The Queen Of The Sciences
Theology precedes philosophy like a queen is followed by her handmaid. But one’s christology shapes one’s theology and one’s theology shapes one’s philosophy. Philosophy in turn includes all the other disciplines. If one’s christology is corrupt, all the other views of life are off. For Christ, as our Maker, is all that it is about. From philosophy we can follow two lines. The one studies man, the other the rest of creation. It is a field apart to observe man in creation. In my personal studies I have concentrated on man. Anthropology naturally follows upon philosophy as it tries to understand who man is. Psychology comes next, as it comes to terms with man’s behavior. These four great fields are to be inspired by the Bible and first of all by Christ Himself through the Holy Spirit. Therefore they refer back to christology as the center of all knowledge and wisdom. For Christ is the perfect man, and as such the answer to all our psychological problems. These problems are solved in essence by soteriology. “In Whom are all treasures of knowledge and wisdom” the apostle wrote.
Morality, or ethics naturally follows psychology, as it sets guidelines for psychological comportment. Theory closes these fields and shows how they tick. This gives us a hexagram, or, as I personally like to picture it, the shield of David. All these disciplines are also directly dependent on christology. The lines of the star of David also show that all the disciplines influence each other. So one can compose a philosophical anthropology, or an anthropological philosophy. But theology precedes them all. Therefore she is the queen of the sciences, Regina Scientiarum. Yet, like a queen, she is also shaped by the feedback power of her subjects. Therefore I am convinced that all the various ways of knowing, all the scientific disciplines will one day turn out to be handmaids of theology. I will try to hint at this here and there. But let us never forget that we depend on our Lord Christ Jesus in every respect. We must hold on to Him as the head of the Church, through the Holy Spirit as the true vicar on earth. Theology, or whatever claim to knowledge or wisdom, must never become some kind of vague idea that takes the place of a personal relation with our Lord.
There is a direct link between anthropology and ethics. For who we are supposed to be determines how we are supposed to live. We must not take this representation of the shield of David too seriously. But there are connections and overlappings of and between the fields and disciplines. But again, let us never forget (as Solomon warned that we should never forget the important things) that Christ is forever the center. The character of the universe in its original state bespoke the character of its Creator, Christ. Its state after the Fall of Adam made Christ to come down to do His soteriological work and to undo the works of the devil Therefore all links of human knowledge and wisdom come from christology, which is like a point of gravity that keeps them all balanced. If your view of Christ is corrupt, then the whole shield disintegrates. Everything becomes meaningless and decomposed.
The other links seem to be more direct. Anthropology logically follows upon philosophy, because God created the human being after the entire creation was in place. The two are interdependent, for God created the universe in such a way that man could live in it; and He created man in such a way that he could find fulfilment in the universe. Psychology naturally comes after anthropology because man turned himself into a fallen creature. The solution to that condition lies in Christ’s Person and Work, which is the logical answer to the psychological problem. Thus every field is coupled back to the center. Ethics or morality hails from christology, because only a redeeming relationship with Christ can give us the power to live up to our calling. It would take too much space to treat of all the links and again, this representation is just a kind of mnemonic and should not be granted a quasi magical status.. Therefore I will just give a few random examples, and leave it up to you to philosophize about the rest.
Philosophy shows to a certain extent that Creation determines the circumstances, environment and possibilities for our behavior. Our code of ethics must be in harmony with these. Psychology brings the rebellion of our fallen natures against God’s reality to the fore. Anthropology shows us the contrasts between, as well as the similarities of Adam and Christ. The one was tempted in a perfect garden, the other in a desert. The former fell, the latter stood firm. Both are equally human; only the one was innocent and the other holy. Psychology and ethics make us aware of the difficulties fallen creatures have in following a code of ethics consistently.
In philosophizing about all these relationships one must realize that, although all the main disciplines are interdependent, it is also possible to pose them opposite to each other like mirrors. So one could study ethics by means of Christ’s example and one could study Christ by means of the code of ethics one believes in. The former is christological ethics, the latter ethical christology, and so on and so forth