Critical Faith

Toward a Renewed Understanding of Religious Life and its Public Accountability

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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Critical Faith is a valuable contribution for philosophers of religion, students of Habermas’ critical theory, and those interested in the intersection of religion and public policy.” in: Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses 33/3-4, 2004
Introduction CHAPTER 1 Reconsidering the Relationship Between Faith and Reason CHAPTER 2 Legitimacy Without Legitimation? CHAPTER 3 Speaking of Spirit CHAPTER 4 Religious Faith as Personal Knowledge CHAPTER 5 Religion and Critical Rationality Conclusion Bibliography Index