Some Aspects of the fides - ratio Relationship in Saint Augustine


Augustine was never evident in delimiting himself in relation to philosophy (ratio - Intellige ut Credas) and theology (fides - Crede ut Intelligas). Indeed, for a while, he was a philosopher without being a theologian; then, he was a theologian without being less of a philosopher. The problem cannot be solved by distinguishing too quickly between an Augustine philosopher (ratio) and an Augustine theologian (fides). I raise this issue because the present study could displease philosophers and theologians alike. I see the solution in that a theologian cannot talk about Saint Augustine while abstracting from Augustine, the philosopher, just as a philosopher cannot put Augustine, the theologian, in brackets. Therefore, it is not a question of “dividing” Augustine. To do so is both unphilosophical and untheological. Augustine “disseminates” himself! I want to discuss several aspects of this “distribution” in the present study. Only in this way can one understand how ratio confortata fide. Augustine, freed from prejudices, did not free himself from the truth.

Keywords: God, Saint Augustine, philosophy, faith, reason, catechesis, authority, revelation

[Full Article PDF]