Models of Faith: Trust, Orientation, Receptivity

Samuel Fleischacker

in Divine Teaching and the Way of the World

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199217366
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728495 | DOI:
Models of Faith: Trust, Orientation, Receptivity

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An introduction to the topic of revelation comes by way of faith, the subjective condition that revelation is supposed to evoke. This chapter offers a number of different models for understanding faith. Faith is first and foremost a kind of trust, in a person or a text that represents a person; religious faith, accordingly, is a trust in an authoritative human guide (guru, rabbi, saint, buddha), or the God or gods for whom those human beings claim to speak. It is also a point of orientation, by which our activities are organized and given significance. Texts by Kant and Moses Mendelssohn are used to shed light on this model. The Kant commentary of Martin Heidegger includes a notion of “spontaneous receptivity” (an active withholding of our urge to find reasons for everything), which may also illuminate religious faith.

Keywords: trust; Kant; Mendelssohn; orientation; imagination; Heidegger; spontaneous receptivity

Chapter.  10696 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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