Faith as a door is a fascinating image. A new horizon appears at precisely the moment when a man decides to cross the threshold and look out at the reality that is beyond his doorstep. Yet, faith turns out to be an absurdity in today’s post-Christian society. Reason would no longer be able to furnish us with certainties, such as the foundational role of truth to undertake the study of any discipline. Consequently, God is nonsensical. But while reason has seen its oblivion, there is however an attempt, in a dominant relativism, to overcome the role of reason with love. Love would mean and do more than truth. Love without truth—namely without its bond with reason— is empty, a mere sentiment, as, on the contrary, truth without love is a cold system of causality. Reason and love have rather to go hand in hand. Their circularity on a natural level, which includes the harmonic relation between intellect and will, is the condition for faith and charity to work out their indispensable complementarity. The paradigm “reason and love” is then propaedeutic to verifying for instance the correct relationship between doctrine and pastoral care or to showing how dangerous it is to ignore it. Bad effects of a denied encounter between reason and love can be seen in religious fundamentalisms or in a religious freedom that easily prefers social religious stability to the priority of the true God and true religion.
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Praise for The Door of Faith
These wide-ranging theological reflections suggest a key to our current woes in both Church and culture: the ever-widening gap between the life of reason and the life of spiritual love, considered as the two principal—and inseparable—dimensions of all human living worth the name. The recently renewed flight from doctrine in the Church creates a vacuum which sentimental benevolence cannot fill—least of all in an age when, in the wider society, the voices of philosophical nihilism are so shrill. Like the original Franciscans, Serafino Lanzetta is an evangelist: for him, the only world in which a metaphysics of charity can flourish is the world revealed by the Gospel where the Logos behind the cosmos has made itself known as Love. —Fr Aidan Nichols OP, author of Redeeming Beauty and Lost in Wonder
What constitutes the act of faith? How is it related to reason? What is the difference between faith and belief? How could we ever conceive of faith as separated from charity? As Fr Lanzetta reminds us, such questions are crucial for the proclamation of the Gospel in today's world. At a time when the Church seems largely occupied about structures and processes, I highly recommend this profound meditation on the heart of the Christian mystery. —Fr Uwe Michael Lang, Cong. Orat., St. Mary's University, Twickenham, London
Engaging seriously with the arguments contained in this book, particularly those regarding the relationship between reason and love, faith and charity, is a most worthwhile endeavour—even when one finds oneself not agreeing with the author's every stance. Fr Lanzetta is to be commended for so clearely emphasising, as he states in the Introduction, that "Reason is for love, and love lives within the confines of reason. Reason and love are the two dimensions which together constitute the great human horizon." —Rev'd Canon John O'Leary, Rector, Allen Hall Seminary, London
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 978- 1-990685- 02- 6 | pbk | $20.95 USD
ISBN: 978- 1-990685- 03- 3 | hc | $27.95 USD
About the Author
Fr Serafino M. Lanzetta STD is resident in the Diocese of Portsmouth (England) where he exercises his priestly ministry. He is lecturer in Dogmatic Theology at the Theological Faculty of Lugano (Switzerland) and editor-in chief of the Theological Journal Fides Catholica. He has facilitated the organisation of several Theological Conferences—the last one on The Fatima Message in its 100th Anniversary, and has written for L’Osservatore Romano. His published works include his post- doctoral habilitation, Vatican II, a Pastoral Council: Hermeneutics of Council Teaching (Gracewing, 2016), Fatima at the Heart of the Church: God’s Vision of History and Oblative Spirituality (2018) and The Symphony of Truth: Theological Essays (Arouca Press, 2020).
The Door of Faith: When Reason & Love Meet by Fr. Serafino Lanzetta
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