real and thus being, and the Good was in turn the form of forms, meaning Form, Being, and Goodness were all convertible in a sense), Aristotle gives priority to beings. The key to his philosophy is substance. Again, Whereas Plato’s instinct is towards a bird’s eye, cosmological view, Aristotle’s is more ontological, more microscopic, insofar as his notion of being is best found in his theory of the substance. His concern is the thing experienced, such as the white chair or the moldy piece of bread. Those things which humans experience in every day life are compositions of matter and form, of act and potency, of substance and accident. His hylomorphic theory refined this already present conception of perduring identity with real change.
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