In the latest edition of First Things, Fr Richard John Neuhaus draws attention to a book called Ecumenism and Philosophy by Father Charles Morerod of the Angelicum in Rome (Sapientia Press). He describes it as follows:
Father Morerod persuasively argues that longstanding disagreements about nature and grace, divine initiative and human cooperation, are rooted in philosophical errors. Moderns such as Feuerbach, Marx, and Nietzsche saw themselves as completing the work of Luther and Calvin, who set up God and man as rivals, by eliminating God altogether. Morerod urges that ecumenical efforts would be enhanced if we could all agree with St. Thomas’ understanding that grace perfects nature rather than pitting grace and nature against one another.
In Tracey Rowland’s latest book “Ratzinger’s Faith” she discusses exactly this point in a number of places and at some length. It is a topic that I have yet to get my head around (I am even more of an amateur in the area of philosophy than I am in the area of history), but contrary to Fr Neuhaus, I rather agree with Fr Morerod that the issue is a crucial one.