FAITH AND DOUBT by Olivier Rabut


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Gone are the days when the word ""faith"" conjured up the image of a blind, irrational assent to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. The new spirit manifests itself not only in practice, in the demand for rationality in doctrine, but also in the very concept of faith itself; and it is the latter manifestation that is the subject of this book. Father Rabut views the traditional concept of faith as an act of the will rather than of the intellect, and he feels that, in that definition, faith is repugnant to modern man. He demonstrates, however, that true faith consists not in a mere will-to-believe, but in an act of the intellect which involves the total person, the reason as well as the emotions, in assenting to a proposition which is not, of itself, demonstrable by pure reason. According to this definition, the notion of faith implies, in itself, an element of doubt, for there is only belief--not certitude. There is nothing really revolutionary, or even new, in Rabut's thesis. The value of the book is that Faith and Doubt emphasises the human--that is, the essentially and necessarily imperfect--nature of faith, and the necessarily imperfect applications of that virtue in the life of modern man. To a generation weaned on the notion that doubt is tantamount to heresy, this work renders a service that will make Faith and Doubt an important addition to any collection of popular theological works.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1967
Publisher: Sheed & Ward