Reason re-claimed!


Quoted from Slovenian Philosopher & cultural critic Slavo Zizek’s brilliant book Living in the End Times:

“We should rehabilitate Tertullian’s (in)famous credo quia absurdium (“I believe because it is absurd”), which is a misquotation of the key passage from his On the Flesh of Christ:  “The Son of God was crucified: I am not ashamed – because it is shameful.  The Son of God died: It is immediately credible – because it is silly.  He was buried, and rose again: It is certain – because it is impossible.”  The first thing to bear in mind here is that Tertullian (Early Church Father, AD 160-220) was not an opponent of reason:  in his On Repentance (1, 2-3) he emphasizes that all things are to be understood by reason:

‘Reason, in fact, is a thing of God, inasmuch as there is nothing which God the Maker of all has not provided, disposed, ordained by reason – nothing which he has willed should not be handled and understood by reason. All, therefore, who are ignorant of God, must necessarily be ignorant also of a thing which is His, because no treasure-house at all is accessible to strangers.  And thus, voyaging all the universal course of life without the rudder of reason, they know not how to shun the hurricane which is impending over the world.”

page 106

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