Religion & Liberty Online

Why has the West’s integration of reason and faith fallen apart? An interview with Samuel Gregg

Pathologies of reason and faith have greatly affected history. Pathologies of reason are defined by an abandonment of God in search of truth, resulting in a prioritization of empirical data and the natural sciences to gain knowledge. Likewise, pathologies of faith are characterized by an abandonment of reason, or Logos, resulting in sentimental humanitarianism, seen even the spread of moral therapeutic deism currently present in the Church. “In the end, these pathologies proceed from mistaken conceptions of God,” says Samuel Gregg in an interview  about his new book, “Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization.”

In an interview with Social Trends Institute, Gregg explains what he believes defines the West, what effect the enlightenment had on the disintegration of reason and faith and why the decline of the West is not inevitable. “Pathologies can shape events and people for a long time but they can’t sustain themselves,” he said. “There’s no going back to a pre-Enlightenment world and I don’t think we should want to. But we can have confidence that, if we freely choose, we need not settle for a West in which reason and faith are locked in perpetual conflict. The truth about the God who is Love but also Logos really can set us free.”

Read the full interview.


Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.