Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 77, 2003

Philosophy and Intercultural Understanding

David B. Burrell
Pages 1-11

Faith, Culture, and Reason
Analogous Language and Truth

This paper examines how the faith/reason discussion can be expanded by means of culture and analogous language. The author argues that rational dialogue can occur between different faith traditions, and without having to raise reason to the ideal of enlightenment objectivity or having to jettison reason through some form of relativism. He argues that cultural shifts effect alterations in our very “criteria of rationality” so that our efforts to grasp others’ practices in matters that challenge our presumed categories often reveal lacunae in our very own presumptions. The author further argues that a prerequisite for dialogue is a shared interest in pursuing the truth; thus the pursuit of truth transcends any given conceptuality. Accordingly, rationality can show itself in practices that can be followed and understood by persons operating on the basis of different grounding convictions.

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