“Love is an attempt to penetrate another being, but it can only be realized if the surrender is mutual. It is always difficult to give oneself up; few persons anywhere ever succed in doing so, and even fewer transcend the possessive stage to know love for what it actually is: a perpetual discovery, an immersion in the waters of reality, and an unending re-creation.” – Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude
Gauguin, Paul. When Will You Marry? 1892. Oil on canvas.
“We may doubt, but it is in God we doubt. We may kick against the pricks, but they are God‘s pricks.” – Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans
Sperl, Johann. Leibl and Sperl on the chick hunt. 1890. Oil on canvas.
“Now, Lord, since it is you who gives understanding to faith, grant me to understand as well as you think fit, that you exist as we believe, and that you are what we believe you to be. We believe that you are that thing than which nothing greater can be thought.” – Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion
“Discourse about God comes second because faith comes first and is the source of theology; in the formula of St. Anselm, we believe in order that we may understand (credo ut intelligam).” – Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation
Romanelli, Giovanni Francesco. The Meeting of the Countess Matilda and Anselm of Canterbury in the Presence of Pope Urban II. 1642. Oil on canvas.
“Upon the disappearance of the fixed points that should give unity to everyday activity, persons live at the mercy of events, unable to establish fruitful links between them and forced simply to jump from one to another.” – Gustavo Gutierrez, We Drink for Our Own Wells
Van Gogh, Vincent. Wheatfield with Crows. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Van Gogh Museum, 1890. Oil on canvas.
“Epicurus (c. fourth century BCE), the ancient Greek philosopher, who held that it was impossible to hold these three propositions together:
- God is all-powerful.
- God is all-good.
- Evil exists.
Epicurus’ argument was revived in the eighteenth century by the skeptical Scottish philosopher David Hume. In Hume’s own words: ‘Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?'”
Richard J. Plantinga, Thomas R. Thompson, and Matthew D. Lundberg, An Introduction to Christian Theology.
Hume, David. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
Tissot, James. Cain leads Abel to death. 1902.
“Since empirical science can only proceed on the working assumption that nature is uniform and subject to universal and necessary laws, and since this presupposition cannot be established by the inductive method of science itself, the question arises: Whence come these larger suppositions? Many scholars today believe that Christianity’s creation doctrine slowly encouraged the requisite philosophy of science needed to supplant Aristotelian cosmology.” – Richard J. Plantinga, Thomas R. Thompson, and Matthew D. Lundberg, An Introduction to Christian Theology
Wright of Derby, Joseph. A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery. Derby Museum and Art Gallery. 1766. Oil on canvas.
“Our prevailing modern Western worldview is no more ‘modern’ than the worldview of the first Christians. All that has happened is that many leading scientists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, who were attracted to Epicureanism for quite other reasons (not least social, cultural, and political), have interpreted their perfectly proper scientific observations (for instance, concerning the origin and development of different species of plants and animals) within an Epicurean framework. It has then been assumed that ‘science’ actually supports this view of a detached ‘God’ and a world simply doing its own thing. But this is profoundly mistaken.” – N. T. Wright, The Case for the Psalms
Raphael. Epicurus. The School of Athens. 1511. Fresco.