St Albert the Great 1206 -1280

St Albert was born in Germany and joined the Dominican Order.

He was one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages. He lived at a time of great rediscovering of the philosophies and learning of the Ancient Greek and Roman worlds.

He was also very interested in the natural sciences. He was interested in learning.

 

One of his students, perhaps the greatest and certainly the most famous was St Thomas Aquinas.

 

Amazingly there are those who believe that there is a clash or contradiction between science, reason and religion!!

 

At the core of Catholic theology is the concept of the Incarnation.

 

The Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us.

There is also an epistemological (the study of how we know) understanding that we are geared to know reality. We are in touch with reality through our senses.

Science is based on reflection on what is in some form observable, empirical, calculable.

 

Theology is Faith seeking understanding.

Christian Catholic theology is based on the revelation of Jesus.

He is a truly historical person who did and said some amazing things.

His actions and memory are preserved in a community of Faith connected with the early eyewitnesses. This community has faithfully preserved his teachings and memory and promises. This community is living, evolving under the guidance of the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus. This living Faith has in every generation since, manifested itself to be constantly being renewed and called to ongoing conversion by the same Holy Spirit.

 

Healthy science and healthy religion have nothing to fear from each other.

 

Fundamentalist scientists and Fundamentalist theologians have much to fear from each other.

 

Scientific observation within the discipline of science is not a threat to religion, in fact, it can definitely enhance our understanding.

Incarnation theology has nothing to fear from science.

 

Good intelligent scientists and theologians faithful to their disciplines can inform us in our desire for understanding.

 

Hence proper understanding of the creation stories in Genesis and evolution are not in themselves contradictory.

 

Proper medical practice and knowledge and moral theology do not have to be contradictory in themselves. The application of some of this knowledge can of course be incompatible with sound ethical and moral practice.

 

So many like Albert have shown show science and religion can indeed be complimentary. The pursuit of learning and the love of God are very complimentary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image credit: Catholic News Agency