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Abstract
There was a time when Greco-Roman culture recognized faith as an indispensable social good. More recently, however, the value of faith has been called into question, particularly in connection with religious commitment. What, if anything, is valuable about faith—in the context of ordinary human relations or as a distinctive stance people might take in relation to God? I approach this question by examining the role that faith talk played both in ancient Jewish and Christian communities and in the larger Greco-Roman culture in which Christian faith talk evolved. I locate the value of faith and faithfulness in the context of relationships involving trust and loyalty and argue that what is most distinctively valuable about faith is the function it plays in sustaining relationships through various kinds of challenges, including through evidentially unfavorable circumstances and significant periods of doubt. In light of this discussion, I set out a view of relational faith and, taking Mother Teresa as an exemplar, argue for two further conclusions. First, faith can play the valuable role that it plays in sustaining relationships even without belief of the salient propositions. Second, in at least some circumstances, in order for faith to play this valuable role in a way that does not require epistemic opinions that fail to fit one’s evidence, it is important that faith does not require such belief.
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-016-9606-x
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References found in this work BETA

Propositional Faith: What It is and What It is Not.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4):357-372.
Faith, Belief and Fictionalism.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):257-274.
Action-Centered Faith, Doubt, and Rationality.Daniel McKaughan - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41 (9999):71-90.
Markan Faith.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):31-60.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Belief, Credence, and Faith.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Religious Studies 55 (2):153-168.
Markan Faith.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):31-60.
The Nature and Rationality of Faith.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - In Joshua Rasmussen & Kevin Vallier (eds.), A New Theist Response to the New Atheists. New York: Routledge. pp. 77-92.
The Moral and Evidential Requirements of Faith.Finlay Malcolm - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (1):117-142.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

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