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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 92, Issue 3, Summer 2018

Religious Epistemology

Zachary M. Mabee
Pages 465-481
DOI: 10.5840/acpq2018515156

Become What You Receive
A Eucharistic Approach to Faith

Much work in the philosophy of religion has been devoted to exploring the virtue of faith. Very little of it, however, has done so from the perspective of Christian worship and liturgical practice. In this essay, I explore the virtue of faith, articulated in a traditionally Catholic manner, as it is practiced, engaged, and deepened through participation in the Eucharist. I begin by emphasizing both the cognitive and the volitional dimensions of a robust conception of the virtue of faith and then show how devout Eucharistic practice confirms and strengthens them, affording believers a unique opportunity to deepen their belief and concretely strengthen their trust in God. I conclude by noting how a Eucharistic approach to faith can avoid a common criticism—that faith is exceedingly passive—and also help us to understand why faith and religious practice can so easily become stagnant.