Theology is not simply an academic discipline or a means of explaining the faith to believers, it also has a role in promoting peace and harmony, Pope Benedict said.
Catholic theology's attention to the links between faith and reason demonstrates the compatibility of different sources of knowledge, avoiding "the violent results of a religiosity opposed to reason and of a reason opposed to religion," the pope said.
Pope Benedict made his comments Dec. 2 during a meeting with members of the International Theological Commission.
Christian theology always begins with belief in Jesus Christ as the only Son of God, he said.
Only on that basis, and in harmony with the tradition of the Church, can a theologian intelligently explore the faith while remaining Catholic, the pope said.