Chapter

Seductive Epistemology: Thinking with Assent

Karmen Mackendrick

in Divine Enticement

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242894
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242931 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823242894.003.0002
Seductive Epistemology: Thinking with Assent

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Recent debates on religious faith, from both atheistic and religious perspectives, largely identify faith as a belief that certain propositions are factually true, regardless of the lack of evidence or the presence of contrary evidence. To this I oppose what Augustine and Thomas Aquinas call "thinking with assent"—not agreeing in advance to propositions, but assenting always to further thinking in which mystery entices thought. This requires a willingness to dwell in the openness of questioning. This chapter takes up in sequence the conceptions of faith as belief, trust, and fidelity, arguing that each is too certain of its object but also finding in each some relevance to the value of dwelling in question. It takes up the question itself (particularly through Maurice Blanchot and Paige duBois) and argues for its theological sense and its character as enticement to both intellect and will.

Keywords: Faith; religious belief; Augustine; Aquinas; new atheism; mysticism

Chapter.  15316 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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