This introductory chapter discusses how the emergence of Christianity out of the Hellenistic context moves the dialectic to a new stage. Very early on, the tension and outright conflict between reason and faith appear. This faith/reason dialectic has continued down to the present. Within the culture at large, there are two simple and clear positions: faith alone is sufficient; reason alone is sufficient. For most of Western history, however, the dominant views have made attempts to account for both. The chapter suggests that no formal expression of the relation between faith and reason can ever be permanent or definitive. At best these expressions can serve as guidelines, as regulative ideals.
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