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Divine EnticementTheological Seductions$
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Karmen Mackendrick

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242894

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242894.001.0001

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Seductive Epistemology: Thinking with Assent

Seductive Epistemology: Thinking with Assent

(p.33) 1 Seductive Epistemology: Thinking with Assent
Divine Enticement

Karmen Mackendrick

Fordham University Press

Recent debates on religious faith, from both atheistic and religious perspectives, largely identify faith as a belief that certain propositions are factually true, regardless of the lack of evidence or the presence of contrary evidence. To this I oppose what Augustine and Thomas Aquinas call "thinking with assent"—not agreeing in advance to propositions, but assenting always to further thinking in which mystery entices thought. This requires a willingness to dwell in the openness of questioning. This chapter takes up in sequence the conceptions of faith as belief, trust, and fidelity, arguing that each is too certain of its object but also finding in each some relevance to the value of dwelling in question. It takes up the question itself (particularly through Maurice Blanchot and Paige duBois) and argues for its theological sense and its character as enticement to both intellect and will.

Keywords:   Faith, religious belief, Augustine, Aquinas, new atheism, mysticism

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