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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 36, Issue 4, October 2019

James Dominic Rooney, OP
Pages 463-490

What is the Value of Faith For Salvation? A Thomistic Response to Kvanvig

Jonathan Kvanvig has proposed a non-cognitive theory of faith. He argues that the model of faith as essentially involving assent to propositions is of no value. In response, I propose a Thomistic cognitive theory of faith that both avoids Kvanvig’s criticism and presents a richer and more inclusive account of how faith is intrinsically valuable. I show these accounts of faith diverge in what they take as the goal of the Christian life: personal relationship with God or an external state of affairs. For this reason, more seriously, the non-cognitivist project likely requires rejecting traditional Christianity and its picture of salvation.

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