Author: WEN Ge, Lecturer at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary
On the basis of Blaise Pascal’s Les Pensees, this essay examines Pascal’s theological epistemology from his perspective of existentialist anthropology. At the same time his response to the challenge of rationalism and skepticism is also analyzed, through which we can find out how Pascal balances faith and reason. As early as the 17th century, Pascal had already pointed out that neither rationalism nor empiricism could serve as solid foundations for truth claims. On the other hand, Pascal as a responsible fideist also believes that reason can serve as people’s guide into Christian truth. His existentialist anthropology helps him to transcend the faith-reason contradiction. The author thinks that Pascal’s unique theological epistemology sheds light on contemporary Chinese theologies both within and extra ecclesia with a balanced view on faith and reason. Through a detailed study of Pascal’s thinking on the relations between faith and reason, the author hopes to stimulate more discussions on this issue among the Chinese contemporary intellectuals.
Faith, Reason, Existentialist Anthropology, epistemology, natural theology
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