Professor Feingold (Ave Maria University), gave a lecture last night to the Association of Hebrew Catholics. His lecture was titled, "The Early Church Fathers and Greek Philosophy: St. Justin, St. Clement of Alexandria, and Origen." I think this was his best lecture so far in his series on the early Church Fathers. (Download the audio of last night's lecture and the Q&A following the lecture here.) He explained the different possible attitudes toward Greek philosophy, drawing from the writings of St. Justin, St. Clement of Alexandria (represented in the icon at right), and Origen. He also explained the difference between rationalism and fideism, showed why they are both errors, and how Catholicism avoids both errors. In addition he showed how Origen's misuse of philosophy led him into certain errors, and how Tertullian's rejection of philosophy led him into error. Both rationalism and fideism are common errors today among Christians. Rationalism requires that every mystery of the faith be verified by reason; fideism denies that philosophy has a role as handmaiden to theology. Professor Feingold also discussed the Church Fathers' understanding of the passage in Exodus regarding the plundering of the Egyptians on the night they departed from Egypt. In the last part of the lecture he discussed Pope Benedict's Regensburg Address on the relation of faith and reason, and the attempt by some to de-hellenize Christianity.
"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)