HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 21 no. Special Edition (2020)

READING JOHN PAUL II’S FIDES ET RATIO IN THE LIGHT OF JÜRGEN HABERMAS’ POSTMETAPHYSICAL THINKING: TOWARDS A DIALOGUE WITH THE SECULAR WORLD

Jose Conrado A. Estafia

 

Abstract:

The paper suggests that the Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio of John Paul II can be read today in the light of the so-called post metaphysical thinking recommended by Jürgen Habermas, and doing this would lead the Catholic Church to a dialogue with the secular world. While being respectful to the autonomy of the philosophical disciplines, John Paul II makes an appeal to philosophers and all teachers of philosophy to courageously recover the proper end of every philosophical inquiry, that is, authentic wisdom and truth, including metaphysical truth. The encounter between faith and reason has always been a drama of separation and reconciliation. Becoming autonomous to the point of being a “godless discipline,” the modern thought completely separated itself from revealed truth, cutting itself off from faith and theology. This was, in fact, the main point of the Enlightenment, that is, to release oneself from the clutches of religion. However, the revival of Catholic thought in the second half of the nineteenth century, as Edith Stein observes, opens a new possibility of finding a common meeting ground between the reborn Medieval philosophy and the newly created twentieth-century philosophy. Habermas’ recommendation of a post-metaphysical thinking, which follows the concept of genealogy, has a role to play in the dialogue between religion and the secular world. Through dialogue, we can now promote an awareness of complementarity between the two sides. Hence, the appeal of John Paul II in Fides et Ratio finds new impetus to carry out this dialogue further and without fear.