Why Faith and Reason Need Each Other, by R. Jared Staudt

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image: The Disputed Toll by Heywood Hardy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

By R. Jared Staudt, Catholic Exchange, March 29, 2022

R. Jared Staudt, PhD is Associate Superintendent for Mission and Formation in the Archdiocese of Denver and Visiting Associate Professor for the Augustine Institute. …

This article was previously published in Sword & Spade magazine.

Jared Staudt, teacher and father, explains why distinguishing faith and reason is important when debating and explaining.


In a world that has gone mad, our greatest need in the recovery of our sanity is faith. Without it, the human mind experiences an eclipse, cut off from the true source of its light. Pope Benedict XVI often affirmed that without faith, reason limits itself to merely mundane and utilitarian concerns and, consequently, descends into relativism. Faith without reason, however, also runs into problems as it can fall into superstition or other distortions. We need both faith and reason to help us toward healthy and holy — sane and inspired — ways of thinking about life. Equipped with these gifts, and understanding their differences, we can better help others in thinking through the tough questions of life.

But in the reality of discussing and debating truth in a mad world, we often deploy faith and/or reason in the wrong ways or for the wrong reasons. We can be armed with truth and miss the mark, so it is important to learn how to use faith and reason so that we don’t diminish the power of one or the other. …