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498 BOOK REVIEWS generations of theologians across denominational lines. Both Placher and Hunsinger at the end of their essays choose quotations from within Frei's own writings to give a synoptic portrait of the man and his work. Placher chooses a remark about Niebuhr's sense of vocation as a theologian (20), and Hunsinger one about knowledge of that seemingly elusive reality, a person's identity (257). However one might come away from this challenging collection of essays, further confused or more enlightened, more in agreement or disagreement, I think every reader will recognize the coincidence of intellectual perspicuity and generosity with passionate faith. Regis College, Toronto School of Theology Toronto, Ontario, Canada GEORGE P. SCHNER, S.J. Reasoned Faith. Edited by ELEONORE STUMP. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993. Pp. x + 364. As the editor remarks in her "Introduction," it is not so long ago that the analytical philosophy of religion consisted very largely of discussions of the meaningfulness of religious language, and of arguments about the existence of God. Nowadays it is more adventurous, ranging over such topics as creation , providence, and God's responsibility for sin. According to Robert Merrihew Adams, the statement "truth is subjectivity ," though one of the most famous, is also one of the most misunderstood in Kierkegaard's writings. He argues that, taken in context within the Concluding Unscientifu: Postscript, the statement is by no means incompatible with the objective truth of religious belief. From the point of view of the Postscript, a member of an idolatrous community who prays to her God with "the entire passion of the infinite" has more of the truth than one who prays in a false spirit from within Christendom; but this implies that the latter does have some truth. Whatever the deficiencies in her faith, she is clearly admitted to be in possession of the true concept of God objectively speaking (223 ). Adams maintains, quite rightly in the reviewer's opinion, that the Postscript is excessively pessimistic about the integration of the ideals of subjectivity and objectivity, of passionate commitment on the one side and rational assessment of evidence on the other, in religious faith (21). A useful distinction is made by Scott MacDonald between "occurrent" and "dispositional" belief; this seems to resolve some of the more puzzling paradoxes about the relation of the more cognitive and propositional side of faith to other aspects which may be thought essential to it. The demons alluded to by St. James (2:19) might believe dispositionally that their highest fulfillment BOOK REVIEWS 499 was to be found in obeying the divine will, and so performing acts of charity and service to other creatures. But to avoid the inconvenience of acting in such a way, they could think of God occurrently as just a powerful being who makes burdensome demands (55). For MacDonald, the cognitive component of faith has only two elements, belief that certain propositions are true, and belief that the kind of response of the will which is also essential to faith may be grounded on these (56). "We can make sense of Christian faith if we think of it simply as belief that Christianity is true plus an appropriate volitional response to that truth" (69). Against mainline Christian accounts like those of Augustine and Aquinas, he sees no good reason to suppose that one cannot have faith in propositions for which one has conclusive proof, but only in those for which one's justification is relatively weak. He provides interesting grounds for contradiction of a view which has been expounded by both Robert Adams and John Hick, that only such uncertainty can ground the trust which is essential to the relationship which human beings ought to have to God (59). "My ability to love and trust my wife, to commit myself without reservation to her well-being and to the goals and purposes we have chosen as definitive of our common life seem in no way dependent on my being uncertain about what she is like or what she will do" (60). On the question of how faith ought to be related to the demands of reason, Robert Audi remarks that, up to the middle 1970s...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 498-503
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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