Know your place, human logic

Federica Mathewes-Green offers an Orthodox Christian interpretation of the central theme in Mel Gibson’s latest (and already controversial) film. She explains how the Western and Orthodox churches understand Atonement and what the principal difference is.

One can explain true mysteries to a point, but one can never explain them away. When St. Thomas Aquinas reinforced a tradition of stringent intellectual inquiry as part of Western theology, revitalizing Aristotle, he contributed more than a lot to the Western intellectual progress. But to faith? Were his logical exercises at all necessary? At first, theologians aspired to explain the mysterious by syllogisms; in a while, philosophers sought to destroy mysteries by essentially the same means – and claimed success.

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