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Monday, January 21, 2013

0261: Metaphysics and the Suprasensible World

Entry 0261: Encyclical Letter Fides at Ratio - Metaphysics of the Suprasensible World

“The word of God refers constantly to things which transcend human experience and even human thought; but this 'mystery' could not be revealed, nor could theology render it in some way intelligible, were human knowledge limited strictly to the world of sense experience. Metaphysics thus plays an essential role of mediation in theological research. A theology without a metaphysical horizon could not move beyond an analysis of religious experience, nor would it allow the intellectus fidei to give a coherent account of the universal and transcendent value of revealed truth.

“If I insist so strongly on the metaphysical element, it is because I am convinced that it is the path to be taken in order to move beyond the crisis pervading large sectors of philosophy at the moment, and thus to correct certain mistaken modes of behavior now widespread in our society.

“Here I do not mean to speak of metaphysics in the sense of a specific school or a particular historical current of thought. I want only to state that reality and truth do transcend the factual and the empirical, and to vindicate the human being’s capacity to know this transcendent and metaphysical dimension in a way that is true and certain, albeit imperfect and analogical.”

Excerpt from Blessed John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio, 14 September 1998, no. 83