Personal Participation: Michael Polanyi, Eric Voegelin, and the Indispensability of Faith

Journal of Religious Ethics 33 (1):65 - 89 (2005)
Abstract
In this paper I focus on the central role faith plays in the thought of Polanyi and Voegelin. I begin by indicating how both find the modern conception of scientific knowing seriously wanting. What Polanyi terms "objectivism" and Voegelin calls "scientism" is the modern tendency to reduce knowledge to only that which can be scientifically demonstrated. This errant view of knowledge does not occur in a vacuum, though, and both men draw a connection between this and the political pathologies of the twentieth century. I then show the complementary ways in which these two thinkers believe recovery is possible: an epistemological solution encompassed in Polanyi's personal knowledge and an ontological reorientation that is the core of Voegelin's insistence that we must recover an awareness of human participation in transcendent reality
Keywords scientism  gnosticism  Voegelin  faith  Polanyi  objectivism
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