The Nature of Faith

Richard Swinburne

in Faith and Reason

Published in print January 1984 | ISBN: 9780198247258
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598531 | DOI:
 The Nature of Faith

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Analyses three different accounts of faith. On Aquinas’ account, faith is simply belief, though for Aquinas, the religious virtue is not faith in itself, but ‘faith formed by charity’. For Luther, faith is trust, and for a pragmatist (e.g. William James), it is acting on an assumption. On all these accounts, faith involves a belief and a readiness to pursue religious goals in the light of that belief; but they differ according to the kind of belief required. For the pragmatist, all that is required is the belief that we are more likely to achieve the goals of religion if the creed of our religion is true than if some creed of another religion or no religion is true.

Keywords: Aquinas; faith; William James; Luther; pragmatism; Cantwell‐Smith

Chapter.  10695 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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