methods used in medieval theology and philosophy to ascertain and
present the truths of faith and reason.
Throughout the middle
ages, many Roman Catholic theologians considered the relation of faith
and reason, or philosophy and theology. They developed a variety of methods
and positions. At the end of the eleventh century, for example, Anselm
of Canterbury affirmed the need for faith to seek understanding. In
his view faith was prior to reason. A different pattern was proposed in
the twelfth century by the teacher Abelard
who urged the free use of dialectic, the employment of question and counter-question
in search of the truth. His view anticipates some modern uses of unaided
reason in search of truth. In the thirteenth century Thomas
Aquinas created a great medieval synthesis in which faith and reason
enjoy a friendly, complementary relation. Aquinas in particular saw grace
as functioning to perfect nature; in turn he saw faith as completing the
work of reason.