Theology is questioned in the modern world, however it was called the "Queen of the sciences" in the Middle Ages (when universities began and Western culture flourished). Why was theology regarded in this way? What is the value of theology, asks Joel Hodge in ABC Unleashed.
To understand theology, one must understand faith. There are many misconceptions about faith, such as faith standing in opposition to evidence, reason or proof. Faith in opposition to reason is fideism. In different forms, fideism has been regarded as heresy by the Catholic Church.
Thus, it is important to start with a basic categorical distinction. Faith and reason can work together but operate on different planes of human life: faith operates on the level of our existence and relationships; reason on the level of intellect.
Faith is grounded in our human experience. There is a natural form of faith that allows our lives to function daily; for example, I have faith that when I enter a classroom, the students will listen to me, rather than shoot me. Is it rational for me to absolutely prove that the students will learn, rather than kill, before I enter a classroom? No! This extreme form of doubt is paralysing. Unless I have been warned in some way, I can trust that the students will act in the way that they are expected to.
Thus, we have faith in other people every day for our lives to function. In more important ways, we have faith in those close to us, particularly our family and friends, that makes it possible for our identity to develop. As James Alison argues:
"We are suggested into being by others on whom we are dependent...We have allowed ourselves (before there was a 'self' to do the 'allowing') to be suggested into a pattern of relationality which we take for granted."
From the earliest stage of our development, we have to place our faith in others to survive and for our identities to grow.
FULL STORY The value of theology and the mystery of life (ABC Unleashed)