General Features of Christian PhilosophyJune 28, 2021
The general features of Christian philosophy include the explanations of Christian philosophy being made against some philosophical views in the early days and then becoming a religious explanation over time. The Middle Ages of Western philosophy, especially based on Ancient Greek philosophy, is a purely Christian philosophy. After the last Greek philosophy schools were closed in the 5th century AD, Western thought for ten centuries thought almost exclusively about religion and specifically Christianity, and the philosophy in this process was called Christian philosophy or Christian philosophy. The general characteristics of Christian philosophy were also shaped during this period.
General Characteristics of Christian Philosophy
Religion-centered thought was seen.
In this period, religion was put at the center of everything. Religion has played an extremely active role in every field from state administration to family life, from social pursuits to commerce. Religion also tried to establish its own dominance in these areas by breaking the influence of science and philosophy. In this context, religion-centered thought has manifested itself in every aspect of human doing.
It has been tried to establish the basis of religion with reason.
It has been tried to put the mind at an important point in the belief and functioning of Christianity and to explain Christianity with the mind. For example, the apologist Justin Martyr expressed the necessity of approaching Christianity with tolerance by saying, “Everything that is reasonable belongs to Christianity and everything that belongs to Christianity is reasonable.”
Discussions of reason and belief came to the fore.
As we have just exemplified, we can see that justin Martyr’s statement “Everything that is reasonable belongs to Christianity and everything that belongs to Christianity is reasonable”, and we can see that the grounding of belief with reason and reason with belief is done. One of the important apologists Thomas Aquinas, in addition to Martyr’s understanding of seeing reason and Christianity as compatible with each other, with a more strict religious understanding, the most fundamental issues that distinguish Christianity from other religions (trinity, incarnation, original sin, sacraments, eschatology) cannot be explained by reason and that the revelations on these issues cannot be accepted. He argued that it should be done, that is, he put faith before reason.
The notion that belief makes knowledge possible is dominant.
Religion created a religious power with its great power during the reign of Christian philosophy. This power not only created various legal institutions and worked through them, but also shaped people’s selves and made various categories of knowledge possible within itself. Paul (Corinthians 1:19) in the Bible, which is the holy book of Christianity, states: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; This expression is clearly the message conveyed to people by God that “You cannot reach me through knowledge or knowing”, and it is emphasized that what matters is not knowledge or knowing, but belief or belief. The expression “Let your faith be based on God’s power, not human wisdom” in the Bible also means putting faith or belief before knowledge or wisdom. That is, faith will make knowledge possible, human knowledge is nothing compared to faith.
In addition, other features of Christian philosophy can be listed as follows:
Influenced by ancient Greek philosophy.
The existence of God has been tried to be proven.
The accuracy of the sacred texts is centered.
It was said that the ideas created should not go against the religious authority.
Prepared by: Omer Yildirim
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook, MEB Philosophy Textbook