Dear Editor: Father Lauder’s insightful review of Marilynne Robinson’s essays (Feb. 17) criticizes scientism as the enemy of religion, but stops short of naming blind adherence to doctrine as its mirror opposite. We believers continue to confuse faith with religiosity, which requires hostile opposition to justify orthodoxy. Both scientism and inflexible dogmatism deny the fullness of God’s creation.
St. John Paul II, in a letter to the director of the Vatican Observatory in 1988, out it this way:
“The vitality and significance of theology for humanity will in a profound way be reflected in its ability to incorporate (scientific) findings… As these findings become part of the intellectual culture of the time, theologians must understand them and test their value in bringing out from Christian belief some of the possibilities which have not yet been realized… The matter is urgent… The only question is whether they will do this critically or unreflectively, with depth and nuance or with shallowness that debases the Gospel and leaves us ashamed before history.”
EDWARD R. DORNEY