Rodney Stark: Faith and Reason

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Over the long course of the Middle Ages, there emerged a fundamental struggle between faith and reason. As Christianity became influential and institutional, the notion of faith began to oppose the predominate Greek philosophy of reason. This conflict would emerge to shape Western culture and give rise to the notion that the two were incompatible.


I agree with him wholeheartedly.
As with many disputes between polar opposites, the truth of the matter often lies between the extremes. As modern people studying the Middle Ages, it is easy to understand this concept and appreciate the articulation of it by Frederick Artz (1954) who states that "it may be seen [that] the faith of the Middle Ages [is] seeking reason, just as in the twentieth century, men, grown weary of reason, are seeking faith" (p. 253). The balance and cooperation of the two yields a much more constructive world view. From that perspective, the question of why reason has been seen as the enemy of faith-and how that perception came to be so pervasive-surfaces. For Stark and others, the partial answer lies in widely-adopted historical misperceptions regarding some of the greatest examples of the conflict.
Misinformation is one of the primary enemies for Stark. For example, one of the most obvious conflicts noted today is the one that occurred in Christopher Columbus' day regarding the question of the shape of the world. The traditional teaching is that the Church of that time insisted that the world was flat, while science clearly demonstrated it was round. ...
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