Paraphrasing the words of the Holy Father, Pope Saint John Paul II, one can say that Faith and Reason are like two wings on which humanity rises towards integral and sustainable progress. Mastery of nature cannot substitute for Mystery of supernatural. The relationship between these two distinct orders can be illustrated using Mikael Stenmark model, as follows:

A One-Dimensional Typology:  first, the conflict view: here, each of these two orders recognizes the other as rival and the other's position as contradictory. The disagreements may be due to differences of notions, vested interests, or attitudes of the representative persons; second, the independence view: each camp insists on its own autonomy and exclusivity. This may be an attempt to avoid conflicts; third, the contact view: this posits that common ground exist between these two fields (Omniscience and Science)

A Two-Dimensional Typology: in this preferred contact view, believers and thinkers either tend to weak contact (dialogue) or strong contact (integration).To explore further the possible contact between the faith-order and the reason-order, three questions need to be answered; one, are they pursuing the same goal(s) (teleological)? two, are they following the same means (methodological)? Three, will the results of both investigations be regarded as the same (theoretical)?

A Three-Dimensional Typology: to complete the contact view, the tendency of the advocates of each of the two orders is lend priority to their constituency. Hence, one ends up with either fides-priority contact view or ratio-priority contact view. Since, virtue lies in the middle, it may also be apt to posit a neuter/case-priority contact view, where priority is ab initio not willed to either order but treated on case-by-case bases.

Finally, whether the faith-practitioners or the reason-practitioners are the ones considering either religion or science, respect must be accorded to the discipline under investigation. The approaches differ, one need to also beware of differentiation stances adopted by the invesigators , i.e. between descriptive (about what is) and prescriptive (about what ought to be). As the saying goes: Science gets the age of rocks, and religion the Rock of ages; science studies how the heavens go, religion how to go to Heaven. Let us avoid possible errors: one, fideism/theism – the only truth is the one flowing from God and by faith; two, scientism – the only truth is the one flowing from Axioms and by ratiocination. Hence, for Taede A. Smedes, "a tentative dialogue in the sense of edifying discourse may be possible, but only if one is aware of one's own presupposition as well as of the distinct grammars [register] of both religious and scientific discourses. In other words, such a dialogue may not only leads to, but actually requires wisdom..."  



Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, September 14, 1998

Mikael Stenmark, "Models of Science and Religion: Is there any alternative to Ian Barbour's Typology" in Studies in Science and Theology: Yearbook of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology, Vol 10 (2005-2006), pp. 105-119.


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