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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 76, Issue 3, Summer 2002

Patrick L. Bourgeois
Pages 431-450

Critical Philosophy and Post-Critical Faith
The Christian Philosopher

This paper focuses on the intertwining of philosophy and Christian faith in the concrete life of the Christian philosopher, with a view toward the compatibility of critical philosophy and a post-critical faith. Philosophy, as an enterprise of reason alone, is independent of Christian faith and theology. In accord with its definition, philosophy seeks evidence along the lines of reason independent of outside authority, and thus is autonomous from such faith. Yet, for the Christian philosopher, without jeopardizing this autonomy and independence, faith and theology do enter the picture in some sense. For, unless the individual is completely dichotomized in personality, her/his concrete life and existence must involve commitments both to the Christian faith and to philosophy, even though the commitment of faith is more basic. This paper explores this paradox of the independence and mutual intertwining of these two poles; then, focuses on the philosophical pole of the tension; and finally, resolves the tension for the Christian philosopher.