Chapter

The Role of Creeds

Richard Swinburne

in Faith and Reason

Published in print January 1984 | ISBN: 9780198247258
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598531 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198247257.003.0007
 The Role of Creeds

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A creed explains how the pursuit of a particular religious way will achieve the goals of that religion. It does that by explaining in what salvation consists (e.g. in what the blessedness of Heaven consists), and how pursuing a certain sort of life will enable you to achieve it (e.g. because, if you live such a life, God will then take you to Heaven). This is illustrated by showing how the different items of the Nicene Creed have consequences for how we should worship and serve God and thereby mould our characters so that we would be happy in Heaven. One trusts God (and so has faith in the crucial sense) to the extent to which one acts on the assumption that if one lives in this way, God will provide for one the goals of religion. An appendix considers Christian views of the different fates for humans in the afterlife.

Keywords: afterlife; Christianity; creed; happiness; Heaven; Hell; Nicene creed; religious way; salvation

Chapter.  14707 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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