November 15, 2007

Albertus Magnus

The collect for the feast of St. Albert is one of those that gets me every year:
God, who made blessed bishop Albert combine human wisdom with divine faith, grant us who receive his doctrine, that we might, by the progress of science, come to a more profound knowledge and love of You.

It's a good prayer for a world in which reason and science seem to be in competition with faith and religion. It asks to instead seek the divine wisdom which makes these complementary modes of human knowing.

We must avoid the two cheap roads the world offers us in this quandary. On the one hand we must not become fundamentalists who ignore that the world was created through the Word of God, thus forgetting that the empirical knowledge of creation can yield divine wisdom. On the other hand, we must not embrace "intelligent design," which is a subtle way to sell out our faith and embrace empirical categories as the normative means of human knowing.

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