Thursday, 11 June 2009

Faith: propositions or relationships?

Keith D'Souza SJ gave a very interesting Inaugural Lecture this morning at Divyadaan. I forget the full title, but the subtitle was Reading Texts with Ricoeur.

One of the points was about traditional and contemporary faith. Traditional faith, Keith said, had to do with believing propositions; today faith is understood in terms of relationships.

The point is well taken. Faith is, in fact, primarily a question of relationship, of encounter, or of 'being encountered': God who has first searched for us, found us, loved us.

But: the 'existential' subject does not in any way exclude the subject functioning at the 'lower' levels of understanding and judging. A personalism and existentialism that concentrates on subjectivity to the exclusion of any concern for truth is not really doing anyone any service.

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