Comparison in Theology
At the time of Aquinas, the prevalent understanding was (specially in Aquinas’ personal
thought) that the foremost goal for theology must be to use reason to understand God more fully.
This understanding would then lead to salvation. Therefore, theology was perceived as a science.
This science was ultimately based on the eclectic hypothesis formed from the writing and
testimony of the individuals that it was revealed to (by God). The tradition of the Catholic
Church also formed a steadfast basis of this science (Albl, 2009).
In fact, Aquinas himself believed that there was a relationship between faith and reason.
Even if they appeared distinct, they were both equally important in handling the “data of
theology”. Without either of them in the mix, Aquinas did not believe it was ever possible to
gain complete knowledge of God. Therefore, we see a blend of Greek philosophy and Christian
doctrine in the theology of the time: with rational thought as well as revelation forming its core.
Studying of nature was akin to studying God because that is how He was manifested.
Today, theology has taken a more scientific flair that distinguishes it from the science of
yore. In essence, hypothesizing and confirmations of those hypotheses are engaged in a more
systematic and rational way. The sum of new facts and conclusions that we have accumulated
through pure science set the bar higher for faith. Numerous journals and publications have been
established to enable the relationship to catch on. There is justification needed for ever more
religious traditions because of the scientific age we live in, comparisons with new and always
emerging religious thought (for example, Scientology) and challenges of assimilation of new
cultures under the umbrella as the faith spreads.
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