Chapter

Faith and Revelation

C. Stephen Evans

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195138092
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835348 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195138090.003.0014

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Faith and Revelation

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This chapter examines the concepts of revelation and faith, as well as their relation to one another. The idea of revelation common to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam can be divided in different ways: general revelation (e.g., knowledge of God through nature) and specific revelation (e.g., through holy scripture), propositional revelation (e.g., through a creed) and non-propositional revelation (e.g., through personal experience). I argue that an account of specific revelation is most rich when both propositional and non-propositional kinds of revelation are admitted. I also explore why the more recent non-propositional conceptions became relevant due to the controversies concerning the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of scripture. The concept of faith stands parallel to that of revelation, as it too embodies both a sense of belief in a set of propositions as well as a trusting relationship with God inexpressible, in part, by propositions. I then examine the role of reason in religious faith and particularly the many ways the two might relate between the poles of religious rationalism and fideism.

Keywords: belief; faith; fideism; general revelation; inerrancy; infallibility; inspiration; non-propositional revelation; propositional revelation; reason (in religious faith); religious rationalism; revelationspecific revelation

Chapter.  9955 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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