Tom Hanks on Faith & Reason

Speaking of Augustine’s definition of “faith,” I was enjoying Angels & Demons on this Easter Sunday and ran across a remarkably orthodox formulation, delivered by renowned symbologist Robert Langdon (aka Tom Hanks) to the interim Pope character played by a dashing Ewan McGregor.

McGregor has just asked Langdon/Hanks if he believes in God.

HANKS: My mind tells me I will never understand God.

McGREGOR: And your heart?

HANKS (furrowed brow; pause): Tells me I’m not meant to. (crinkling brow; back to furrow; pause; pause) Faith is a gift . . . (pause) . . . I have yet to receive.

McGREGOR: Be gentle with our treasures.

There is nothing in Hanks/Langdon’s response that would be out of place in a Roman Catholic confessional — which is probably why McGregor grants him access to the super-secret Vatican archives and the diabolically encrypted Galileo manuscript . . . .

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