Critical Faith: Toward a Renewed Understanding of Religious Life and Its Public Accountability

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Rodopi, 2002 - Religion - 331 pages
Can religious faith be critical and remain recognizable as faith? Or is the idea of a critical faith a contradiction in terms? In this book an emerging new voice in the philosophy of religion argues in favor of critical faith. Playing on a double meaning of the word 'critical', the title of the book suggests that faith is not only a critical (crucial) component of human life, but also a component that can and should develop in a critical (intellectually vigilant) way. Taking John Locke's reflections on the relationship between faith and reason as his point of departure, the author weaves his discussion around a wide array of intellectual figures and conversations. In addition to addressing important elements in the work of such historical figures as Aquinas and Locke, Kuipers also incorporates themes from recent discussions in the philosophy of science, feminist epistemology, philosophy of language, liberal theology, and critical theory. The book ends with a discussion of elements in Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative action, and offers a critical assessment of the merit of Habermas's notion of critical rationality as a normative yardstick for the achievement of a critical faith.

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Page 23 - ... faculties God has given him, and seeks sincerely to discover truth by those helps and abilities he has, may have this satisfaction in doing his duty as a rational creature, that though he should miss truth, he will not miss the reward of it : for he governs his assent right, and places it as he should, who in any case or matter whatsoever believes or disbelieves according as reason directs him.
Page 14 - Nobody, therefore, in fine, neither single persons nor churches, nay, nor even commonwealths, have any just title to invade the civil rights and worldly goods of each other upon pretence of religion.
Page 23 - I think it may not be amiss to take notice, that, however faith be opposed to reason, faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind ; which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to any thing but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it.

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