September 14, 2023, marks the quarter centennial of the encyclical Fides et ratio. Devoted to the relationship between faith and reason and written by a philosopher-pope, it immediately brings to mind—and makes explicit reference to—the 1879 encyclical Aeterni Patris by Leo XIII. Both encyclicals are concerned with the relationship between faith and reason in the modern era and stress the important and indispensable role of philosophy for the Church. The nineteenth-century encyclical was crisp, concise, and programmatic in spirit, proposing a very specific approach and project—and inspiring a worldwide academic movement to study the philosophy and theology of the scholastics, especially that of Thomas Aquinas. The twentieth-century encyclical was much less a programmatic clarion call and more a broad and earnest call to openness, awareness, and mutual rapprochement—and it has not really ushered in a new chapter in the intellectual life of the Church.
To read this article in its entirety, please download the free PDF available above or buy this issue.