Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Heart and Intellect

A dismissal of the great theologians is tantamount to a dismissal of reason.

John Henry Newman
English prelate, theologian, poet and famous convert to Roman Catholicism, Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801 - 1890). (Photo by Herbert Barraud/Henry Guttmann Collection/Getty Images)

Faith and Reason through Christian History: A Theological Essay by Grant Kaplan (2022, Catholic University of America Press), 336 pages.

In September, Pew released a report considering four possible data-based scenarios, all of which predict a dramatic decline of American Christianity by 2070 with the religiously unaffiliated approaching or exceeding the number of Christians in the United States. Pundits jumped to explain this projected shift, with many blaming the conservative politicization of Christianity in recent decades. Yet according to a 2016 study, for the so-called “nones,” the most common reason they offer for their irreligiosity is not political but intellectual: religion, they say, simply isn’t reasonable.